Hernan Cortes Timeline
Timeline Description: Hernan Cortes was an explorer who eventually defeated the Aztec people and brought Mexico under Spanish rule. This is a timeline of his life.

Date Event
1485 Hernan Cortes is born

Hernan Cortes was born in Spain.
1499 Hernan goes away to study

Hernan was sent away to get a higher education. Historians believe he studied Latin and law.
1504 A voyage to the New World

Hernan decided to sail to the New World and make a life for himself there. He sailed to what is now Haiti.
1506 The Spanish take Cuba

Cortes worked with the governor of Hispaniola, who took Cortes on a conquest of Cuba. Cortes was rewarded with land and slaves.
1511 Hernan is promoted in Cuba

Diego Valasquez became the governor of Cuba. He made Cortes one of his top officials.
1518 Hernan Cortes is sent to Mexico

Diego Valasquez named Cortes the captain of an expedition to Mexico. After a fight, though, he revoked Cortes' status.
1519 Cortes goes against the governor

Cortes went against Valasquez's wishes and sailed on to Mexico against orders.
July 1519 Cortes took over Veracruz

Cortes sailed into Veracruz and took it by force. He tried to meet with Montezuma, the Aztec king, but Montezuma refused.
November 1519 Cortes takes Montezuma hostage

The Aztec people tried to appease Cortes by giving him gold and other treasures. Cortes didn't trust the people, though, and he took Montezuma hostage.
1519 Cortes is named governor of "New Spain"

With the conquest of the land, King Charles V of Spain named Cortes the governor of New Spain.
1520 A fight with the governor of Cuba

Valasquez sent men to go to war with Cortes in Mexico. Cortes' men came out the winners.
July 1520 Cortes kills Montezuma

When Montezuma couldn't get the Aztecs to accept Cortes as their leader, Cortes had Montezuma killed.
1521 Cortes takes over the Aztec Empire

With Montezuma dead, Cortes took over the Aztec's capital city. It was the end of the Aztec Empire.
1524 Cortes develops the land

Cortes worked to develop farms throughout New Spain, or Mexico. He also helped spread Christianity.
1527 Cortes is accused of poisoning his enemies

The king of Spain sent other rulers to New Spain to aid Cortes. When they became sick, others accused Cortes of poisoning them.
1528 Cortes returns to Spain

Cortes had to return to Spain to prove his innocence to the King.
1530 Cortes returned to Mexico

Cortes was freed from the charges and returned to Mexico, although the king had demoted him from governor.
1567 Cortes dies

Hernan Cortes died at the age of 62. In his later life he was mostly ignored and barely respected. He left a legacy of a great explorer, but also of a man full of greed.