If you were around 497 years ago today (March 4, 1519), you would have witnessed a truly historic event that forever altered life in what eventually would become the modern nation of Mexico. Here is a commentary by historian Dr. Matthew Partridge.
Loosely defined, the historical Age of Exploration lasted for 200 years, from the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the first attempt to chart Australia in 1644. In all that time, the explorer who arguably made the biggest impact was Hernan Cortes. He was born in 1485 to an impoverished noble family. He trained as a notary before sailing to Hispaniola (modern day Haiti and Dominican Republic) as a colonist in 1504. After becoming the colony’s notary, he played a key role in the conquest of Cuba in 1511.
In 1518, he embarked on an expedition to conquer the interior of Mexico. He arrived in 1519 with 500 soldiers. By July, he had removed himself from the Cuban governor’s authority, scuttling his ships to prevent his army from retreating. He marched on Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire. Emperor Montezuma II, facing a huge force that had been swollen by tribes who were hostile to him, welcomed Cortes into the capital and showered him with gifts. This generosity merely confirmed Cortes’s hopes that Mexico held a vast amount of gold.
On entering the capital, Cortes seized power and made Montezuma his puppet. A rebellion against his rule – during which Montezuma was killed – failed and Cortes formally subjugated the country on 13 August 1521, ending the Aztec Empire. King Charles I of Spain rewarded Cortes with titles, but the monarch also sent other officials to keep him under control.
As it was, the Aztec subjugation marked the high point of Cortes’s career. Subsequent expeditions to Honduras and northern Mexico were financial disasters. Cortes died in Spain in 1547, heavily indebted, while awaiting a return voyage to Mexico. However, his conquest of Mexico laid the ground for Spanish control over Latin America, which continued until the beginning of the 19th century.
By Dr Matthew Partridge for MoneyWeek
more recommended stories
Man threatens a woman with a knife in front of “La Ermita”
According to locals, on Thursday March.
Tourism in Mérida keeps booming prior to Semana Santa
“Yucatan stands out as spearhead in.
Mérida and Athens, Greece about to work together in urban mobility program
Urban Mobility and Citizen Participation in.
Germany returns Mexico two Olmec busts stolen in the 80s
After at least 10 years of.
Oxkintok, stone of three suns
“Whoever lives sees, but whoever travels.
Mérida number five municipality in home sales nationwide during 2017
CANCUN, Quintana Roo.- Benito Juárez was.
March 20: Day of the Guayabera in Merida
On March 20, the Guayabera Day.
Conversaciones con Amigos at Merida English Library
“Monday evenings from 7 to 9.
Spider monkey found inside a cage in a Mérida restaurant
Mérida, Yucatán.- The Federal Procurator for.
Strong earthquake below the coast of Guerrero, Mexico – March 20, 2018
Two earthquakes shook Mexico near Pinotepa.