Hernan Cortes was a Spanish general who is known for conquering and destroying Aztec empire and thus controlling a large portion of Mexico. He was born in Castilla in 1485. Cortes was awarded title of Marqués del Valle de Oaxaca. Hernan Cortes returned back to Spain in the year 1541 where he died six years later on December 2, 1547.
Discovery of New World
Hernan Cortes came to New World in 1504. He was always amazed by the stories of those people who returned back from the New Land. He registered himself in Hispaniola as citizen. Later, in 1511, he was appointed by governor as treasurer. Impressed by his work governor of Cuba, Velazquez promoted him and gave him military position. In 1518, he was sent for a mission to explore and colonize New World. He was promoted as a Captain General.
Destruction of Aztec Empire
On November 8, 1519 the Spanish army under the leadership of Hernan Cortes reached Tenochtitlan, the capital of Aztec empire. Cortes was warmly and peacefully received by the Aztec king Montezuma. Montezuma even allowed Cortes to enter the heart of city in order to know Cortes’s weakness. He gave him various gold gifts.
They believed that Cortes was their God Quetzalcoatl himself. But soon things changed many Spanish army men were attacked by the natives forcing the Spaniards to retaliate. They made Montezuma hostage. Situations were dramatically changed when Montezuma was killed inside the prison on July 1, 1520. Cortes had to flee the city as there was complete chaos and turmoil at that time. After fighting series of battles with the natives finally on August 13, 1521 they defeated Cuauhtemoc, ruler of Tenochtitlan. They renamed Tenochtitlan as Mexico City.