Hernán Cortés was a Spanish conquistador (explorer) who was vital in the conquering of the Central Americas. He originally went to the land now known as the Dominican Republic as a soldier and stayed there for seven years, before aiding in the conquest of Cuba. In 1519, he convinced the governor of Cuba to let him lead an exploration of Mexico (ruled by the Aztecs), which had been discovered the year before. While visiting the Aztec Empire, Cortés was treated well, because the Aztecs believed that he was a god. However, Cortés captured Montezuma (the Aztec leader) and held him for ransom. Eventually, the Aztecs were conquered, with the help of the Tlaxcalans.
Cortés managed to destroy the largest empire in Central America, which no doubt was difficult to do. He was notorious for being a violent commander, and spared none of the Aztecs. Women and children were slaughtered along with the men. Cortés held command in countries such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and other countries in that area. The Spanish conquest that was commanded by Cortés is the main reason that the most of the entire Central American area speaks Spanish as their first language.
In the party, I shall be acting very violent towards everyone (physical contact not included...well, maybe a little), as violence was a noted characteristic of Cortés. Instead of letting people tell me who they are, I shall simply pretend to kill them and not care who they are. If anyone accepts me in any manner, I shall simply tell them that they think I am a god, because that is what happened to Cortés, twice.
-lots of violence, pretty bloodthirsty
-fluent in Spanish
-befriended the Tlaxcalans, enemies of the Aztecs1
-conquered the Aztec empire2
-after gaining trust of Aztecs, held leader for ransom
-killed the Aztecs to take their stuff
- Spanish conquistador (explorer)
- defeated/conquered Aztecs (brought smallpox to them as well)
- Aztec capital was in Tenochtitlan
- Mexico City now on ruins of Tenochtitlan
- Spanish power filtered through after Cortes' victory
-was very self serving
-most important out of all Spanish conquistadors
Bartlett Elementary School. Hernando Cortez. 2002. http://library.thinkquest.org/J002678F/cortez.htm (accessed March 7, 2010).
Newman, Garfield. Legacy: The West and the World. Toronto: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2002.
Riopelle, Alyssa. Hernan Cortes. Performed by Alyssa Riopelle. RDHS: Room 134, Rockland. February 2010.