History - The Conquerors: Cortes: Conquerer of Mexico



He is one of the greatest conquerors in history, and among the most brutal. Hernan Cortes thirst for gold and power led him to Mexico in 1519, where he launched a conquest unlike any other in history. As the documentary details, Cortes undertook his campaign in violation of explicit instructions his was supposed to be a more diplomatic than military mission. Yet his first contacts in Mexico resulted in a battle that so terrible that the Aztecs fled into the interior. They had never seen the guns, horses, and shiny metal armor of the conquistadors. In approximately two years, Cortes owned the Aztec empire, and their once proud ruler Montezuma was dead. Through brilliant execution, from an often precarious military position, Cortes killed hundreds of thousands of Aztecs and brought down the 300-year-old empire -the first major American civilization to fall to the Spanish.