Hernán Cortés

The Spanish Conquistador


Born around 1485, Hernán Cortés was a Spanish conquistador and explorer who defeated the Aztec empire and claimed Mexico for Spain. He first set sail to the New World at the age of 19. Cortés later joined an expedition to Cuba. In 1518, he set off to explore Mexico. There he strategically aligned some native peoples against others to overthrow them. King Charles I appointed him governor of New Spain in 1522. Cortés died in Spain in 1547.

The Expedition to Aztec

Hernán Cortés went to Aztec 1519 even though Diego Velázquez cancelled the expedition. Hernan went to Aztec when the Aztecs were expecting a god named Quetzalcoatl. Hernan knew that they were expecting Quetzalcoatl so he claimed that he was Quetzalcoatl. So they treated him good. But later Hernan imprisoned the Aztec emperor Moctezuma II so the Aztecs attacked so Hernan and his army ran with gold stuffed in their pockets. Many soldiers weighed down so much that many drowned. The Aztecs could not get supplies because most had smallpox. They could not get supplies for 3 months then Hernan attacked them and defeated them on 1521.