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Table of Contents
See the fact file below for more information on Hernan Cortes or alternatively, you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Hernán Cortés was born in Medellin, Castile, Spain around 1485. His father was a captain in the Spanish army. At the age of 14, Cortés was sent to school as his parents wished him to be a lawyer. After two years, Cortés returned home for he was not interested in becoming a lawyer. He was the second cousin of Francisco Pizarro, conquistador of the Inca Empire.
- In 1504, after the expedition of Christopher Columbus, Cortés became interested in travelling to new lands. He arrived at the city of Santo Domingo in the islands of Hispaniola. Cortés worked as a notary for several years.
- In 1511, he joined Diego Velazquez on an expedition to Cuba. After the conquest of Velazquez, Cortés gained wealth and power in Cuba.
Conquest and Death of Cortés
- By 1518, Cortés became the commander for the conquest of Mexico. Fearing more power, Velasquez cancelled the expedition but Cortés pushed through and set sail with 500 men and 11 ships.
- In February 1519, Cortés arrived in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. He employed different strategies of conquest by befriending some natives. Cortés also fought against natives with great resistance.
- Cortés fought against Tlaxiaca and Cholula warriors. Afterwards, he raided the capital city of Tenochtitlan and asked Montezuma II for a meeting. The Aztec ruler repeatedly declined his request.
- Cortés heard about the gold treasures of the Aztecs and planned his return.
- He arrived in the city of Cholula, the religious center of the empire. After he discovered the plans of the natives, Cortés ordered the killing of almost 3,000 nobles and warriors and burned parts of the city.
- On November 8, 1519, Cortés was welcomed by Montezuma II. He gave Cortés gifts of gold to spare the conquest of the empire.
By 1521, Cortés finally conquered Tenochtitlan and the entire Aztec empire. Governor Velazquez of Cuba sent another expedition led by Panfilo de Narvaez to take over Cortés.
- After a year, Cortés was appointed as governor by King Charles I.
- King Charles I of Spain was also known as the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He named the newly conquered land as New Spain.
- While in Mexico, Cortés embarked on an expedition and discovered Baja, California. The Gulf of California was originally named the
Sea of Cortés.
- In 1524, Cortés travelled to Honduras due to rebellion in the area. When he came back to Mexico, he found himself removed from power. He was forced to return to Spain.
- By 1541, he led the unsuccessful expedition to Algiers. Cortés spent much of his retirement years seeking recognition and support from the Spanish Royal Court.
- On December 2, 1547, he died in Spain.
Facts About the Aztec Empire
- The Aztec civilization emerged from the 14th century until the 16th century. The capital city of Tenochtitlan was located on an island in Lake Texcoco, now Mexico City.
- Some of the known rulers of the empire were Acamapichtli, Cuauhtémoc, and Montezuma II.
- The Aztecs had the system of pictures known as N’ahuatl. Only scribes and priests were allowed to write.
- They had two calendars. One was for religious festivals while the other was for measurement and time.
- The Aztecs revered many gods and goddesses. They also mistook foreigners as the human figure of their gods.
- Children were sent to school to learn about warfare, history, religion, and skills. Female children focused on the teachings of marriage. Parents could sell their children as slaves to pay debts.
- They usually buried their dead under their houses. Houses could be made of stone and they were based on wealth and social status.
- Much of the Aztec population was killed by diseases including smallpox brought by the Europeans.
Hernan Cortes Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use Hernan Cortes worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about Hernán Cortés who was a conquistador and explorer who overthrew Montezuma II, ruler of the Aztec Empire. He later claimed Mexico for the Spanish Crown.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- Hernán Cortés Facts
- The Biography
- Looking for Cortés
- Famous Explorers
- The Aztec Empire
- Mesoamerican Empires
- Spanish Exploration
- Facts v. Fiction
- Timeline of Conquest
- Odd One Out
- Age of Discovery
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Link will appear as Hernan Cortes Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 11, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
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