The time was 1519 and 500 men wearing metal armor were marching through the city of Tenochtitlan. Since the Renaissance, which began around the 1350s,Europeans became more curious about the lands and riches of the New World. Hernando Cortes was one of them. He was born on 1485, in Castilian Province of Extremadura , Medellin, in kingdom of Castile ,what is now Spain. He died on December 2,1547 near the city of Seville. He attended the Salamanca University to study law, but he only learned a little Latin. As a child , he was described as a pale and sickly child and as a teenager, he was restless, haughty and mischievious . His dad, Ruy Fernandez de Monroy was an infantry captain. Even though he didn’t study law, he got interested in the riches of the New World. Also, the great riches of Mexico encouraged him to become a soldier to join the expedition to Hispaniola and Cuba with by Velaquez. The names of the ships were Sara de Mingol, Dark Angle and Netherwood. He married 3 times and one of them was to Catalina Xuarez. He had a great dream of establishing a colony and gaining the wealth of the New World
Hernando Cortes sailed out from Cuba with 500 Spaniards to gain some of the Aztec’s riches after becoming the governor of Santiago. His fleet to the new world had 11 ships,20 horses and 10 cannons. He is best known for conquering the mighty empire of the Aztecs in Central America for Spain. He arrived in 1519 from Cuba and held a meeting with Moctezuma, the ruler of the Aztecs. Cortes and Moctezuma knew each other from before. In the meeting, Moctezuma agreed to let Cortes stay in Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztecs.
After one year, the Aztecs rose up to throw the Spanish out of the city. Moctezuma was killed by his own people. Even though he was thrown out of the city, Cortes came back with more native allies in 1520.However, the Spanish and its allies were greatly outnumbered by the Aztecs. There were only 500 Spanish and there were 20,000 Aztec troops. However, there were advantages for Cortés’s army. He had horses which made them move faster, advanced weapons such as muskets and crossbows, bullets that could spear through the Aztec’s wool armor and metal armor which protected them from the Aztec’s stone weapons. Finally, he had two important advantages: the plague which the Aztecs suffered and allies such as the Indians who didn’t want to live under the Aztec rule. As a result of all these advantages, Tenochtitlan fell against the conquistadors in 1521.