The Conquest of Mexico

After centuries free of foreign intervention in Mesoamerica, the glorious period came to an abrupt end. Early in the sixteenth century. The spanish invasion began in 1519, and following two years of dramatic events, Tenochtitlan fell in 1521 at the hand of Hernan Cortez a spanish general on behalf of king Charles I of Spain.


The Conquest of Mexico

The Mexican Emperor Moctezuma tried to avoid conflict with the invaders. Moctezuma believed the conquerors were gods because they rode horses. To his incredulous mind, the men on horses appeared to be a single being.

This was understandable because they had never before seen a horse. Cortez first subdued the natives of Veracruz, originally called La Villa Rica De la Vera Cruz (The True Cross).  Moctezuma sent many gifts but the news that the Mexican empire was the largest and wealthiest of all the territory due to theTaxes and battles fought with neighboring kingdoms. Hadin deed made Mexico a prize and became more appealing to Cortes.

The gifts only expanded Cortes’ ambition. On the way, Cortes fought this way through the little villages and finally arrived to Tlaxcala, a village exhausted by the cruelty of the Mexicas. They faced the constant threat of extermination if they did not pay the exorbitant taxes imposed on them. Seeing a new potentialally, they made a decision to betray their fellow country men to the benefit of the foreign invaders.

Meanwhile, Moctezuma had set an ambush in Cholula to stop the invaders from getting to Tenochititlan. The plan failed and the Cholultecas were burtally slaughtered. 

Cortes subsequently arrived in Tenochititlan, a city of wonder built on an artificial island in the middle of a lake in what is currently Mexico City. Almost immediately there was a small pox epidemic with devastating consequences.

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