Hernan Cortes Term Paper

This essay has a total of 1103 words and 5 pages.

Hernan Cortes


Hernan Cortes was born in 1485 in a town called Medellin in Extremadura. It talks about
little of his child hood and little about his young life except that he studied law at the
University of Salamanca. His law school years were cut short in 1501 when he decided to
try his luck in the New World. He sailed from Santo Domingo in the Spring of 1504. After
he had got there in 1511 he joined he Spanish Soldier and Administrator Diego Velasquez in
the conquest of Cuba, and there he became alcalde or mayor of Santiago de Cuba. In 1518 he
persuaded Velasquez to give him command to the expedition of Mexico. Juan de Grijalva,
nephew of Velasquez, had discovered the mainland the year before by the Spanish soldier
and explorer Fernandez de Cobia and.


On February 19, 1519 Cortes set sail west from Cuba even though Velasquez cancelled his
pay because of suspicion that Cortes would find himself independent and refuse to take
order. Cortes took with him about 600 men, less than 20 horses, and 10 field pieces.
Cortes sailed along the east coast of Yucatan and in March 1519 landed in Mexico. Cortes
neutralized the town of Tabasco. The artillery, the ships, and especially the horses awed
the natives. From these people of Tabasco Cortes learned about the Aztecs and their ruler
Montezuma II.


Cortes took lots of captives one of which they baptized and renamed Marina. She became his
lover and out of loyalty to him became his interpreter, Translator, Guide, and Counselor.
Finding a better harbor a little North of San Juan they established a town called La Villa
Rica De La Vera Cruz, which literally translates to The Rich Village Of The Vera Cruz.
This was later called just Varacruz. Cortes did what Velasquez that he would do, and
abandoned the authority of everybody except the king and queen. Cortes was a strategical
thinker and destroyed his group of vessels in order to prevent small forces from opposing
him and returning to Cuba to tell Velasquez.


At about this time Cortes started his famous march inland even after negotiations with
Montezuma. Montezuma tried to persuade Cortes not to enter the capital city of
Tenochtitlan but Cortes was good at not following directions. Cortes overcame the native
tribe Tlascalans. This tribe quickly became an alliance to the Spanish because they were
enemies to the Aztecs. As the conquest went on this tribe continued to be the most
important alliance of the Spaniards.


Montezuma pursued an insecure policy during Cortes's march, and he finally determined not
to oppose the Spanish Invaders but to await their arrival at the Aztec capital and to
learn more about their purposes. On November8, 1519, Cotes and his small force and with
another 600 native allies entered the city and established headquarters in one of its
Continues for 3 more pages >>




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