On February 8, 1517 Francisco de Cordoba set sail from Cuba with 110 ships full of men to investigate the new world in search of riches and glory. Twenty-one days after their departure Cordoba's men found a small Mayan town. The natives fought a brief but bloody battle with the Spaniards and were defeated. This was but the beginning of the Spanish conquest of Mexico.
Two years after thefirst expedition by Cordoba, Hernando Cortes left from Trinidad for Mexico with six hundred and eight able-bodied troops. His goal was to explore the land and record the happenings of his travels. Cortes'sfirst contact was on March 12, 1519, when he and his men engaged the Tabascan natives that inhabited the land near the entrance to the Grijalva River. This encounter was brought before the emperor of the entire land of modern day Mexico, Montezuma. Though Montezuma was interested on the newcomers, he would not allow them to visit his royal palace.
Throughout the campaign that followed Cortes dealt with two insurrections and a party of Spaniards sent from Cuba to deal with the reckless leader. After several battles, the worst of which was later called la noche triste or the woeful night, where more than four hundred and fifty men. After many more battles Cortes conquered the capitol city of Tenochtitlan and all of the Aztec Empire. This woeful slaughter and pillaging brought to the end of the civilization known as the Greeks of the Western Hemisphere.
This topic has always been one of great interest to me because it teaches of the beginning of the exploitation of the new world and because it is one of the few contemporary conquests that did not involve violence on European soil. The knowledge and wealth of the Aztec civilization is a wonder within its own age due to the architecture and grandeur of its capitol city Tenochtitlan alone. The idea of an entire city floating on a lake was not even dreamed of in Europe at that time. At t…