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Transcript of Hernan Cortes
After helping conquer Cuba, he settled there as a wealthy landowner.
While in Cuba he tried to be appointed to lead his own expedition. He wanted to gain money and rewards.
In 1518, Diego de Velasquez, the governor of Cuba, asked Cortes to lead an expedition to create colonies for him on the mainland.
He saw a chance to break free from his boss and create his own colonies, keeping the wealth for himself.
Velasquez gave Cortes 11 ships, 100 sailors, 508 soldiers, 6 horses, and 14 small cannons.
He left Cuba in 1518.
Hernan Cortes was born in about 1485 in Medellin, Spain, which is now Central Spain.
His father was a retired military officer. His family was
, which means minor nobility.
His family sent him to school to become a lawyer, but he dropped out two years later to become a soldier. Because of this, he deeply disappointed his family.
Cortes had heard about many journeys to the "New World" and wanted to go on one to have a share in the wealth found there.
He traveled to Hispaniola, which is now Haiti, and worked as a gold miner, lawyer, and treasury clerk.
Traveled to Cuba
In the Capital
The Aztec ruler, Moctezuma, came to meet Cortes. He came dressed in his finest clothing and was carried in by his subjects.
He offered them an elegant place to stay, fancy meals, and beautiful gifts of featherwork, embroidered cloth and gold
Cortes and his men kidnapped Moctezuma and held him for ransom.
He left Tenochtitlan after hearing that the Spanish troops were coming to arrest him for not following orders.
When he returned, he found a rebellion in progress. The Aztecs had driven the Spanish out of the city, but in 1521, Cortes defeated them and took the city.
Hernan Cortes traveled to Mexico to get away from Velasquez and make colonies for himself.
He found that the Aztecs ruled the area. In order for him to rule Mexico, he would have to conquer them.
He burned down his crew's ships so that they could not go back.
Cortes and his crew traveled to Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital and arrived on November 8, 1519.
Expanding the Empire
Cortes forced the surviving Aztecs to work for him. This allowed him to explore and expand the empire into most of Mexico and modern day Guatemala and Honduras.
Cortes quickly gained fame, power, and gold for himself.
He contributed to Spain's wealth by exporting raw materials, such as gold, silver and farm products to Europe.
Because of his contributions, Spain was now the richest country in Europe.
Cortes sent missionaries to convert the Aztecs and other native people to Christianity.
He gave out large pieces of land for FREE, called
, but they were only given to Spanish gentlemen who settled in Mexico.
Because of the Aztec slave labor, the gentlemen could become very wealthy.
1485-Hernan Cortes is born
1504-Went to Cuba
1518-Left Cuba to go to Mexico
1519-Arrived in the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan
1521-Took over Aztec Empire
1547-Died in Spain
The Columbian Exchange
The Columbian Exchange is known as the exchange of plants, animals, and ideas between the Americas and Europe.
When explorers heard that other countries had resources that they wanted, they would set out on an expedition to gather them.
Europeans brought crops, such as bananas, sugar cane, onions, oranges, and lettuce, to the Americas.
They also brought animals, such as cows, goats, sheep, pigs, horses, and chickens.
When Europeans left the Americas, they brought tomatoes, potatoes, beans, squash, avocados, pineapples, tobacco, chili peppers, and chocolate back to Europe.
Without the Columbian Exchange, we would not have most of the foods and animals that we have today.
Timeline of Hernan Cortes' Life
The Flag of Spain
By Sami Chadwick & Rachel Trautner