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The Life Of Hernando Cortes

Hernando Cortes was born in 1485 in a town called Medellin in Extremadura Spain. During the time of Cortes’ youth, the town of his birth was “like the setting of a carnival for a growing boy” (Marks 3). Medellin was the home of an old castle from the days of the wars between the Spanish and the Moors; the young boys of the town found this castle most entertaining. Later in his life Cortes started attending the University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain. His law school years were cut short in 1501 when he decided to try his luck in the New World. In the spring of 1504, Cortes set sail for the land of Cuba. After arriving in Cuba in 1511, he joined the Spanish soldiers and Administrator Diego Velasquez in the conquest of the land, and there he became mayor of Santiago de Cuba. In 1518 he persuaded Velasquez to give him command to the expedition of Mexico that had recently been discovered by Juan de Grijalva, nephew of Velasquez. Despite Velasquez’s cancellation on his payment to Cortes due to suspicion that he was exploring and discovering for his own glory, Cortes set sail west from Cuba on February 19, 1519. Cortes took with him about 600 men, less than 20 horses, and 10 field pieces. Cortes sailed along the east coast of Yucatan and in March 1519 landed in Mexico and quickly neutralized the town of Tabasco. The artillery, the ships, and especially the horses had the natives captivated from the minute they landed. Quickly after Cortes had taken Tabasco, the natives began telling him the stories of the Aztecs and their ruler Montezuma. These intriguing stories struck Cortes’ attention, and he began asking more questions about these mysterious Aztecs. At the beginning of Cortes’ search for the Aztecs, he and his men took many of the locals captive, one of which they found special, so they baptized her and renamed her Marina. Marina quickly became Cortes’ lover and out of loyalty to him also served as his interp...

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The Life Of Hernando Cortes. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 21:28, August 28, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/39881.html