Hernán Cortés: Conquistador of the Aztec Empire

In 1519, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés set sail from Cuba with around 600 men and women, intending to conquer the Aztec Empire in present-day Mexico. The Aztecs, led by their emperor Moctezuma II, had built a vast empire and were considered some of the most powerful people in the world.

Cortés and his men landed in present-day Mexico and began their march towards the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs, seeing the Spanish as a threat, attacked them several times along the way. Cortés and his men fought back and eventually made it to Tenochtitlan.

Once there, Cortés took Moctezuma II hostage and demanded that the Aztecs give him gold and silver. The Aztecs complied, but Cortés’s men still mistreated them, leading to a rebellion. Cortés and his men were forced to flee the city, but eventually returned and conquered the Aztecs, putting an end to their empire.

Cortés’s conquest of the Aztecs was one of the most significant events in history. It led to the fall of a powerful empire and the Spanish colonization of Mexico.