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Hernando Cortes Facts

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Hernando Cortes Explorer

Facts about Hernando Cortes

The following Fact File contains fast information about the life of Hernando Cortes.

Interesting facts and an overview and description of the life and times and his involvement in the Exploration and the discovery of the New World leading to the colonization of America.

Fact 1: Why was Hernando Cortes famous and what part of America did he explore?Hernando Cortes began the first phase of the Spanish colonization of the Americas and conquered the Aztec empire.

Fact 2: When was Hernando Cortes born? He was born in 1485

Fact 3: What was his country of origin and where was Hernando Cortes born? He was born in Medellin, Extremadura, Spain

Fact 4: Hernando Cortes was born into a wealthy noble Spanish family. His parents were Martin Cortes de Monroy and Catalina Pizarro Altamirano

Fact 5: He tried to become a lawyer, but failed. He was inspired by the stories about the New World and decided to go to sea

Fact 6: In 1502 he joined the expedition to the West Indies led by Nicolas de Ovando with Diego Velazquez that consisted of 2500 people and 30 ships. Another famous explorer, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, was also on this expedition

Fact 7: Hernando Cortes proved to be an excellent soldier under the command of Spanish soldier named Diego Velazquez (1460-1532)

Fact 8: In 1511 Diego Velazquez was selected as commander of an expedition to Cuba and Hernando accompanied him

Fact 9: The expedition to Cuba consisted of four ships with 300 men.

Fact 10: Cuba was conquered and by 1514 towns of Trinidad, Santo Espiritu, Puerto Principe, and Santiago de Cuba had been founded

Fact 11: Hernando then settled in Cuba and became a farmer

Fact 12: In 1518 Diego Velazquez decides to explore further and chooses Hernando Cortes to captain an expedition to establish a colony in Mexico

Fact 13: On February 19, 1519 Hernando sets sail for Mexico with a force of six hundred men, and less than twenty horses.

Fact 14: They arrive at the Yucatan Penisula and march inland to Tenochtitlan

Fact 15: March 1519: He lands in Mexico, and meets a woman called Malinche who becomes his mistress, guide and interpreter

Fact 16: Hernando Cortes was a strong commander. He established the town of La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz and to prevent the possibility of desertion or retreat he literally burnt all of his boats

Fact 17: He learns about the fabulous wealth of the Aztec Empire and vows to conquer them

Fact 18: Hernando Cortes first forces an alliance with the Aztec Indians of Tlaxcala. He then learns about their customs, culture and religion

Fact 19: During this period he learns about and Aztec legend. In the myth Quetzalcoatl the 'Winged God is a light skinned, bearded God-King of Civilisation and learning who was revered by the Aztecs

Fact 20: The arrival of the Spanish soldiers coincides with the predicted return of the God-King Quetzalcoatl

Fact 21: He reaches the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan and the Aztecs believe that Cortes could be Quetzalcoatl their light skinned, bearded God-King.

Fact 22: In November 1519 he meets the King of the Aztecs - Montezuma II

Fact 23: Montezuma II allows Cortes and his small force to enter Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, which houses thousands of Aztec Indians.

Fact 24: He takes Montezuma as hostage and forces him to swear allegiance to King Charles V of Spain

Fact 25: During this time period Diego Velasquez had sent 1,400 soldiers to arrest Cortes.

Fact 26: He decides to march to the coast to do battle with the soldiers but instead he persuades them to join him. Whilst he is away his soldiers kill 600 Aztec nobles

Fact 27: He then tries to calm the Aztecs by releasing Montezuma

Fact 28: The Aztecs stone Montezuma to death on July 1, 1520 and Hernando Cortes and his soldiers are forced out of Tenochtitlan

Fact 29: In 1521 he returns to Tenochtitlan with reinforcements.

Fact 30: 1521 August 13, 1521: A terrible Plague strikes the Aztec population and Tenochtitlan falls to Cortes.

Fact 31: Hernando Cortes conquered 5 Million Aztecs with less than 1000 soldiers and returns to Spain triumph. He then returns to Mexico

Fact 32: In 1533 he makes his final expedition and discovers Baja in California which he explores for a year before returning to Mexico

Fact 33: He returns home to Spain 1540

Fact 34: His reputation is smeared by rumors that he murdered his wife, and the Spanish who were wary of the power he held in Mexico refused him permission to return to the New World.

Fact 35: He was given permission to fight against the Moors and the pirates of Algiers and this is how he spent the last years of his life

Fact 36: Hernando Cortes died on December 2, 1547 near Seville. A wealthy but embittered man.

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