Genocide of the Mexica Aztecs and Native American Indians
The conquest of the Aztecs (Mexica)
Between 1519 and 1521 the Spanish, under the leadership of conquistador Hernan Cortes, conquered the Aztec Empire. Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and his men landed on the Mexican coast on April of 1519. Montezuma II sent Cortes gifts of gold and chocolate to welcome the Spanish. Although Montezuma II did not trust Cortes, he also was worried that Cortes was the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. Aztec mythology said that Quetzalcoatl would come to Earth as a man and Cortes had arrived on Quetzalcoatl's birthday.
Cortes arrived with around 500 men, 16 horses, and some cannon. He founded a small settlement that would eventually become the city of Veracruz. He also began to get to know the natives. He brought along an American Indian woman named Dona Marina who worked as his interpreter. Cortez created alliances with some of the local tribes including the Totonac and the Tlaxcalans. Cortes began to march inland towards the city of Tenochtitlan, the capital city of the Aztec Empire. However, before heading out, Cortes became worried that some of his crew would steal his ships and desert him so he sunk his fleet before marching to Tenochtitlan. He conquered some cities along the way and made alliances with others. The Tlaxcalans became his closest allies. They hated the Aztecs because they had raided their cities for people to sacrifice to their gods. Montezuma II tried to keep Cortes from getting all the way to Tenochtitlan, but Cortes continued his march. He destroyed the Aztec religious city of Cholula along the way.
When Cortes finally arrived in Tenochtitlan he was welcomed with gifts and invited inside. Montezuma was still concerned that Cortes might be a god. Eventually tensions mounted between the two sides and a fight broke out. Cortes and his men took King Montezuma captive. At some point during his captivity, Montezuma II was killed. After Montezuma II was killed the Aztecs elected Cuauhtemoc as their new king. Cortes eventually had him executed. Historians still aren't sure how he was killed or why, but after he died the Spanish soldiers tried to flee from Tenochtitlan. They were attacked by the Aztecs as they fled and nearly two-thirds of the soldiers were killed. Cortes managed to escape with some of his men from Tenochtitlan. He gathered a large force of natives including the Tlaxcalans to fight the Aztecs. He returned to Tenochtitlan and laid siege to the city. After three months of fighting, he finally took control of the city and completed his conquest of the Aztec Empire.
The Aztecs that weren't killed were forced to convert to the Catholic religion of the Spaniards and to abandon the Aztecs religion. Destroying codexes so that there would be no future problems with conversion. New codexes were made by the remaining Aztecs under instruction and supervision by the Spaniards. The Aztecs were severely weakened by diseases that the Spanish brought such as smallpox, influenza, and malaria. Over time, around 80 percent of the people living in the Valley of Mexico died from these diseases. Cortes founded Mexico City on the ruins of Tenochtitlan. Today it is the capital of Mexico and one of the largest cities in the world.
June 30 1520, Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez suffered a defeat at the hands of the Aztecs. According to legend, he cried under a tree that night, the "Tree of the Sad Night" on account of the sorrow that Cortés and his surviving followers felt and expressed at the loss of life and treasure incurred in the escape from Tenochtitlan. To the Aztec, it was the "Night of Victory". The tree still stands (somewhat damaged by fire) on what was then and now the main road to the Centro Historico from the west.
Templo Mayor was actually lost for centuries. When the Spaniard Hernan Cortez defeated the Aztecs he ordered that the temple be dismantled, and had structures built over the site. The stones from the temple were used to build the cathedral, located beside the site. Little by little, parts of the temple were found in the 19th and early 20th century, and the excavations began. There were actually seven temples on the site, one built on top of another. The temples were built every 52 years, to coincide with the full cycle of the Aztec calendar. The first one was built in 1325, and the last one to be built was the one destroyed by Cortez after the downfall of Aztec emperor Moctezuma II. The pyramid was almost leveled now, with some of the structures being uncovered by excavation, but one can still marvel over the sophistication of its construction. Several statues and carvings are still visible in some parts of the complex, enduring the test of time and the ravages of war.
aztec natives the invasion of mexico by the conquistadors
aztec natives spaniards invaded the aztec empire and destroyed it.