Hernán Cortés

Topics: Hernán Cortés, Mexico, Aztec Pages: 2 (620 words) Published: March 19, 2008
Hernán Cortés was a Spanish conquistador who pillaged and explored the Mexican region of South America. Hernán's early life was a very unique one. Even though he went to school for law, fate had him taking another profession. Hernán Cortés is widely known for his historic invasions and explorations. He tricked the Aztec empire and ultimately destroyed the powerful empire. Although his life was filled with excitement, riches, and fame, he died struggling with debts and other grievances.

His early years greatly differed from the rest of his life. He was born in the year 1485 in the small Spanish town known as Medellín. Much unlike his later years, Hernán was a pale and sickly child early in life. His father was an infantry captain and one of his second cousins was Francisco Pizarro, another conquistador which invaded the Incan empire. When he turned 14, Hernán enrolled in the University of Salamanca to study law. When he turned 16, much to the dismay of his parents, he dropped out. A part of action this was a result of hearing about the discoveries of Christopher Columbus. After hearing about discoveries of a supposed "New World", Cortés knew what his destiny was in life.

What made Hernán Cortés such an important figure in this time period is his presence in Mexico. In 1519, Hernán landed on Mexican shores with 400 men, 15 horsemen, 15 cannons, and hundreds of indigenous warriors. On the way to the Mexican capitol, Tenochtitlan, Cortés made alliances with several tribes along the way. With these new tribes, the Spanish army had grown exponentially and had become a considerable fighting force. When Cortés finally got to the capitol, he was welcome by the reigning king of the Aztecs who went by the name Moctezuma II. The Aztec leader thought that Cortés was a god when he saw his horses and cannons. Due to his illusion that Cortés was a god, Moctezuma II lavish gifted Hernán with vast amounts of gold and invited Cortés into the heavily guarded capitol. Seeing...
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