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Aztecs and the Spanish
Aztecs
The Aztec civilization was the most powerful in central and southern Mexico at the time of European exploration.TheAztec controlled the area around their capital city of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City.Theirborders stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.Theycontrolled lands as far south as present-day Guatemala.
Aztecs
The Aztecs were known for their artwork and architecture.Theyconstructed a beautiful capital city on islands in a large lake.Apyramid temple was at the center of this great city.
Aztecs
An important part of the culture of the Aztec was the sacrifice of animals and humans.Peoplewho were conquered by the Aztec were required to pay large taxes.Theyalso had to provide people to offer as sacrifices to the Aztec gods.
Aztecs
The Aztec had a complex and rich society.Theyhad a mathematical system to keep up with their empire.Theyhad two different calendar systems to organize their empire.Theyhad a farming system that was very efficient.Theyused irrigation to keep their crops growing even during dry periods.
Aztecs
The Aztec civilization ended in 1521 when it was conquered by the Spanish.TheSpanish destroyed much of the Aztec building and artwork.Theydestroyed the city of Tenochtitlan and built Mexico City in its place.Today, some of the art and buildings of the Aztec have been re-discovered.Amodern version of the Aztec language,Nahuatl, is still spoken by thousands of people in Mexico.
HERNAN CORTES
HernánCortés was a Spanish conquistador (conqueror).Heis famous for conquering the Aztec Empire in Mexico in 1519-1521.Afterthis victory, the Spanish began to settle in Mexico.TheSpanish stayed in Mexico for the next three hundred years.
HERNAN CORTES
Cortés was born in Spain in 1485.Asa young man, he heard stories of the expeditions of Christopher Columbus and the riches that were to be found in the Indies.WhenCortés was 19, he sailed to the New World, where he got a job as a clerk.
HERNAN CORTES
He learned how colonies were run. (A colony is a foreign area controlled by a country and contributing to its wealth.)He also made many contacts with Spanish explorers.After Cuba was conquered, Cortés was made mayor of one of the towns.
HERNAN CORTES
In 1518, Cortés was told to take a group of ships to Mexico.Hewas ordered to conquer the powerful Aztec.Helanded in Mexico in 1519 with eleven ships, five hundred soldiers, and one hundred sailors.
HERNAN CORTES
Cortés was worried that some of his men would be frightened by the Aztec.To make sure that no one tried to go back to Cuba, Cortés had all the ships burned.Success or death were the only options.
HERNAN CORTES
Cortés trained his men for several months.Hemade friends with nearby Indians who did not like the Aztec.Bythe time he marched to the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan, he had over 1,500 fighters.Over1,000 were native people who wanted to fight the Aztec.
HERNAN CORTES
The ruler of the Aztec was Montezuma II.Forunknown reasons, he welcomed Cortés into the city.Cortésand his men took Montezuma captive.Cortésbelieved that he could control the Aztec by keeping their leader hostage.Cortéswas able to rule the lands of central Mexico for some months before problems began.
HERNAN CORTES
A fight started between Cortés’s men and the Aztec while Cortés was away.WhenCortés returned, battles had to be fought to win back Tenochtitlan.In1521, Cortés led a military victory over the Aztec.
HERNAN CORTES
From this time forward, the Spanish sent more troops and settlers to Mexico.They tore down the buildings of the Aztec and destroyed Tenochtitlan.In its place, they built Mexico City. For the next three hundred years, Mexico was under Spanish control.
MONTEZUMA II
Montezuma II was an Aztec ruler from about 1500 to1520.Heis most famous for ruling the Aztec when their land was invaded by the Spanish conquistador,HernánCortés.
MONTEZUMA II
Montezuma had spread the Aztec empire over a large part of central and southern Mexico.TheNative Americans conquered by Montezuma had to pay him high taxes.Theyalso had to send humans for sacrifice in the temples of the Aztec.Becauseof the taxes and sacrifices, Montezuma was unpopular with those he conquered.Montezumawas popular with his own people, however and was considered a great ruler.
MONTEZUMA II
When Cortés and his army came to Tenochtitlan, Montezuma Was alerted.Somepeople believed that Cortés was a god-like being.Montezumaordered that Cortés and his men be welcomed into the city.
MONTEZUMA II
They were given grand gifts of gold.Some believe that Montezuma acted this way in the hope that Cortés would take the gifts and leave.Instead, Cortés took Montezuma hostage and ruled for some time while Montezuma was a prisoner in his own palace.
MONTEZUMA II
In 1520, a fight broke out between Spanish troops and Aztec warriors.Thebattle grew, and somehow Montezuma was killed.BothAztec and Spanish mourned the loss of the great leader of the Aztec.
Summary
Describe the encounter and consequences of the conflict between the Spanish and the Aztecsandthe roles ofCortes and Montezuma.

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early-latin-american-history