Hernando Cortes (Cortez)
One of the greatest Spanish Conquistadores
He was born in 1485 in Medellin. His parents were of the small landed gentry of the region. When he was younger, He became fascinated with tales of Christopher Columbus’ New World explorations. He studied Latin for 2 years at the University of Salamanca, but lured by tales of new discoveries in America. He later became a municipal official and an intimate friend of Diego Velázquez
The achievements of Cortes
Cortes was known for conquering the Aztec empire in Mexico. When Cortes got to Mexico, he tricked the Aztecs into giving him gold. They gave him plenty of gold because they hoped that they would leave. He went to America with a man named Velasquez. They stopped at Cuba to conquer it. He conquered a small part California. He named them New Spain. When he returned to Spain, he was really rich and famous. Later, he held the office of Santiago in the new colony.
His Impact on today
Hernando Cortes changed the world by defeating the aztec empire if he had not done that, that empire might have still been here today and part of the world would be very different. He contributed to the rise of Spain as an Imperial power and allowed it to become at the time the richest nation in Europe. The idea of endless riches available for the taking from simple natives was enticing to countries such as England who sent colonists to the "New World"... this eventually led to the establishment of the USA. The effects of his "adventures" led to a flourishing of overseas dominions and colonies, extensive wealth and power. If it weren't for those colonists, there'd be no USA, so from that point of view on the current nation of USA
- He disobeyed Velazquez in 1519, and sailed for Yucatan with about 600 men and 11 ships, some 200 Indian auxiliaries, and 16 horses.
- Emperor Charles V appointed him governor and captain general of New Spain, the name applied by the Spaniards to the conquered region.
- It has been said that when Hernan Cortes reached Mexico the Aztecs thought he was their god Quetzalcoatl
- He married twice: firstly in Cuba to Catalina Juarez Marcaida, who died at Coyoacán in 1522 without issue, and secondly in 1529 to doña Juana Ramírez de Arellano de Zúñiga.
- Hernan Cortes was only seven years old when Christopher Columbus first sighted the New World.
Hernán Cortés - Mini Biography