Hernán Cortés

Learn more about the man who brought the fall of the Aztecs.

The early life of Hernan Cortez.

Hernan Cortez was born around 1485 in Medellin, Spain. Cortez came from a lesser noble family in Spain. He also might have studied at the University of Salamanca for a period of time. In 1504, he left to go to the new world to the island of Santo Dominigo until settling in the town of Azua. For a while Cortez was a notary until he joined an expedition of Cuba in 1511.
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Conquering the Aztecs.

In 1518, Cortes was to command an expedition to Mexico but Velasques canceled it. Regardless, Cortes went. Cortes allied with some natives but he fought against the Tlaxacan and Choula warriors, then he focused his attention on the Aztec empire. He captured their leader then ordered his soldiers to raid the city. Cortes left the city upon learning there were spanish troops making their way to him to arrest him for disobeying Velasques' orders.

Cortes' retirement.

After his victory over the Aztecs, Cortés' authority and position were challenged, he was appointed governorship by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Then he traveled to Honduras in 1524 to stop the a rebellion against him. But back in Mexico, Cortés found himself removed from power. He traveled to Spain to plead his case to the king, he was not reappointed governorship. In 1540, Cortés retired in Spain. He spent many of his later years seeking recognition for his achievements and support from the Spanish royal court. Cortés died in Spain in 1547.