Hernan cortes

1485 - December 2, 1547

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Hernan Cortes

He conquered the Aztec empire in 1519 and built Mexico City, which became the Spanish stronghold in the New World.

Birth place

1485 Medellin spain

Sailed for



Years of exploration

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.


  • July of 1519, Cortes officially took over Veracruz. In October of 1519, he marched to the second largest city in central Mexico, Cholula. Here, he massacred thousands of individuals and set fire to the city.
  • After a number of misfortunes, Cortes destroyed the city of Tenochtitlan and captured the ruler of the city on August, 13, 1521. This marked the end of the Aztec Empire, and the land was claimed for Spain.


  • best remembered for conquering the Aztec empire and claiming Mexico for Spain.
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Early years

  • At the age of 14 Cortes attended the University of Salamanca in Spain which was one of the premier institutions at the time. He was given one of the best educations of that time.
  • Growing up there is little doubt that Cortes was influenced by the voyages of Christopher Columbus, Juan Ponce de Leon and Vasco da Gama. Each had acquired great wealth and influence through opening trade routes to wealthy lands.


  • The aztecs found him cruel and evil due to the killing nature he had toward them.

Purpose of voyages

  • 1506, for his participation in the conquest of Hispaniola and Cuba, Cortés was granted a large estate as well as native slaves.
  • In 1518, Hernando was placed in command of an expedition to colonize the interior of Mexico. This order was cancelled, but Cortés 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.