Hernan Cortes Facts

Hernan Cortes Facts
Hernan Cortes was a Spanish empire explorer and soldier most well-known for causing the Aztec Empire to fall and for brining much of what is now Mexico under the King of Castile's rule in the early 1500s. He was born to Martin Cortes and Catalina Pizarro Altamirano, a family of Spanish nobility, in Medellin (now Extremadura), Spain, in 1485. As a child Hernan was sickly and at age 14 he was sent to study Latin with a relative for two years. He began to be inspired by the discoveries made by Christopher Columbus in the New World. In 1504 Hernan left for Hispaniola to become a colonist. In 1511 he accompanied an expedition led by Diego Velazquez de Cuellar to conquer the island of Cuba.
Interesting Hernan Cortes Facts:
Hernan's full name was Hernando Cort├ęs de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano. He was also known as Hernando Cortes.
Hernan was unable to travel to the New World in 1502 as planned due to having a relationship with a married woman in which he was injured escaping her husband. This delayed his trip until 1504.
Velazquez appointed Hernan to a high position (secretary) in the colony after he himself was appointed the Governor of New Spain.
Hernan was appointed Captain-General to an expedition in 1518 and after tensions grew between him and Velazquez he ignored orders to cancel the expedition and led a mutiny to Mexico.
Hernan claimed the land in the Yucatan Peninsula for the Spanish Crown in 1519.
Hernan used his knowledge of the law to justify his conquest of Mexico, which was unauthorized.
Hernan had managed to build an unauthorized army of 11 ships, 13 horses, 500 soldiers, and several cannons in his conquest of Mexico.
In order to conquer Mexico Hernan used the divide and conquer technique. He pitted the native people against each other, beginning in Tlaxacan and Cholula. He then headed for Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital.
Montezuma II was the Aztec Emperor at the time and he welcomed Hernan instead of doing battle.
Hernan soon took Montezuma II hostage in his palace and became the indirect ruler.
In 1521 Velazquez tried to conquer Hernan but failed.
In 1523 Hernan Cortes was officially named the Governor of New Spain.
In 1528 Hernan was forced to return to Spain but on his return to Mexico much of his power in Mexico was reduced.
In 1541 Hernan Cortes returned to Spain permanently.
Cortes spent the next several years trying to gain recognition for his achievements. He had been the 1st and 3rd Governor of New Spain throughout his career.
On December 2nd, 1547 Hernan Cortes died of pleurisy. He was 62 years old at the time of his death.
Hernan married Dona Juana de Zuniga and had three daughters and a son with her. He also had children with mistresses.
Hernan Cortes had several children including Don Martin Cortes, Dona Maria Cortes, Dona Catalina Cortes, Don Juana Cortes, Martin Cortes, and Leonor Cortes.
Hernan Cortes' nickname when he was in the Military was 'Killer'.


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