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Hernando Cortez

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Hernando Cortes was born in 1485, and died on December 2, 1547 in Seville, Spain. Hernando was born in Medlin which is a dry area of Extremadura, located in Spain. His father Martin Cortes de Monroy was a military captain, and his mother Catalina Pizarro Altamirano had no job. Hernando attended the University of Salamanca, where he studied to be a lawyer, and also studied Latin for two years. Hernando left his school life early in order to explore the "New World," and make his fortune. Before Hernando ventured to the "New World," he moved to Santo Domingo, and lived as a land owner.

In 1511 Cortes joined Diego Velazquez' expedition to Cuba. They were successful, and in return Cortes received land in Cuba and lived there until 1518. In the same year Velazquez, who was now governor, appointed Cortes to lead a mission to the unexplored lands in the west, which was the Aztec Empire located in present day Central Mexico. On the journey Hernando hoped to spread Christianity throughout the new land, and more importantly become wealthy from the treasures Cortes and the other Conquistadors hoped to find. At the time the ruler of the empire was Montezuma II, who was thought as to be one of the weaker rulers of the Aztec Empire. Montezuma II could have decided to crush the Spaniards in their tracks, but Montezuma II had the belief that the Spaniards and their men fulfilled the omen of the return of the god Quetzalcoatl from exile, just by the looks of them. Cortes quickly created an alliance with one of the other native tribes there by the name of the Tlaxcalans, who were rebels against the Aztec Empire. The Tlaxcalans fed Cortes information on the Aztecs that would help Cortes defeat them. On November 18, 1519, Cortes and his troops entered Tenochtitlan, which was the capital of the Aztec Empire. Upon their arrival Montezuma II greeted the Spaniards with gifts of gold and Aztec treasures, because Montezuma II thought of Cortes and



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