Corts, Hernn or Cortez, Hernando (1485-1547), Spanish explorer and conqueror of the Aztec Empire of Mexico. Corts was born in Medelln, Extremadura. He studied law at the University of Salamanca, but cut short his university career in 1501 and decided to try his fortune in the New World. He sailed for Santo Domingo in the spring of 1504. In 1511 he joined the Spanish soldier and administrator Diego Velzquez in the conquest of Cuba, and subsequently became alcalde (mayor) of Santiago de Cuba. In 1518 he persuaded Velzquez, who had beco1me governor of Cuba, to give him the command of an expedition to Mexico. The mainland had been discovered the year before by the Spanish soldier and explorer Francisco Fernndez de Crdoba and subsequently by Juan de Grijalva, nephew of Velzquez.
On February 19, 1519, Corts, with a force of some 600 men, fewer than 20 horses, and 10 field pieces, set sail from Cuba, despite the cancellation of his commission by Velzquez, who had become suspicious that Corts, once in a position to establish himself independently, would refuse to recognize his authority. Corts sailed along the coast of Yucatn and in March 1519 landed in Mexico, subjugating the town of Tabasco; the artillery of the Spaniards, the ships, and particularly the horses filled the natives with awe. From the natives of Tabasco Corts learned of the Aztec Empire and its ruler, Montezuma II. Corts took numerous captives, one of whom, Malinche (baptized Marina), became his mistress; out of loyalty to him she acted as the interpreter, guide, and counselor for the Spaniards. Finding a better harbor a little north of San Juan, the Spaniards moved there and established a town, La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz (now Veracruz).
The Term Paper on The Accidental Crusade The Spanish American War part 1
The accidental crusade: The Spanish American War The Spanish-American War was brief, but it became the beginning of the American overseas empire, formal and informal. For Several centuries Spain remained the World's empire and its colonies were spread worldwide. But by the end of the nineteenth century only few Spanish possessions remained in the Pacific, Africa and West India. Most part of the ...
Corts organized an independent government, and renouncing the authority of Velzquez, acknowledged only the supreme authority of the Spanish crown. In order to prevent those of his small force who opposed this movement from deserting him and carrying the news to Cuba, Corts destroyed his fleet.
After negotiations with Montezuma, who tried to persuade Corts not to enter the capital city of Tenochtitln, Corts started his famous march inland. He overcame the native Tlascalans and then formed an alliance with them against the Aztecs, their enemies. From that time until the conquest was achieved, the Tlascalans continued to be the most important of all the native allies of the Spaniards. Montezuma pursued an irresolute policy during Corts’s march, and finally determined not to oppose the Spanish invaders but to await their arrival at the Aztec capital and to learn more about their purposes. On November 8, 1519, Corts and his small force, with some 600 native allies, entered the city and established headquarters in one of its large communal dwellings. Because of an Aztec prophecy about the return of Quetzalcoatl, a legendary god-king who was light skinned and bearded, Corts was believed to be a god and was received with honor.
The Spanish soldiers were allowed to roam through the city at their pleasure and found much gold and other treasures in the storehouses. Despite the amicable reception given the Spaniards, Corts had reason to believe that attempts would be made to drive him out. To safeguard his position, he seized Montezuma as hostage and forced him to swear allegiance to Charles I, king of Spain, and to provide a ransom of an enormous sum in gold and jewels. Meanwhile Velzquez dispatched an expedition under the Spanish soldier Panfilo de Narvez to Mexico. In April 1520, Corts received word that Narvez had arrived on the coast. Leaving 200 men at Tenochtitln under the command of Pedro de Alvarado, an explorer who had also been with Grijalva, Corts marched with a small force to the coast, entered the Spanish camp at night, captured Narvez, and induced the majority of the Spaniards to join his force. Meanwhile harsh rules by Alvarado had aroused the Aztecs in the capital.
The Term Paper on Mexico City Cortes Aztec Montezuma
Cortes; Conquistador, Conspirator, and Christian In 1485 Spain was finally able to relax after the recapture of their country from the Muslim Moors who had ruled for the last eight hundred years. With this victory Spain could now begin to once again re-establish its Christian monarchy. In this same year in the town of Medellin, Spain was born Hernando Cortes also (Fernando Cortes or even Hernan ...
An Aztec revolt against the Spaniards and their own imprisoned ruler, Montezuma, was under way when Corts returned to the city. He was allowed to enter with his followers and to join Alvarado, but thereupon was immediately surrounded and attacked. At Corts’s request Montezuma addressed the Aztecs in an attempt to quell the revolt. The Aztec ruler was stoned, and he died three days later. The Spanish and their allies were driven out of the city by a group of Aztecs led by Montezuma’s nephew Guatemotzn on a dark, rainy night, the famous Noche Triste (“Sad Night”), June 30, 1520. The Aztecs pursued the retreating Spanish troops and at Otumba, on July 7, 1520, after defeating a very large force of Aztecs, Corts finally reached Tlaxcala. There, during the summer, he reorganized his army with the aid of some reinforcements and equipment from Vera Cruz. Corts then began his return to the capital, capturing outlying Aztec outposts on the way.
On August 13, 1521, after a desperate siege of three months, Guatemotzn, the new emperor, was captured, and Tenochtitln fell. Corts had Tenochtitln razed and built Mexico City on its ruins. Colonists were brought over from Spain, and the city became the principal European city in America. The consolidation of Mexico by Corts was not accomplished without great cruelty to the indigenous peoples. The popularity that Corts achieved in Spain because of his conquests and the riches he had sent resulted in his being named governor and captain general of New Spain in 1523. Corts then undertook an expedition to Honduras from 1524 to 1526. Meanwhile, fearing his ambition, the Spanish court had sent officials to Mexico to investigate his acts.
In 1528 Corts was ordered to relinquish the government of Mexico and return to Spain. There he appealed to the king, was created marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca in the New World, and was reappointed captain general. He was not restored, however, to the civil governorship of Mexico. He married the daughter of the count of Aguilar and in 1530 returned to Mexico. There he found himself constantly checked in his activity, his property kept from him, his rights interfered with, and his popularity waning. In 1536 Corts discovered the peninsula of Baja California in northwest Mexico, and explored the Pacific coast of Mexico. In 1539 the Spanish explorer Francisco Vsquez de Coronado secured the right to seek the Seven Cities of Cbola, and in disgust Corts went back to Spain to complain to the court.
The Essay on Cortes’ 2nd Letter Back To Spain
To systematically rid the world of a civilization takes not only military genius and advanced weaponry, but also a lot of something else. This “something else” is quite unknown though. While Cortes and other Spaniards at the time believed that his conquering of the Aztecs was purely courage and God’s will, I believe that it was not so much of those, but a whole lot of luck. In ...
Again he was received with honor but could secure no substantial assistance toward recovering his rights or his property. He served as a volunteer in 1541 in the unsuccessful Spanish expedition against Algiers, lost a large part of his remaining fortune, and was shipwrecked. Corts, neglected by the court after the Algiers expedition, retired to a small estate near Seville, where he lived until his death..