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Spanish Arrival. Hernan Cortes Siege of Tenochtitlan End of Aztec Empire. Hernan Cortez.

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spanish arrival

Spanish Arrival

Hernan Cortes

Siege of Tenochtitlan

End of Aztec Empire

hernan cortez
Hernan Cortez
  • Cortez was born in 1485 in Medellin, Extremadura. His parents were of small Spanish nobility. In 1499, when Cortez was 14 he attended the University of Salamanca, at this university he studied law. Two years later in 1501 he gave up on his education and started to drift around.
  • Hernán Cortés left Spain at the age of nineteen after fortuitous escape from a jealous husband.
  • In 1504 he set sail for what is now the Dominican Republic to try his luck in the New World.In 1511, when he was 18, he joined an army under the command of Spanish soldier named Diego Velázquez and played a part the conquest of Cuba. Velázquez became the governor of Cuba, and Cortez was elected Mayor-Judge of Santiago.
hernan cortes
Hernan Cortes
  • Later he impressed Governor Diego Velásquez and served as his clerk during the expedition to conquer and settle Cuba in 1511.
  • Cortés' past performance made him the perfect candidate for the Governor's third expedition to the main land.

spanish expedition
Spanish Expedition

journey of cortez
Journey of Cortez

cortes con d
Cortes Con’d
  • But Cortés' ambition and personal magnetism made Velásquez suspect his loyalty. Velásquez planned on removing him as the leader of the expedition.
  • Cortés discovered this and cut short his preparations and set sail for the mainland on February 18, 1519.
cortez leaves for mexico
Cortez leaves for Mexico
  • He left with a force of 600 men, and less than 20 horses and set sail for Mexico. He sailed up the coast of the Yucatán. In March 1519, Cortez landed in Mexico, and suppressed the town of Tabasco.
  • This was where Cortez met his soon to be mistress Malinche. She became a guide and interpreter.
  • After finding a better harbor north of San Juan, Cortez and his small force sailed there and established a town, La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz. To prevent any thought of retreat he burned his ships.
  • "La Malinche." Slave, interpreter, secretary, mistress, mother of the first "Mexican."
  • Many Mexicans continue to revile the woman called Doña Marina by the Spaniards and La Malinche by the Aztecs, labeling her a traitor and harlot for her role as the mistress of Cortes as he conquered Mexico.

malinche con d
Malinche, con’d
  • However, she saved thousands of Indian lives by enabling Cortes to negotiate rather than slaughter.
  • Herself a convert, she was baptized Marina.
  • She bore Cortes a son, Don Mahin Cortes
cortes and la malinche with tlaxcalan leader
Cortes and La Malinche with Tlaxcalan leader

from mural byDesiderio Hernández Xochitiotzin Palacio de Gobierno, Tlaxcala

malinche translating for cortes from sahagun codex
Malinche translating for Cortes:from Sahagun codex

  • Bernal Diaz del Castillo
    • One of Cortes’ conquistadors.
    • Born 1492 (Spain).
    • Account written in 1555, many years after the conquest.
  • Left Spain in 1514 where he went to Cuba where a relation was governor.
    • did nothing much there.
    • joined Hernandez de Cordova and went to Florida where they received a hostel reception.
  • Back to Cuba where he eventually joined Cortes in 1519 where they set sail from Port of Trinidad to Veracruz.
monument to del castillo
Monument to del Castillo

spanish arrival1
Spanish Arrival
  • The first city the Spanish saw was Cempoala on the Veracruz coastal plain.
  • Received by the Totonac ruler.
    • city with five pyramids and a round temple dedicated to Quetzalcoatl.
    • walled and raised above ground level for defense and floods.
  • Impressed by the pottery and architecture of these “savages”.
travel inland
Travel Inland
  • Traveled above the coastal plain and through the volcanoes-Popcatpetl and Iztaccihuatl.
    • Beneath them was the Basin of Mexico.
      • 7700 sq km, with forested mts surrounding it.
      • center was a chain of five lakes.
  • They saw the inland city of Tenochtitlan from there.
travel to tenochtitlan
Travel to Tenochtitlan
  • Forced their way inland to Basin of Mexico where they met with little resistance until Tlaxcala.
    • Castillo was wounded on the head and thigh and eventually Cortes made peace and formed an alliance with the inhabitants.
  • Continued their march where they massacred people at Itzcalpan, Tlamanalco, and Itztapalatengo.
aztec account
Aztec Account
  • Omens portending the arrival of the Spanish
    • A flaming ear of corn that appeared across the sky.
    • The temple of Huitzilopochtli burst into flames.
    • The temple of Xiuhtecuhtli (Fire God).
    • Fire streamed through the sky while the sun was still shining.
    • Wind lashed the water until it boiled.
    • Weeping woman heard at night in city.
    • Strange creature captured in the nets (bird like a crane with a mirror on its head).
    • Deformed men appeared in the city.
temple of huitzilopochtli in flames from sahagun
Temple of Huitzilopochtli in flames:from Sahagun

what are the first reports of the spanish
What are the first reports of the Spanish?
  • Seers could not give satisfactory answer of omens, but a common man came and said that towers were floating on the see and people were crossing the mts. with light skin and short hair.
  • Motecuhzuma sent messengers and gifts to these strangers-thought they may be Quetzalcoatl and other gods.
  • Motecuhzuma had magicians come from other cities and questioned them about the omens-but they did not know what they meant. So had them put in prison and their wives and children killed.
first contact
First Contact
  • Spies were sent to report when the Spanish arrived on shore.
  • Motecuhzuma summoned his chiefs and had them look at the gifts and told them the news.
  • Still thought the new arrival was Quetzalcoatl.
  • Gifts included a serpent mask inlaid with turquoise, a decoration made of quetzal feathers, a collar woven with a gold disk in the center, a shield decorated with gold and mother of pearl.
moctezuma gets news of people on the coast from sahagun
Moctezuma gets news of people on the coast: from Sahagun

  • Messengers went in canoes to meet them and were received on the Spanish ships.
  • Gave them the finery and dressed him as the gods.
  • Cortes had the messengers chained by the feet and neck and fired the cannon so that the people fainted with fear. After reviving them he suggested a battle to see how brave the Aztec warriors were.
  • The messengers fled and returned to Motecuhzuma where they met him in the temple. Two captives were sacrificed in honor of the difficult mission.
  • They told them of the Spanish, what they ate, how they dressed, the cannons, their deer (horses), their dogs.
spanish terrifying messengers from sahagun codex
Spanish terrifying Messengers: from Sahagun codex

spanish go to tenochtitlan
Spanish go to Tenochtitlan

the meeting of moctezuma and cortes
The meeting of Moctezuma and Cortes
  • Moctezuma met Cortes in all his finery. He addresses them as they are his lords and offers them up all of the city.
  • The Spaniards enter the royal house, put Moctezuma under guard, and seized all of his treasure.
cortes meets montezuma ii
Cortes meets Montezuma II

spanish take over
Spanish Take-Over
  • Moctezuma was kept a virtual prisoner in his palace by the Spanish and gave up the lords of the cities who had resisted the Spanish.
  • Many native chieftains were burned to death.
  • Finally swore fealty to King of Spain
  • Provided the Spanish with seven hundred thousand dollars in gold, as well as cloth and women.
suspicion from cuba
Suspicion from Cuba
  • Governor of Cuba-Valasquez sent troops to see what was going on, because Cortes was keeping all the riches to himself.
  • Cortes left for the coast and fought with troops, but won them over with gold.
fiesta of huitzilopochtli
Fiesta of Huitzilopochtli
  • Meanwhile, while Cortes was away, the Aztecs prepared for the feast and at the height of the dancing, the remaining Spaniards attack.
  • The Spaniards were seized with “an urge to kill the celebrants”.
  • The Aztecs responded by attacking the Spaniards who in turn shackle Motecuhzoma and keep him captive. The Aztecs then lay siege to the palace.
  • Spaniards were forced from the city and fled in their retreat.
  • The Aztecs raided goods from the dead Spanish and began to celebrate their fiestas again.

death of moctezuma
Death of Moctezuma
  • Moctezuma went to the roof tops to get admonish his people for retaliating.
  • It is said that a commoner killed him with a stone from the sling, but the palace people said the Spaniards put him to death before they fled.
  • Moctezuma was succeeded as emperor by Cuitlahuac.
  • Moctezuma had been intimidated by Cortés because he believed the Spaniards were representatives of the bearded, fair- skinned god Quetzalcoatl. Cuitlahuac never believed the legend and set out to organize a determined resistance to the conquistadores.
  • Though he only ruled four months before succumbing to smallpox, he managed to drive the Spanish from the city.
  • Cuauhtemoc was nephew to Moctezuma and Cuitlahuac.
  • He was also Moctezuma's son-in-law because Cuauhtemoc married Moctezumas daughter Tecuichpo.
  • He was then tortured by Cortes to tell where there was more gold, but he never told.
  • In 1525, while with Cortes in Honduras, Cortes learned that Cuahtemoc was leading a plot to overthrow him and he was then hanged for treason.

siege of tenochtitlan
Siege of Tenochtitlan
  • They fled to Tlaxcala where they were fortified by reinforcements from Cuba as well as Natives.
  • Attacked Tenochtitlan and Cuauhtemoc who was ruler after Motecuhzoma died in 1520.
  • The siege began on May 21, 1521 and lasted for 85 days.
  • Finally ended when the Spanish captured the northeast section of the city and eventually conquered the remaining Aztecs.
siege of tenochtitlan1
Siege of Tenochtitlan
  • There was a plague of small pox in the city.
  • The Spanish besieged them with ships in the lake, which Cortes had dismantled and brought overland to Tenochtitlan.
  • The Aztecs defend themselves by running in zigzags to avoid the gunfire, or laid flat to avoid a cannon shot, and took cover in houses.
  • The Spaniards finally pushed to the center of the city but were held back by a last stand of the Aztecs.
siege of the city
Siege of the city

  • Cuahtemoc lead a successful defense against the Spanish, but the Spanish siezed the market and the Aztec were soon starving.
  • Cuauhtemoc was put in a war canoe and the people cried “he is going to surrender to the gods”. The Spaniards then set off their canons in celebration.
  • Refugees were searched for gold and gold was demanded of the King in tribute. Of the 300,000 warriors in the city only 60,000 were left.
cortes appointment to governorship of mexico
Cortes’ Appointment to governorship of Mexico
  • Because of his conquests and all the gold and jewels he had collected, Cortés was very popular back home in Spain.
  • King Charles I of Spain, who had become Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1519, appointed Cortés governor and captain general of the newly conquered territory.
  • Cortés received the title Marques del Valle de Oaxaca (Marquis of the Oaxaca Valley)in 1528.

cort s initiates the construction of mexico city
Cortés initiates the construction of Mexico City
  • Cortés began the construction of Mexico City on the Aztec ruins and brought many Spaniards over to live there.
  • It soon became the most important European city in North America.
  • He managed the founding of new cities and appointed men to extend Spanish rule to all of Mexico, which was renamed New Spain.
  • Cortés also supported efforts to convert Indians to Christianity and sponsored new explorations.