Hernan Cortes: A Man On A Mission

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Hernan Cortes

First to start out, we should get some facts straight. A conquistador is basically a Spanish conqueror. Their main goals were to search for gold and other riches from the Caribbean and draw them back to the mainland. The absolute most important conquistador in all of history is Hernan Cortes.

From the foothills of Barcelona in Spain, a man came to be. Full of strength, honor, wisdom, and courage, this man was named Hernan Cortes. He, as the Spaniards would say, was a god among men. Legend says he had cat-like reflexes, and also had the mind filled with strategies. He may not have been the tallest person in the crowd, but he had the most will to achieve greatness. He is one of Spain's most influential, if not the most, conquistadors.

His main accomplishment was the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. With about 600 men and 16 horses, Hernan Cortes landed on the Mexican coast in search of gold. From local inhabitants, he heard of a great and he had heard of a great and wealthy civilization farther inland. This civilization is what we call now the Aztec empire. He and his troops marched onward towards Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital.

In a modern sense, his main goal was to kick out the Aztec Indians there and show them who the boss is. The Native Americans were full of malice, as according to Spanish History, yet they respected Hernan Cortes. Some of them thought that Hernan Cortes was their god, Quezacoatl, reincarnated to lead them the way. At first, the Moctezuma, the Aztec's leader, sent rich gifts to Cortes. The sight of such wealth only made Cortes and his men march faster to the capital. It's just like following a trail of pieces of candy. You don't just want the little pieces found, but the entire bag.

Moctezuma welcomed Cortes and gave him a place to use inside the city. However, Cortes being extremely greedy took Moctezuma captive and demanded for even more gold. Thus, they started the battle for Mexico.

At first, it seemed like the Spanish had total control of the city, but trouble soon broke out. In May 1520, Cortes briefly left the city. Ignorantly, his men, for some odd reason, attacked the Aztec. "Those Idiots!" I bet Cortes would have exclaimed as he came back to find his men being besieged in Moctezuma's palace. Cortes, being quite the intelligent thinker, thought that calming them would be the best way out of the situation.

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