Hernan Cortes: A Man On A Mission

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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He made Moctezuma speak to his people from the place rooftop. Unfortunately, there are always twists and turns in history. The Aztecs believed that they were betrayed by their own leader. Insulted, hurt, and ungratified, the Aztec revolted even more. In the fights that soon followed, Moctezuma was killed in a fight. The reasons remain uncertain.
Hernan Cortes and his men knew they weren't going to make it out of there alive if they stayed in that one spot. Like most people in history, he told his men that they had to use the cloak of the night to disappear into the darkness and free themselves from the siege of the enraged Aztecs. They escaped during a bleak, rainy night in June. Somehow or another unfortunately, Hernan Cortes and his men were spotted. The Aztec Indians came after Cortes and his men, and both sides experienced many causalities. The Spanish now called this night La Noche Triste, "the Night of Sorrows."
Victory seemed to have swept the land of the Aztecs. They celebrated for a few days, yet were welcomed by an unwelcome visitor. The Spanish had left behind their most secret weapon, a true weapon of mass destruction. Yet, they had no idea that they even had it, or the fact that they were infected with it as well. This is what we call smallpox. It swept through their population and killed thousands of men, women, and children. All the people of the Aztec nation were weak and too caught up with the disease to think about defending themselves. Like General Macarthur of the United States Army, Hernan Cortes did return. Hernan Cortes wasn't by himself this time. He was wise enough to bring friends, many friends. Obviously, the Aztecs fell. They fell hard and flat on the ground.
The Spanish people weren't barbarians, so they looted the fallen Aztec empire systematically. That may have sounded ironic, especially to the eyes of the Aztecs, but they were looting in an organized fashion. Cortes conducted the entire process by himself practically. They stripped from the Aztecs from all their gold, silver, and other valuable goods.
The Aztecs faced many other consequences as well. Hernan Cortes was a religious man, a man with virtues, spiritual needs, and theological education. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and felt the need to spread the word of God. He tried to abolish the Aztec religion for good and get rid of their human sacrifice. He believed that those deaths were immoral and wrong. Hernan Cortes just greatly despised this Aztec religion. Even before they took over the Aztec capital, Cortes himself tore down all forms of idols and replaced them with Christian statues. He, like other self-proclaimed evangelists, took the liberty of shoving his own religion down other's throats. He also tore down the great pyramids built by the Aztecs and started to build a stone Christian cathedral. He was a main contributor to the spread of Christianity in these parts of the world. Thus, he finally accomplished his goal, and basically all of Mexico was claimed to Spain. Spain was linked to this new "Mexico" area politically, religiously, and socially.
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