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Transcript of Hernán Cortés
by Dana Mauritz
Who was Hernán Cortés?
Hernán Cortés was a well-known Spanish conquistador who conquered the Aztec empire and claimed Mexico for Spain.
Where was he from?
What country did he sail for?
Hernán Cortés became fascinated by tales of Christopher Columbus's New World explorations.
Life Background Information
Cortés was born in Medellín, Spain in 1485.
He was the only son of noble, though not wealthy, parents.
At age 14, he was sent to study law at the University of Salamanca but he dropped out two years later.
In 1504, at age 19, Cortés set sail for Hispaniola (modern-day Dominican Republic and Haiti).
He lived there for seven years, then took part in the Spanish conquest of Cuba in 1511.
Eventually Cortés became the mayor of Santiago, Cuba and stayed there until 1518.
He convinced Diego Velasquez, the governor of Cuba, to let him lead an expedition to Mexico in 1519.
Hernán Cortés was from Medellín, Spain.
Hernán Cortés sailed for Spain.
Why did he want to explore?
Where did he explore and how did he do so?
Hernán Cortés explored Mexico and conquered the Aztecs. In 1519 after arriving with his men in Mexico, he made his way to Tenochtitlán, capital of the Aztec empire. Along the way he befriended the Tlaxcalans who were enemies of the Aztecs. In November 1519 he meets Montezuma II and his people. The Aztecs treated him and his soldiers well because they thought they were gods. A year later the natives drove the Spanish group out of their city. Cortés returns in the summer of 1521 and captures the Aztec capital. In 1524, he led a group into Honduras and stayed in that area for two years. His last expedition began in 1536 when he explored the northwestern part of Mexico and discovered the Baja California peninsula. He also spent time exploring the Pacific coast of Mexico.
What were his greatest accomplishments?
He became mayor of Santiago, Cuba in 1511.
He arrived in Mexico in 1519.
He captured Tenochtitlán in the summer of 1521.
Cortés discovered the Baja California peninsula in 1536.
During that time he also explored Mexico's Pacififc coast.
How did he impact the world?
During his time in Tenochtitlán Cortés brought over many European diseases to the Aztecs. Because of these diseases many of the natives died.
His conquests helped the Spanish colonize most of Mexico.
He introduced many positive aspects into Aztec ways of life like horses, sheep, cattle, and different types of grains and food.
Diagram of Exploration Route
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2. "HERNÁN CORTÉS (1485-1547)." The Latin Library. Latin Library. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/imperialism/notes/cortez.html>.
3. "Hernando Cortes." NNDB. Soylent Communications, n.d. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <http://www.nndb.com/people/444/000092168/>.
4. Minster, Christopher. "Biography of Hernán Cortés."About.com. About.com, n.d. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/theconquistadors/a/cortesbio_2.htm>.
5. Szalay, Jessie. "Hernán Cortés: Conqueror of the Aztecs."livescience. TechMedia Network, 28 Aug 2013. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <http://www.livescience.com/39238-hernan-cortes-conqueror-of-the-aztecs.html>.