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Transcript of Hernando Cortes
Veronica Barsky and Jared Lazar
Hernando Cortes Pizarro accomplished many things throughout his life, and it all started with his childhood, and ended with his sad death:
Born in 1485 in the Kingdom of Castille in the city of Medellin, Spain
Sadly, Cortes died on December 2, 1547 of a condition called Pleurisy
He was buried at the Hospital de Jesús Nazareno (the oldest hospital in North America) in Mexico City.
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Young Hernan Cortes
Hernan Cortes was born into a wealthy family, although his parents weren't the rich ones.
Hernando Cortes was somewhat sickly as a child, invading his childhood experiences.
Hernan was the only son in the family.
At the age of 14, Hernan's parents shipped him off to the University of Salamanca
His parents wanted him to study law, but he wasn't happy at school; being too restless to follow the rules.
Eventually he learned a bit of Latin, and became good at writing.
University of Salamanca
Life as an Adult
As new stories started to spread about the New World, Hernan wanted to be a part of it.
Hernan decided to be a part of an expedition to the New World, but he never made it aboard because of a problem he had with his girlfriend.
Later however, he began traveling and going on expeditions that would eventually conquer Cuba and Hispaniola.
Surprisingly Hernan took residence in Cuba, even becoming the mayor of the Cuban capitol.
When Hernando Cortes was in his mid 50's he returned to Spain after his expeditions.
When he returned home, several lawsuits were brought against him, yet he still fought for power.
After many attempts Hernan finally won the right to join the emperor in his fight against the Algiers. However, the war was not a good one for Spain and Cortes himself was in a lot of danger.
When he returned to Spain he continued to be neglected, and majorly in debt, so he decided to return to Mexico.
Sadly, he never made it back due to a severe disease.
Hernan Cortes was the conqueror that led the Spanish expedition that would overthrow the Aztec Empire.
The Spanish held the Aztecs hostage
With Cortes' leading, the Aztec Empire collapsed on August 13th, 1521.
The primary source that is about to be shown is an excerpt from Hernan's second letter to Charles V, describing Mexico. This letter itself was originally sent in 1520. The original letter was written in Spanish, but this is a translated version.
Hernan Cortes left behind a very bad legacy in the eyes of the natives and Aztec Empire.
Once he and the conquistadors arrived to Mexico, they brought disease which killed many of the Aztec Empire, as well as genocide.
This man is most famous for leading an expedition in Mexico, that took out the Aztec Empire and then put his King of Castle in charge of many of the countries that the Aztecs used to control.
Before I begin to describe this great city and the others already mentioned, it may be well for the better understanding of the subject to say something of the configuration of Mexico, in which they are situated, it being the principal seat of Moctezuma's power. This Province is in the form of a circle, surrounded on all sides by lofty and rugged mountains; its level surface comprises an area of about seventy leagues in circumference, including two lakes, that overspread nearly the whole valley, being navigated by boats more than fifty leagues round. One of these lakes contains fresh and the other, which is the larger of the two, salt water. -Hernan Cortes
This is just a short passage of the letter, see more at:
Wives and Children
How Is Hernan Still Remembered Today?
Hernan had many spouses and mistresses in his time, but only married twice.
His first wife was Catalina Xuarez Marcaida
His second wife was Juana Ramirez de Arellano de Zuniga.
Hernando Cortes had three children: Catalina Cortes, Martin Cortes, and Luis Cortes.
Over the years, landmarks have been named after Cortes in his honor.
There has even been a statue built to recognize his accomplishments in his hometown, Medellin, Spain!
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