Hernan Cortes strategically defeated the Aztec empire, one of the most powerful and brutal indigenous groups in Mexico. His conquest brought Mexico under Spanish rule and secured an abundance of gold for Spain's monarch, King Charles. Cortes planned and oversaw the building of Mexico City, the country's modern capital, and opened the door to further conquest in Latin America.Know More
Cortes' foray into Aztec territory began when he defied orders from his superior in Cuba and set sail for Mexico with 500 men. Despite limited forces, Cortes won native allies while marching toward the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan; many subjugated tribes resented the harsh rule and steep taxes the Aztecs imposed and were willing to join with Cortes. The Tlaxacan people were Cortes' primary supporters, providing the Spaniards with 5,000 men as protection when entering territory belonging to Aztec allies. After several failed attempts to convince Emperor Montezuma to submit to Spanish and Christian authority, Cortes took the Aztec leader hostage.
Cortes secured another small force by attacking the Spanish leaders sent to Mexico to arrest him for insubordination and persuading many lower-ranking soldiers to join him. Although a violent rebellion and Montezuma's death drove the Spanish from Tenochtitlan for a year, Cortes led a successful assault on the Aztecs in 1521. His success was partially due to significant Aztec deaths from smallpox. One of Cortes' men also devised ships that were assembled quickly on-site, helping the Spanish blockade the lake surrounding Tenochtitlan.Learn more in Exploration & Imperialism
Hernando Cortes was a Spanish conqueror and explorer commonly known for his defeat of the Aztec people in the Americas. He did not treat the Aztec people in a kind manner and exploited them for vast amounts of wealth.Full Answer >
The El Cazador shipwreck is ship lost at sea that was found in 1993 by fisherman Jerry Murphy in the Gulf of Mexico. The El Cazador disappeared in 1784 with 19 tons of Spanish silver reales.Full Answer >
California was named by the Spanish following its discovery by Hernan Cortes, but there are two possible origins for its name. One theory says that the name comes from a few descriptive words in Catalan, and the other says that they came from the name of the mythical land of Queen Califa.Full Answer >
On June 5, 1942, the Japanese naval fleet was defeated by the U.S. Navy at Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean in a battle that came to be known as the Battle of Midway. The Japanese attacked Midway Atoll in an attempt to force a response from American forces.Full Answer >