The Spanish had established a permanent settlement on the island of Hispaniola in 1493 on the second voyage of Christopher Columbus. Cortés’s forces seemed invincible. In the end, Cortes did not make it a condition of their alliance, but he continued to pressure the Tlaxcalans to convert and abandon their previous "idolatrous" practices. Although the Tlaxcalans had little wealth—they were effectively isolated and blockaded by their Mexica enemies—they shared what little they had. At the age of 19, he travelled to the Spanish controlled colonies in the Caribbean. During the siege, around 100 Spaniards lost their lives compared to as many as 100,000 Aztec. Pre-Aztec Skeletons Found Arranged in Spiral Shape. To appease the Spaniards, he sent envoys and gifts to Cortés, but he only succeeded in inflaming Cortés’s desires for more Aztec riches. At first Moctezuma formally received Cortés. Between 1519 and 1521, Spanish conquistadors, led by Hernán Cortés, overthrew the Aztec Empire.This event is called the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire.Cortés helped old enemies of the Aztecs defeat them in one of the most important events in the Spanish colonization of the Americas.. He is a former head writer at VIVA Travel Guides. Hernan Cortés was the Spanish conquistador that led the expedition to explore and conquer the Aztec Empire. One by one, the Mexica had conquered and subjugated dozens of neighboring cultures and city-states, turning them into strategic allies or resentful vassals. A Spanish Officer named Pedro De … In this, they were helped enormously by two factors. Guns, germs, and horses brought Cortés victory over the mighty Aztec empire. In 1519, Hernan Cortes and his small army of conquistadors, driven by gold-lust, ambition and religious fervor, began the audacious conquest of the Aztec Empire.By August 1521, three Mexica emperors were dead or captured, the city of Tenochtitlan was in ruins and the Spanish had conquered the mighty empire. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Xicotencatl the Younger, who had been leery of the Spanish all along, tried to openly break with them in 1521 and was ordered publicly hanged by Cortes; it was a poor repayment to the young Prince's father, Xicotencatl the Elder, whose support of Cortes had been so crucial. In 1519, as conquistador Hernan Cortes was making his way inland from the coast on his audacious conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire, he had to pass through the lands of the fiercely independent Tlaxcalans, who were the mortal enemies of the Mexica. One by one, the Mexica had conquered and subjugated dozens of neighboring cultures and city-states, turning them into strategic allies or resentful vassals. For an assault on a city the size of Tenochtitlan, the number of Spanish troops seemed paltry—just under 1,000 soldiers, including harquebusiers, infantry, and cavalry. Spain. In August of 1519, the Spanish were making their way to Tenochtitlan. Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire has been listed as a level-4 vital article in History. How this alliance developed and how their support was crucial to Cortes' success. By 1519, only a few isolated holdouts remained. Hernan Cortés was the Spanish conquistador that led the expedition to explore and conquer the Aztec Empire. WATCH: In the southern part of what is now Mexico City, archaeologists have discovered a 2,400-year-old gravesite with ten bodies entwined in a circle. The event would come to be known as the Night of Sorrows. Cortés—as Velázquez was to discover to his cost—was set on becoming a leader rather than a loyal follower. At first, the Tlaxcalans fought the conquistadors viciously, but after repeated defeats, they decided to make peace with the Spanish and ally with them against their traditional enemies. From 1420 or so to 1519, the mighty Mexica culture had come to dominate most of central Mexico. But the most important thing the Spanish gained in their stay in Tlaxcala was an ally. Fear gripped the huge Aztec capital on Cortés’s entry, the chroniclers wrote: Its 250,000 inhabitants put up no resistance to Cortés’s small force of a few hundred men and 1,000 Tlaxcaltec allies. \"He arrived in the great Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán in 1519,\" said Cosme. A. The sacking also allowed the Spaniards to build up their large personal retinues, taking captives to use as servants and slaves, and kidnapping others for exchanges and ransoms. In 1521, Hernán Cortés, along with an allied army of other Native Americans, conquered the Aztecs through germ warfare (germ theory not being established until 1560 by earliest records, this was an unintentional result of Europeans coming to the New World), siege warfare, psychological warfare, and from direct combat. Call the Aztec midwife: Childbirth in the 16th century. The holy city of Cholula, which joined with Moctezuma in an attempt to stall the Spaniards, was sacked for two days at Cortés’s command. Wounded in one leg, the Spanish leader was ultimately rescued by his captains. The fortunes of the kingdom of Moctezuma, however, were doomed to a swift and spectacular decline once Cortés and his men disembarked on the Mexican coast. In his absence, Cortés left Tenochtitlan under the command of Pedro de Alvarado and a garrison of 80 Spaniards. More specifically, he arrived at the island of Hispaniola which is the modern-day Dominican Republic and Haiti. Following a military victory over another native people, the Tlaxcaltec, Cortés incorporated more warriors into his army. In just a few years, he would lose many of his lands in the New World. European country that established colonies throughout the areas that had once been part of the Aztec and Inca empires. The Tlaxcalans attacked but the Spanish drove them off with a concerted cavalry charge, losing two horses in the process. The Aztec had allies too, however, and Cortés was especially belligerent toward them. Decades of rapid expansion in the Americas seemed to have eclipsed his own exploits, and few bells tolled for the man whose ruthlessness and cunning transformed the Americas. This instability enabled Cortés to form alliances with other native peoples, most notably the … Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. 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