Hernando Cortes

By: Raoul Barragan

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  • Birth/Death: 1485 C.E - 1517 C.E
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Homeland: Medellin, Spain
  • Career: To defeat the Aztecs and to face challenges to his authority and position.

Who He Sailed For and Voyage:

Sailed For:

Hernando Cortes first set sail to the New World at the age 19. Cortes later joined an expedition to Cuba.


In 1518, Hernando was placed in a command of expedition to colonize the interior of Mexico. This order was cancelled, but Cortes ignored orders and went anyway in 1519, accompanied by 11 ships, 500 men, 13 horses and several cannons, determined to secure the interior of Mexico for settlement.


The war was not a good one for Spain, and Cortes himself was nearly drowned. He returned to Spain, sill neglected and debt, and finally decided to return to Mexico. He never made it. On December 2, 1547 he died of pleurisy.


He successfully defeated the Aztecs and destroyed their civilization. The death of a civilization did not come easy and throughout Cortes showed an on carry ability to lead men through some of the darkest moments. His success against the Aztecs should not cause us to his brutality against the Aztecs people.


EQ: Which explorer would have influenced you to want to immigrant from Europe to the area they explored?

The explorer that would have influenced me is Hernan Cortes. I would choose him because of how they defeated them and how they ended up there. I would have been interesting to see the battle with my own eyes. But not the parts where they would kill them and stuff. Cortes is probably the explorer that is the one who achieved the most out the all the explorers. Cortes may have struggled a lot but he would always stand up again and keep trying. Another reason I would choose Cortes is because he first set sail to the New World when he was only 19! That's a young age to explore different areas and have battles and things.

Youtube Video:

Hernan Cortes Biography