Between 1519 and 1521 the Spanish, under the leadership of conquistador Hernan Cortés, conquered the Aztec Empire. But how did this happen? Read through the resources below to find out more about the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire.
Click through this interactive study of Conquest of Mexico paintings. The eight detailed canvases tell the story of the 1521 Spanish conquest of the native Aztec people.
Who was the god from the sea? How did the conquistadors defeat so many people? Who killed the Inca Emperor? Find out more in this article.
The Aztec empire flourished between c. 1345 and 1521 CE and dominated ancient Mesoamerica. This young and warlike nation was highly successful in spreading its reach and gaining fabulous wealth, but then all too quickly came the strange visitors from another world. Led by Hernán Cortés, the Spaniard's formidable firearms and thirst for treasure would bring devastating destruction and disease. The Conquistadores immediately found willing local allies only too eager to help topple the brutal Aztec regime and free themselves from the burden of tribute and the necessity of feeding the insatiable Aztec appetite for sacrificial victims, and so within three years fell the largest ever empire in North and Central America. Read this article to find out more.
An article from Britannica on the history of Mexico and the Spanish conquests in the region.
The Aztec Empire, Mesoamerica’s dominant power in the 15th and early 16th centuries, controlled a capital city that was one of the largest in the world. Itzcoatl, named leader of the Aztec/Mexica people in 1427, negotiated what has become known as the Triple Alliance—a powerful political union of the city-states of Mexico-Tenochtitlán, Tetzcoco and Tlacopán. As that alliance strengthened between 1428 and 1430 it reinforced the leadership of the Aztecs, making them the dominant Nahua group in a land mass that covered central Mexico and extended as far as modern-day Guatemala. And yet Tenochtitlán was swiftly conquered by the Spanish in 1521—less than two years after Hernándo Cortés and Spanish conquistadors first set foot in the Aztec capital on November 8, 1519. How did Cortés manage to overthrow the seat of the Aztec Empire? Read this article to find out more.
Following the Age of Exploration and Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World after he reached Cuba in 1492, Spanish colonisation had centred primarily around the islands of the Caribbean. However, after Vasco Nunez de Balboa's expedition across Central America to reach the Pacific Ocean in 1513, Spain began to see the full potential of the New World: a potential full of economic gain and glory, which could be achieved through conquest. These motives spurred Spain to explore beyond the islands of the Caribbean, and adventure into a phase of conquest that would see the Americas fall under the Spanish crown. This series of conquests began with Hernan Cortes and his conquest of the Aztec Empire. Read through this interactive story map to learn more about this conquest.