BBC | Micheal Wood – Conquistador Hernán Cortés: Fall of the Aztecs (Full documentary)

Conquistadores (foto YouTube)
The Fall of the Aztecs (foto YouTube)

Conquistador Hernán Cortés: Fall of the Aztecs (Full documentary)

Published on 3 nov. 2018

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Conquistador Hernán Cortés: Fall of the Aztecs

When Cortés finally sailed for the coast of Yucatán on February 18, 1519, he had 11 ships, 508 soldiers, about 100 sailors, and most important 16 horses.
In March 1519 he landed at Tabasco, where he stayed for a time in order to gain intelligence from the local Indians. He won them over and received presents from them, including 20 women, one of whom, Marina (“Malinche”), became his mistress and interpreter and bore him a son, Martín.
Cortés sailed to another spot on the southeastern Mexican coast and founded Veracruz, mainly to have himself elected captain general and chief justice by his soldiers as citizens, thus shaking off the authority of Velázquez.
On the mainland Cortés did what no other expedition leader had done: he exercised and disciplined his army, welding it into a cohesive force. But the ultimate expression of his determination to deal with disaffection occurred when he sank his ships. By that single action he committed himself and his entire force to survival by conquest.

Cortés then set out for the Mexican interior, relying sometimes on force, sometimes on amity toward the local Indian peoples, but always careful to keep conflict with them to a strict minimum.
The key to Cortés’s subsequent conquests lay in the political crisis within the Aztec empire; the Aztecs were bitterly resented by many of the subject peoples who had to pay tribute to them.
The ability of Cortés as a leader is nowhere more apparent than in his quick grasp of the situation – a grasp that was ultimately to give him more than 200,000 Indian allies.
The nation of Tlaxcala, for instance, which was in a state of chronic war with Montezuma II, ruler of the Aztec empire of Mexico, resisted Cortés at first but became his most faithful ally.
Rejecting all of Montezuma’s threats and blandishments to keep him away from Tenochtitlán or Mexico, the capital (rebuilt as Mexico City after 1521), Cortés entered the city on November 8, 1519, with his small Spanish force and only 1,000 Tlaxaltecs. In accordance with the diplomatic customs of Mexico, Montezuma received him with great honour.
Cortés soon decided to seize Montezuma in order to hold the country through its monarch and achieve not only its political conquest but its religious conversion.


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