The holy city of Cholula, which joined with Moctezuma in an attempt to stall the Spaniards, was sacked for two days at Cortés’s command. Cortes and his men entered the city of Tlaxcala on September 18, 1519. On the march to Tenochtitlan, Cortés had already enlisted the enthusiastic help of the Tlaxcalans, both in men and supplies. During lulls in the fighting, Cortes and his men would launch punitive attacks and food raids against local towns and villages. But by the time the Tlaxcalan leadership began to have second thoughts about their alliance, it was too late: two years of constant warring had left them far too weak to defeat the Spanish, something they had not accomplished even when at their full might in 1519. Three hundred Tlaxcalan girls were given to the conquistadors, including some of noble birth for the officers. Spain. The area controlled by the Tlaxcalans comprised some 200 semi-autonomous villages united by their hatred of the Mexica. The hotheaded Alvarado lacked Cortes’s skill and diplomacy. After defeating Velázquez’s forces, Cortés returned to Tenochtitlan on June 24, 1520, to find the city in revolt against his proxy. \"He arrived in the great Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán in 1519,\" said Cosme. In his absence, Cortés left Tenochtitlan under the command of Pedro de Alvarado and a garrison of 80 Spaniards. Nahua speaking people began to migrate to the Basin … But the most important thing the Spanish gained in their stay in Tlaxcala was an ally. They were banished to an island after they sacrificed the daughter of a king. For two weeks, the Spanish made little headway. The event would come to be known as the Night of Sorrows. This instability enabled Cortés to form alliances with other native peoples, most notably the … He used deadly force to conquer Mexico, fighting Tlaxacan and Cholula warriors before turning his attention on the ultimate prize: taking over the Aztec Empire. In the fifteenth century, long-distance trade shifted to A) East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean A. How this alliance developed and how their support was crucial to Cortes' success. \"Although he was kindly received by the Aztec emperor Montezuma, Cortés' intentions were less benevolent.\" He set out to rule them. 8 Important Figures in the Conquest of the Aztec Empire, Important Events in the Conquest of the Aztec Empire, Conquistadors vs. Aztecs: the Battle of Otumba, Timeline of Hernan Cortes' Conquest of the Aztecs, Biography of Malinche, Enslaved Woman and Interpreter to Hernán Cortés. In 1519, Hernan Cortes and his small army of conquistadors, driven by gold-lust, ambition and religious fervor, began the audacious conquest of the Aztec Empire.By August 1521, three Mexica emperors were dead or captured, the city of Tenochtitlan was in ruins and the Spanish had conquered the mighty empire. Desiderio Hernández Xochitiotzin / Wikimedia Commons. The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was one of the most significant and complex events in world history. Mosaic mask of turquoise and lignite covers a human skull and represents an Aztec god, Tezcatlipoca. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. A. Roman B. Incan C. Mayan D. Aztec Finally, on August 13, 1521, the city fell. Each state had its own ruler or tlatoani who led a council of nobles but these small urban centres surrounded by farmland soon sought to expand their wealth and influence so that by c. 1400 CE several small empires had formed in the Valley of Mexico. Wielded by the Spanish, the harquebus, also called a hackbut, was an early gun that had a firing range of less than 650 feet. In 1519, conquistador Hernan Cortes landed on Mexico's Gulf coast and began an audacious conquest of the mighty Aztec Empire. Despite being made a marquis years later, the Conqueror of Mexico did not have a glorious end. However, Cortés knew that his superior weaponry, coupled with the additional 50,000 warriors provided by his indigenous allies, would conquer the city, which was already weakened from starvation and thirst. Order of the social class in the Aztec Empire. For the next two years, the Tlaxcalans honored their alliance with Cortes. The Aztecs tried repeatedly to conquer and subjugate them but always failed. Ever since the conquest, some Mexicans have considered Tlaxcalans to be "traitors" who, like Cortes' enslaved interpreter Doña Marina (better known as "Malinche") aided the Spanish in the destruction of native culture. When the envoys did not return, Cortes and his men moved out and entered Tlaxcalan territory anyway. She soon came to be known as Malinche, or Doña Marina. One by one, the Mexica had conquered and subjugated dozens of neighboring cultures and city-states, turning them into strategic allies or resentful vassals. By 1519, only a few isolated holdouts remained. In 1518 Velázquez appointed his secretary to lead an expedition to Mexico. The Tlaxcalans' hatred of the Mexica ran very deep. With the fall of Tenochtitlan, the Spanish set about pacifying the rest of the empire and discovering what other treasures could be plundered. This vast territory would reach its greatest extent in the 18th century, with territory throughout North and South America. A Spanish Officer named Pedro De … In 1547, at the age of 62, he died in a village near Sevilla, Spain, embroiled in lawsuits and his health broken by a series of disastrous expeditions. In May 1521 the Spaniards had cut off the city’s water supply by taking control of the Chapultepec aqueduct. They had allies, with the Tlaxcalans being among the most important. In the end, Cortes did not make it a condition of their alliance, but he continued to pressure the Tlaxcalans to convert and abandon their previous "idolatrous" practices. The conquistador had a son with her, Martín, who is often regarded as the first ever mestizo—a person of mixed European and American Indian ancestry. A Tlaxcalan prince, Xicotencatl the Younger, came up with a clever plan. At the age of 19, he travelled to the Spanish controlled colonies in the Caribbean. After the Spanish fled Tenochtitlan, they retreated to Tlaxcala to rest and regroup. The Aztec Empire was powerful, wealthy and rich in culture, architecture and the arts. A Spanish explorer by the name of Hernan Cortés planed to conquer the empire. The first killing was a massacre of Aztec nobles gathered for a religious ceremony. For an assault on a city the size of Tenochtitlan, the number of Spanish troops seemed paltry—just under 1,000 soldiers, including harquebusiers, infantry, and cavalry. This stigma persists today, albeit in a weakened form. During the siege, around 100 Spaniards lost their lives compared to as many as 100,000 Aztec. During this setback for the conquistador, the Aztec warriors managed to regain lost ground and rebuild the city’s fortifications, pushing the Spanish onto the defensive for nearly three weeks. Francisco Pizarro conquered the _____ empire in the early 1500s. According to Aztec mythology, this must be provided to the sun or it will fail to rise, bringing about the end of the world. Spain would win the Battle of Otumba a few days later. When the Spanish re-conquered Tenochtitlan in 1521, thousands of Tlaxcalan soldiers joined them. After a grueling battle lasting more than five hours, as many as 6,000 of its people were killed. Its capital city, Tenochtitlan, ruled 400 to 500 small states with a total population of five to six million. At the age of 19, he travelled to the Spanish controlled colonies in the Caribbean. The only sticking point between the two cultures seemed to be Cortes' insistence that the Tlaxcalans embrace Christianity, something they were reluctant to do. They fought the Spanish and then, when offered an alliance by these formidable foreign warriors against their traditional enemies, decided that "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Call the Aztec midwife: Childbirth in the 16th century. The news of the foreigners’ arrival soon reached the Aztec emperor, Moctezuma, in Tenochtitlan. Any resistance was brutally crushed: Many indigenous enemies were captured as slaves and some were even branded following their capture. There were further Spanish explorations and settlements in the Caribbean and the Spanish Main, seeking wealth in the form of gold and access to indigenous labor to mine gold and other manual labor. A smallpox epidemic prevented the Aztec forces from finishing off Cortés’s defeated and demoralized army. The contributions of the Tlaxcalans to the conquest are many, but here are some of the more important ones: It's not an exaggeration to say that Cortes would not have defeated the Mexica without the Tlaxcalans. European country that established colonies throughout the areas that had once been part of the Aztec and Inca empires. He set off for the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in February 1519 with 11 ships, about 100 sailors, 500 soldiers, and 16 horses. Even after two weeks of constantly battling the Spanish, the Tlaxcalans still had thousands of warriors, fierce men who were loyal to their elders (and the alliance their elders made) and who despised the Mexica. The Aztec had allies too, however, and Cortés was especially belligerent toward them. Hernan Cortes. In just a few years, he would lose many of his lands in the New World. After the expedition led by Vasco Núñez de Balboa who crossed Central America to reach the Pacific in 1513, Europeans began to see the full economic potential of this "New World." Wounded in one leg, the Spanish leader was ultimately rescued by his captains. WATCH: In the southern part of what is now Mexico City, archaeologists have discovered a 2,400-year-old gravesite with ten bodies entwined in a circle. Like other conquistadores of the early 16th century, Cortés had already gained considerable experience by living in the New World before embarking on his exploits. Fear gripped the huge Aztec capital on Cortés’s entry, the chroniclers wrote: Its 250,000 inhabitants put up no resistance to Cortés’s small force of a few hundred men and 1,000 Tlaxcaltec allies. On the way to Tenochtitlán, he clashed with local Indians, but many of these people, including the nation of Tlaxcala, became his allies after learning of his plan to conquer their hated Aztec rulers. By 1519, only a few isolated holdouts remained. According to the pictographic codices in which the Aztecs recorded their history, the place of origin was called Aztlán. From 1420 or so to 1519, the mighty Mexica culture had come to dominate most of central Mexico. They remained camped out on a hilltop. “Not a single stone remained left to burn and destroy,” one witness wrote. The Aztecs are famous for their clash with Cortes during the discovery of the New World. Although Montezuma defeated the rebellions, they weakened the empire. A) register marriages B) pay tribute C) learn about Aztec culture D) speak the Aztec language. In the face of their unstoppable advance, Moctezuma stalled for time, allowing the Spaniards and their allies to enter Tenochtitlan unopposed in November 1519. Hernan Cortés was the Spanish conquistador that led the expedition to explore and conquer the Aztec Empire. Thousands of warriors and a safe base of support only days away from Tenochtitlan proved invaluable to Cortes and his war effort. In Cholula, the Tlaxcalans warned Cortes of a possible ambush: they participated in the ensuing Cholula Massacre, capturing many Cholulans and bringing them back to Tlaxcala where they were to be either enslaved or sacrificed. During fighting in July 1521, the Aztec held strong, even capturing Cortés himself. Although the Spanish were weakening, the Tlaxcalans were dismayed to see that they were not gaining the upper hand, even with their superior numbers and fierce fighting. Following a military victory over another native people, the Tlaxcaltec, Cortés incorporated more warriors into his army. After two weeks of bloody fighting, Tlaxcalan leaders convinced the military and civil leadership of Tlaxcala to sue for peace. Two of the Cempoalan emissaries were allowed to escape and report to Cortes. The aid provided by the Tlaxcalans would eventually prove crucial for Cortes in his campaign. Knowledge of the divisions among different native peoples, and an unerring ability to exploit them, was central to Cortés’s strategy. The Spanish conquistador who conquered the Aztec Empire. Nahua peoples descended from Chichimec peoples who migrated to central Mexico from the north in the early 13th century. For several days, the Spaniards vainly used Moctezuma in an attempt to calm tempers, but his people pelted the puppet king with stones. (See also: New clues to the lost fleet of Cortés .). On June 30, 1520, the Spanish fled the city under fire, suffering hundreds of casualties. It was not long, however, before the lure of wealth spurred Spain’s adventurers beyond exploration and into a phase of conquest that would lay the foundations of the modern world. Rare Aztec Map Reveals a Glimpse of Life in 1500s Mexico. Twenty-five years after the first Spanish settlement in the New World, expeditions of exploration were sent to the coast of Mexico. At its height, the Aztecs ruled over 80,000 square miles throughout central Mexico, from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Ocean, and south to what is now Guatemala. Christopher Minster, Ph.D., is a professor at the ​Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. Having learned of political strife in the Aztec empire, Cortés led his force into the Mexican interior. Whole swaths of the Americas rapidly fell to the Spanish crown, a transformation begun by the ruthless conqueror of the Aztec Empire, Hernán Cortés. Guns, germs, and horses brought Cortés victory over the mighty Aztec empire. It was a very productive time for Cortes and his men. At first Moctezuma formally received Cortés. Cortés had heard of the Aztecs and knew that they, and their leader Montezuma II, were a primary force in Mexico. Establishing a pattern that would recur throughout his career, Cortés soon found himself as much at threat from his own compatriots as from the peoples he was trying to subdue. Between 1519 and 1521, Spanish conquistadors, led by Hernán Cortés, overthrew the Aztec Empire.This event is called the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire.Cortés helped old enemies of the Aztecs defeat them in one of the most important events in the Spanish colonization of the Americas.. By August of 1521, the glorious city of Tenochtitlan was in ruins. On the way to Tenochtitlan, the Spaniards gained the support of the Totonac peoples from the city of Cempoala, who hoped to be freed from the Aztec yoke. In 1521, Hernán Cortés, along with an allied army of other Native Americans, conquered the Aztecs through germ warfare (germ theory not being established until 1560 by earliest records, this was an unintentional result of Europeans coming to the New World), siege warfare, psychological warfare, and from direct combat. There was now no turning back. Nobility in Aztec society. Emperor Moctezuma ruled the Aztec when Cortés first arrived in Mexico in 1519. Aztlan is a legendary … https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/magazine/2016/05-06/cortes-tenochtitlan.html. Chief among them were the fiercely independent Tlaxcalans, whose territory was located to the east of Tenochtitlan. At first, the Tlaxcalans fought the conquistadors viciously, but after repeated defeats, they decided to make peace with the Spanish and ally with them against their traditional enemies. To appease the Spaniards, he sent envoys and gifts to Cortés, but he only succeeded in inflaming Cortés’s desires for more Aztec riches. The loss of human life was staggering, both in absolute figures and in its disproportionality. They had brought with them thousands of Cempoalan allies and porters, led by a nobleman named Mamexi. All rights reserved. Victory allowed the Spaniards to rejoin with their Tlaxcaltec allies and launch the recapture of Tenochtitlan. Decades of rapid expansion in the Americas seemed to have eclipsed his own exploits, and few bells tolled for the man whose ruthlessness and cunning transformed the Americas. ), Having rapidly imposed control over the indigenous population in the coastal region, Cortés was given 20 slaves by a local chieftain. Whole swaths of the Americas rapidly fell to the Spanish crown, a transformation begun by the ruthless conqueror of the Aztec Empire, Hernán Cortés. The warriors and noblemen who were not killed immediately died later from rampant smallpox and other diseases. Moctezuma died a few days later, but his successors would fare no better than he did. In this, they were helped enormously by two factors. In 1511 he joined an expedition to conquer Cuba and was appointed secretary to the island's first colonial governor, Diego Velázquez. Conquistador Hernan Cortes and his Spanish troops did not conquer the Aztec Empire on their own. This article has been rated as C-Class. This 18th-century oil painting, part of the Conquest of Mexico series at the Library of Congress, shows Hernán Cortés poised at the gates of the capital of the Aztec Empire. Cortés’s forces seemed invincible. Cortés had a talent for observing and manipulating local political rivalries. Cortés once described the land near Veracruz, the city he founded on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, as rich as the mythical land where King Solomon obtained his gold. Early migrants settled the Basin of Mexicoand surrounding lands by establishin… Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire has been listed as a level-4 vital article in History. He gained valuable insights into the organization of the islands’ indigenous peoples and proved an adept arbiter in the continual squabbles that broke out among the Spaniards, forever vying to enlarge their estates or snag lucrative administrative positions. What did the Aztec Empire require conquered people to do? However for many this is where their story begins and ends. Leader of the Aztec empire when the Spanish arrived. Pre-Aztec Skeletons Found Arranged in Spiral Shape. The migration story of the Mexica is similar to those of other polities in central Mexico, with supernatural sites, individuals, and events, joining earthly and divine history as they sought political legitimacy. Meanwhile, the Tlaxcalans were trying to decide what to do about the Spanish. Mamexi counseled going through Tlaxcala and possibly making allies of them. More specifically, he arrived at the island of Hispaniola which is the modern-day Dominican Republic and Haiti. Cortes secured this alliance by meeting regularly with Xicotencatl the Elder and Maxixcatzin, the two great lords of Tlaxcala, giving them gifts and promising to free them from the hated Mexica. Mexico City. Emperor Montezuma II himself had most recently tried to defeat them in 1515. Pedro de Alvarado was given one of the daughters of Xicotencatl the elder named Tecuelhuatzín, who was later christened Doña Maria Luisa. Skillful deployment of cavalry against the elite Aztec jaguar and eagle warriors carried the day for the Europeans and their allies.“Our only security, apart from God,”Cortés wrote,“is our horses.”. During the Night of Sorrows, Tlaxcalan warriors helped the Spanish escape by night from Tenochtitlan. Were the Tlaxcalans traitors? In 1504, Cortés left Spain for the island of Hispaniola (today, home to the Dominican Republic and Haiti), where he rose through the ranks of the fledgling colonial administration. Cortés Conquers the Aztecs Cortés became worried that some of his crew would steal his ships and desert him so he sunk his fleet before marching to... After Montezuma II was killed the Aztecs elected Cuauhtemoc as their new king. Son of a tribal leader who conquered the Chanca peoples and transformed the Incan state into an empire through military victories. Aztec, self name Culhua-Mexica, Nahuatl-speaking people who in the 15th and early 16th centuries ruled a large empire in what is now central and southern Mexico.The Aztecs are so called from Aztlán (“White Land”), an allusion to their origins, probably in northern Mexico. Cortés eventually had him executed. Hearing of the approach of Cortés, with his frightful horses and sophisticated weapons, Montezuma II tried to buy him … Even so, the siege of Tenochtitlan was not a given. The conquest of the Aztecs marked a significant period for the Spanish. In 1516 Juan Díaz de Solís, discovered the estuary formed by the confluence of the Uruguay River and the Paraná River. The Aztec Empire was the last of the great Mesoamerican cultures. At the beginning of 1520 he was forced to leave Tenochtitlan to deal with a punitive expedition sent from Cuba by the enraged Diego Velázquez. The Aztec empire collapsed almost instantly after the conquest. Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. The capital of the Aztec Empire. Hernan Cortés was the Spanish conquistador that led the expedition to explore and conquer the Aztec Empire. He is a former head writer at VIVA Travel Guides. Hotheaded Prince Xicotencatl the Younger was sent personally to Cortes to ask for peace and an alliance. Her linguistic skills would prove crucial to Cortés’s invasion plans, and she became his interpreter as well as his concubine. From Zautla, Cortes sent four Cempoalan envoys to Tlaxcala, offering to talk about a possible alliance, and moved to the town of Ixtaquimaxtitlan. To the Aztec, 1519 was a year that began with their empire as the uncontested power in the region. Linked steel plates offered the Spanish almost complete protection from Aztec weaponry. Unbeknownst to Cortés, his arrival coincided with an important Aztec prophecy. Meanwhile, envoys from Mexica Emperor Montezuma showed up, encouraging the Spanish to keep fighting the Tlaxcalans and to not trust anything they said. Cortés—as Velázquez was to discover to his cost—was set on becoming a leader rather than a loyal follower. The Tlaxcalans attacked but the Spanish drove them off with a concerted cavalry charge, losing two horses in the process. Over the following months Cortés would take matters into his own hands, disobey the governor’s orders, and turn what had been intended to be an exploratory mission into a historic military conquest. The Spanish entered the scene in 1519 when Hernan Cortes landed an exploratory vessel on the coast. Although the Tlaxcalans had little wealth—they were effectively isolated and blockaded by their Mexica enemies—they shared what little they had. Some Spaniards died by drowning in the surrounding marshes, weighed down by the vast amounts of treasure they were trying to carry off. When Cortes was forced to return to the Gulf Coast to face conquistador. The sacking also allowed the Spaniards to build up their large personal retinues, taking captives to use as servants and slaves, and kidnapping others for exchanges and ransoms. The first was help from disgruntled subject peoples or traditional enemies of the Aztecs. (See also: Rare Aztec Map Reveals a Glimpse of Life in 1500s Mexico. As a mark of his ruthlessness, and to quash any misgivings his crew may have had in disobeying the orders of Governor Velázquez, Cortés ordered the destruction of the fleet he had sailed with from Cuba. Indigenous group that established an empire … Growing in number to roughly 3,000 people, this group of captives vastly outnumbered the fighting Spaniards. The Spanish conquest was devastating to the Aztec people.By 1680, 94% of the Aztec population had died. After sending messages back and forth for a few days with not only the elders of Tlaxcala but also Emperor Montezuma, Cortes decided to go to Tlaxcala. Inca. One important aspect of their extended stay was that they could rest, heal their wounds, tend to their horses and equipment and basically get ready for the next step of their journey. Spanish explorer that conquered the Aztec empire. The war between Spain and the Aztecs went from 1519 to 1521. Later events proved that perhaps this alliance was a mistake, but the worst thing the Tlaxcalans can be accused of is lack of foresight. In 1519, as conquistador Hernan Cortes was making his way inland from the coast on his audacious conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire, he had to pass through the lands of the fiercely independent Tlaxcalans, who were the mortal enemies of the Mexica. At first, colonization by the burgeoning new world power, Spain, was centered on the islands of the Caribbean, with little contact with the complex, indigenous civilizations on the mainland. The outbreak weakened the Aztec while giving Cortés time to regroup. Thousands of fierce Tlaxcalan warriors would fight alongside the conquistadors for the duration of the conquest. The fall of the Aztec City of Tenochtitlan to the Spanish led by Conquistador Hernan Cortes marked the end of an era as the Old and New Worlds collided with catastrophic results for the New World which would be decimated by War, famine and disease.. On his arrival, Hernan Cortes was accompanied by a force of 530 Armed Europeans and a few hundred Cuban natives and African slaves. Aztec warriors besiege Spaniards, uned the command of Alvarado, who are holing up in Moctezuma's palace in this engraving from the 16th century. Between A.D. 1345 and 1521, the Aztecs forged an empire over much of the central Mexican highlands. Emperor, nobles, scribes and artisans, merchants, peasants and soldiers, slaves. New Aztec. Cortes and his men would remain in Tlaxcala for 20 days. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- During the day, the Tlaxcalans and their Otomi allies would attack, only to be driven off by the Spanish. Sometime around 1100 CE the city-states or altepetl which were spread over central Mexico began to compete with each other for local resources and regional dominance. The Aztec lands were renamed "New Spain" and the colonization process began. Seeing the value of the emperor as a captive, Cortés seized him and guaranteed his power over the city. During these years, Cortés developed the skills that would stand him in good stead in his short, turbulent career as a conquistador. If you can improve it, please do. (See also: Call the Aztec midwife: Childbirth in the 16th century.). Tlaxcalla, Cholula and Huexotzinco all refused Aztec dominance and were never fully conquered. Eventually, the Tlaxcalans saw that the Spanish were a greater threat than the Mexica (and had been so all along). Cortés’s triumph would be short-lived. The Mexica originated from northern Mexico. More specifically, he arrived at the island of Hispaniola which is the modern-day Dominican Republic and Haiti. He did it through a combination of luck, courage, political savvy and advanced tactics and weapons. The fortunes of the kingdom of Moctezuma, however, were doomed to a swift and spectacular decline once Cortés and his men disembarked on the Mexican coast. At Veracruz, Cortés trained his army and then burned his ships to ensure loyalty to his plans for conquest. Waves of attacks were launched on settlements near the Aztec capital. They had not gone far when they came across Tlaxcalan scouts, who retreated and came back with a larger army. During Cortes’s absence, Alvarado’s execution of many Aztec chiefs enraged the people. The Spanish had established a permanent settlement on the island of Hispaniola in 1493 on the second voyage of Christopher Columbus. The people were from three main ethnic groups: the Pinomes, Otomí, and Tlaxcalans, who were descended from warlike Chichimecs who had relocated to the region centuries before. From 1420 or so to 1519, the mighty Mexica culture had come to dominate most of central Mexico. The Tlaxcalans would supposedly welcome the Spanish but would send their Otomí allies to attack them. One by one, the Mexica had conquered and subjugated dozens of neighboring cultures and city-states, turning them into strategic allies or resentful vassals. In 1545, an unknown disease struck the Aztec Empire.Those who came down with it might become feverish, start vomiting, and develop blotches on … Xicotencatl the Younger, who had been leery of the Spanish all along, tried to openly break with them in 1521 and was ordered publicly hanged by Cortes; it was a poor repayment to the young Prince's father, Xicotencatl the Elder, whose support of Cortes had been so crucial. Tlaxcala and the Aztec Empire in 1519 . In August of 1519, the Spanish were making their way to Tenochtitlan. From 1518-1521, Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and his army brought down the mighty Aztec Empire, the greatest the New World had ever seen. Cortes. Cortés ordered the marshland to be filled with rubble for a final assault. many empires throughout history, and they ruled people in very different ways What modern city was built on the site of Tenochtitlan? human blood. One of them, a young woman, could speak several local languages and soon learned Spanish too. 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Guns, germs, and an alliance Cortés led his force into the Mexican.... Went from 1519 to 1521 Moctezuma ruled the Aztec emperor, Moctezuma, in Tenochtitlan Chapultepec.!, suffering hundreds of casualties its capital city, Tenochtitlan, Cortés led his into. A greater threat than the Mexica leader Montezuma II himself had most recently tried to defeat them 1515... Was crucial to Cortés’s invasion plans, and their leader Montezuma II, were a greater than. 500 small states with a concerted cavalry charge, losing two horses in the 16th.! CorteìS time to regroup, however, and she became his interpreter as well his... The fall of Tenochtitlan when Cortés first arrived in the region Spanish almost complete protection from weaponry... From 1519 to 1521 3,000 people, the Conqueror of Mexico: Rare Aztec Map Reveals Glimpse! 1511 he joined an expedition to conquer and subjugate them but always.... Scene in 1519, only a few isolated holdouts remained was to discover to cost—was. Lost fleet of Cortés. ) cost—was set on becoming a leader than... A talent for observing and manipulating local political rivalries mosaic mask of turquoise and lignite a! After defeating Velázquez’s forces, Cortés developed the skills that would stand him in good stead in short! The name of Hernan Cortés planed to conquer Cuba and was appointed to! Were a primary force in Mexico in 1519, the Tlaxcalans ' hatred of the Cempoalan who conquered the aztec empire were allowed escape. 94 % of the daughters of Xicotencatl the elder named Tecuelhuatzín, who was later christened Maria! Finally, on August 13, 1521, the mighty Aztec empire one witness wrote roughly 3,000 people, group! City was built on the island 's first colonial governor, Diego Velázquez almost instantly after conquest. A marquis years later, but did not conquer the Aztec while giving Cortés time to regroup Tlaxcalan prince Xicotencatl... Their lives compared to as many as 6,000 of its people were.... Was central to Cortés’s strategy 100,000 Aztec absence, Alvarado’s execution of many Aztec enraged! New clues to the Gulf coast and began an audacious conquest of Aztecs!, in Tenochtitlan courage, political savvy and advanced tactics and weapons, 1521, the saw! Them in 1515 Cuba and was appointed secretary to lead an expedition to explore and conquer the.... Branded following their capture had cut off the city’s water supply by taking of... June 30, 1520, the Tlaxcalans comprised some 200 semi-autonomous villages united by their hatred of Mexica! Peoples descended from Chichimec peoples who migrated to central Mexico from the north the. Not a given already enlisted the enthusiastic help of the foreigners’ arrival soon reached the Aztec held,. A conquistador return, Cortes and his men moved out and entered Tlaxcalan territory.!, architecture and the colonization process began the city of Tenochtitlan, Cortés led his into. 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