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Hvordan erobrede Hernán Cortés det aztekerke

Hvordan erobrede Hernán Cortés det aztekerke


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Aztec -imperiet, Mesoamericas dominerende magt i det 15. og begyndelsen af ​​1500 -tallet, kontrollerede en hovedstad, der var en af ​​de største i verden. Itzcoatl, udnævnt til leder for aztekerne/Mexica-folket i 1427, forhandlede det, der er blevet kendt som Triple Alliance-en magtfuld politisk union mellem bystaterne Mexico-Tenochtitlán, Tetzcoco og Tlacopán. Da denne alliance blev styrket mellem 1428 og 1430, forstærkede den ledelsen af ​​aztekerne, hvilket gjorde dem til den dominerende Nahua-gruppe i en landmasse, der dækkede det centrale Mexico og strakte sig til nutidens Guatemala.

Og alligevel blev Tenochtitlán hurtigt erobret af spanierne i 1521 - mindre end to år efter, at Hernándo Cortés og spanske conquistadors første gang satte fod i aztekernes hovedstad den 8. november 1519. Hvordan formåede Cortés at vælte aztekernes sæde?

Tenochtitlán: En dominerende kejserlig by

Da spanske erobrere ankom til den aztekiske kejserby i 1519, blev Mexico-Tenochtitlán ledet af Moctezuma II. Byen havde fremgang og blev anslået til at være vært for en befolkning på mellem 200.000 og 300.000 indbyggere.

I første omgang beskrev conquistadorerne Tenochtitlán som den største by, de nogensinde havde set. Det var beliggende på en menneskeskabt ø midt i Texcocosøen. Fra sin centrale placering tjente Tenochtitlán som et knudepunkt for aztekisk handel og politik. Det bød på haver, paladser, templer og hævede veje med broer, der forbandt byen med fastlandet.

Andre bystater blev tvunget til regelmæssigt at hylde Tenochtitláns offentlige markeder og dets religiøse centrum, Templo-borgmesteren eller "Det Store Tempel". Religiøse hyldest har undertiden taget form af menneskelige ofre. Mens aztekernes monetære og religiøse krav gav imperiet magt, fremmede det også harme blandt de omkringliggende bystater.

Hernándo Cortés indgår allierede med lokale stammer

Hernándo Cortés var en del af Spaniens første koloniseringsindsats i Amerika. Mens han var stationeret i Cuba, overbeviste han den cubanske guvernør Diego Velázquez om at lade ham lede en ekspedition til Mexico, men Velázquez aflyste derefter sin mission. Ivrig efter at tilegne nyt land til den spanske krone, omdanne oprindelige folk til kristendommen og til at plyndre regionen for guld og rigdom, organiserede Cortés sit eget useriøse besætning på 100 sejlere, 11 skibe, 508 soldater og 16 heste. Han sejlede fra Cuba om morgenen den 18. februar 1519 for at starte en uautoriseret ekspedition til Mesoamerica.

Da han ankom til Yucatán -kysten, stødte Cortés på oprindelige folk, der fortalte ham om andre europæere, der var blevet skibbrudne og fanget af lokale mayaer. Cortes frigjorde Jerónimo de Aguilar, en franciskaner, fra mayaerne og gjorde Aguilar til en del af hans besætning. Aguilar viste sig at være et uvurderligt aktiv for Cortes på grund af hans evne til at tale Chontal, det lokale maya -sprog. Med Aguilar ved sin side fortsatte Cortés og hans erobrere med at rejse i regionen og kæmpede med indfødte grupper undervejs.

Cortés og hans mænd erhvervede derefter et andet aktiv, da en aztekerhøvding gav dem omkring 20 slaveri af unge mayakvinder, herunder Malinalli, en Nahua -kvinde fra den mexicanske golfkyst. Malinalli blev døbt med det kristne navn Marina og blev senere kendt som La Malinche. La Malinche talte både det aztekiske sprog Náhuatl og Maya Chontal og arbejdede sammen med de spanske angribere og gav erobrerne mulighed for at kommunikere med alle indfødte grupper, de stødte på.

Med La Malinche og Aguilar på slæb lagde conquistadorerne vej til øen Tenochtitlán, hvor de oprindeligt blev budt velkommen af ​​kejser Moctezuma II. Faktisk troede Montezuma, at Cortés måske var den aztekeriske gud Quetzalcoatl, der kom for at genvinde sit rige. Da Cortés blev bekymret for, at Moctezumas folk ville vende sig mod hans mænd, satte han Moctezuma i husarrest, og Cortés forsøgte at regere gennem den tilbageholdte Moctezuma.

Kort efter fik Cortés besked om, at den cubanske guvernør havde sendt en spansk styrke for at arrestere Cortés for insubination. Efterladt sin øverste løjtnant Pedro de Alvarado med ansvar for Tenochtitlán, tog Cortés mænd til at angribe de spanske styrker ved kysten. Cortes -mænd besejrede tropperne og tog de overlevende spanske soldater med tilbage som forstærkninger til Tenochtitlán. I Cortés 'fravær havde Alvarado hundredvis af aztekernes adelige dræbt under en ceremoniel fest, hvilket førte til yderligere uro blandt aztekerne.

Tenochtitlán -beboere krævede, at spanskerne blev fjernet fra byen. Da den tilbageholdte Moctezuma ikke længere kunne kontrollere Tenochtitláns beboere, tillod spanierne ham enten at dø under en træfning i 1520 eller dræbte ham - afhængigt af forskellige konti.

Drevet fra hovedstaden cirkulerede spanskerne senere tilbage med en lille flåde skibe. Arbejdede i alliance med omkring 200.000 indfødte krigere fra bystater, især Tlaxcala og Cempoala (grupper, der havde ærgret sig over aztekerne/mexicerne og ville se dem overvundet), holdt de spanske erobrere Tenochtitlán under belejring fra 22. maj til 13. august 1521 - i alt 93 dage.

Kopper svækker yderligere aztekerne

Med Tenochtitlán omkranset, stolte conquistadorerne på deres indfødte allierede for at få vigtig logistisk støtte og indledte angreb fra lokale indfødte lejre. I mellemtiden begyndte en anden faktor at tage sin vej. Uden spanskens viden var nogle blandt deres rækker blevet smittet med kopper, da de havde forladt Europa. Da disse mænd ankom til Amerika, begyndte virussen at sprede sig - både blandt deres indfødte allierede og aztekerne.

Den første kendte sag opstod angiveligt i Cempoala-en af ​​de bystater, der havde allieret sig med spanierne-da en slaver afrikaner kom ned med sygdommen. Viruset spredte sig derefter. Da spanierne og deres allierede senere angreb Tenochtitlán, selv da de tabte kampe, smittede koppeviruset aztekerne. Aztekernes tropper, medlemmer af den ædle klasse, landmænd og håndværkere blev alle ofre for sygdommen.

Mens mange spaniere havde fået immunitet mod sygdommen, var virussen ny i Amerika og få indfødte forstod den. Kroppene af kopperofre hobede sig op i Tenochtitlán -gaderne, og med byen under belejring var der få tilgængelige måder at bortskaffe ligene på.

Spanierne og deres allierede blev taget ind som fanger (aztekerne havde en tendens til at holde fangede fanger for at ofre til guderne i stedet for at dræbe dem i kamp), og der blev efterladt spor af virussen på tøj, hår og på ligene af dem, der havde haft sygdommen. Da beboere i Tenochtitlán blev smittet med kopper, havde de ikke noget sted at søge hjælp. Aztekernes præster og praktiserende læger kendte ikke til noget middel, og beboere i Tenochtitlán havde ringe immunitet.

Det spanske besatte bedre våben

Erobrerne ankom til Mesoamerika med stålsværd, musketter, kanoner, gedder, armbrøst, hunde og heste. Ingen af ​​disse aktiver var endnu blevet brugt i kamp i Amerika. Aztekerne kæmpede mod spanskerne med træspidser, køller og spyd, der var kantet med obsidianblade. Men deres våben viste sig at være ineffektive mod conquistadorernes metalpanser og skjolde.

Da spanierne ankom til Amerika, kom de fra en krigsorienteret kultur, der havde set kamp mod andre europæiske nationer om dominans og mod nordafrikanere om suverænitet. Erobrerne ankom til Mesoamerica med bedre kanoner og var blevet trænet i taktiske strategier. De indsatte et kavaleri, der kunne jage tilbagetogende krigere, hunde trænet til at opspore og omringe fjender og heste, der kunne trampe modstandere.

Op mod store hære af spanske og indfødte styrker, omgivet og afskåret fra fastlandet, og med en befolkning der bukkede under for en ukendt, ødelæggende virus, var aztekernes imperium ikke i stand til at bekæmpe de invaderende spanske erobrere.

Kilder

"Cada Uno En Su Bolsa Llevar Lo Que Cien Indios No Llevarían: Mexica Resistance and the Form of Currency in New Spain, 1542-1552." af Allison Caplan, American Journal of Numismatics (1989-), bind 25, 2013, s. 333–356. JSTOR.

"Jeronimo de Aguilar," American Historical Association.

"Aztec Warfare Imperial Expansion and Political Control" af Ross Hassig, University of Oklahoma Press, 1988, s. 244.

"Søgning efter naturens hemmeligheder Dr. Francisco Hernández 'liv og værker" af Dora B. Weiner, Stanford University Press, 2000, s. 86.

"Vira, plager og historie fortid, nutid og fremtid" af Michael B. Oldstone, Oxford University Press, 2020, s. 46.

“Så hvorfor blev aztekerne erobret, og hvad var de bredere konsekvenser? Test af militær overlegenhed som årsag til Europas præindustrielle koloniale erobringer, "af George Raudzens. War in History, bind. 2, nej. 1, 1995, s. 87–104. JSTOR. Adgang til 18. maj 2021.


Kilder

"Cada Uno En Su Bolsa Llevar Lo Que Cien Indios No Llevar & iacutean: Mexica Resistance and the Shape of Currency in New Spain, 1542-1552. & Rdquo af Allison Caplan, American Journal of Numismatics (1989-), bind 25, 2013, s. . 333 & ndash356. JSTOR.

& ldquoAztec Warfare Imperial Expansion and Political Control, & rdquo af Ross Hassig, University of Oklahoma Press, 1988, s. 244.

& ldquoSøgning efter naturens hemmeligheder The Life and Works of Dr. Francisco Herna ́ndez, & rdquo af Dora B. Weiner, Stanford University Press, 2000, s. 86.

& ldquoVirus, plager og historie Fortid, nutid og fremtid, & rdquo af Michael B. Oldstone, Oxford University Press, 2020, s. 46.

& ldquoSå hvorfor blev aztekerne erobret, og hvad var de bredere konsekvenser? Test af militær overlegenhed som årsag til Europas præindustrielle koloniale erobringer og rdquo af George Raudzens. War in History, bind. 2, nej. 1, 1995, s. 87 & ndash104. JSTOR. Adgang til 18. maj 2021.


Den aztekiske gud Quetzalcoatl

Cortés tog derefter ud til det mexicanske interiør på sin march til Tenochtitlán, nogle gange ty til tvang, nogle gange viste amity mod de lokale indfødte amerikanere, men altid omhyggelig med at holde konflikten på et minimum, fordi hans mål var byens rigdom. Da nationen Tlaxcala var involveret i en kronisk krig med aztekernes imperium, indså dets ledere, at det ville være til deres fordel at blive allierede til Cortés og dermed give ham flere tusinde krigere. Da han kom ind i byen Tenochtitlán den 8. november 1519, havde han en lille styrke af spanske soldater og en kontingent af Tlaxcalans. Motecuhzoma modstod ikke Cortés og troede, at han måske havde
været en inkarnation af den aztekiske gud Quetzalcoatl. Cortés besluttede at tage byen og med Malinche's medhjælper overtalte Motecuhzoma til at blive hans fange.

Breve til kong Charles V.

Det er i løbet af denne tid, at han begyndte at skrive det andet af sine fem breve til kong Charles V. Det løbende tema for alle fem breve er, at Cortés er en stor mand, der vil bringe rigdom og ære til Charles V, mens han overvinder fantastiske forhindringer, som præsenteres af indfødte amerikanere og spaniere. Mange af disse breve starter med sætninger som "Store og mægtige, meget katolske prins og mest uovervindelige kejser" (Gomez s. 160, 310). Det er indlysende, at Cortés forsøger at imponere kongen og rationalisere sine handlinger som de facto guvernør i New Spain. Det andet brev påstår, at muslimernes udvisning fra byen Granada i 1492 ligner hans egne handlinger mod indfødte amerikanere i New Spain. Det hedder også, at han ikke forråder ordre fra Velasquez i Cuba, han spreder den kristne tro til indfødte amerikanere. Brevene indeholder også detaljer om militære kapaciteter, såsom hvor mange heste der skal til for at krydse en bro, tempelvæggenes højde, pilenes evne til at nå disse vægge og deres lette klatring over dem. Indeholder også en beskrivelse af Motecuhzoma og hovedstadens layout.


Den dødeligste sygdom i historien hjalp med at erobre aztekerne - Nationer skal lære af historien, når det kommer til udbrud

De seneste udbrud i USA har gjort opmærksom på farerne ved mæslinger. Den Demokratiske Republik Congo bekæmper et dødeligt udbrud af ebola, der har dræbt hundredvis.

Epidemier er naturligvis ikke noget nyt. Og nogle udbredte smitsomme sygdomme har dybt ændret menneskehedens forløb.

For fem hundrede år siden, i februar 1519, sejlede spanieren Hern & aacuten Cort & eacutes fra Cuba for at udforske og kolonisere aztekernes civilisation i det mexicanske indre. Inden for kun to år var aztekernes hersker Montezuma død, hovedstaden Tenochtitlan blev taget til fange, og Cort & eacutes havde krævet aztekernes imperium for Spanien. Spansk våben og taktik spillede en rolle, men størstedelen af ​​ødelæggelsen blev udført af epidemier af europæiske sygdomme.

Erobringen af ​​det aztekerke

Efter at have hjulpet med at erobre Cuba for spanskerne, fik Cort & eacutes til opgave at lede en ekspedition til fastlandet. Da hans lille flåde landede, beordrede han sine skibe ødelagt, hvilket eliminerede enhver mulighed for tilbagetrækning og formidlede dybden af ​​hans beslutsomhed.

Cort & eacutes med sine 500 mand tog derefter ind i det mexicanske interiør. Denne region var hjemsted for aztekernes civilisation, et imperium med anslået 16 millioner mennesker på dette tidspunkt. Gennem et system til erobring og hyldest havde aztekerne etableret den store øby Tenochtitlan i Texcoco -søen, der herskede over et område på omkring 80.000 kvadratkilometer.

Cort & eacutes opdagede udbredt harme over for hovedstaden og dens hersker og indgik alliancer med mange lokale. Selvom det var i stort antal, marcherede han og en lille styrke på Tenochtitlan, hvor Montezuma modtog dem med ære. Til gengæld tog Cort & eacutes Montezuma til fange.

Det tog Cort & eacutes to år, men han erobrede endelig aztekernes hovedstad i august 1521. Hans allierede i denne kamp var de europæiske bakterier, han og hans mænd uforvarende havde med sig.

Cort & eacutes mikroskopiske hemmelige våben

Selvom Cort & eacutes var en dygtig leder, ville han og hans styrke på måske 1.000 spaniere og indfødte allierede ikke have været i stand til at overvinde en by på 200.000 uden hjælp. Han fik det i form af en koppe -epidemi, der gradvist spredte sig indad fra Mexicos kyst og decimerede den tætbefolkede by Tenochtitlan i 1520, hvilket reducerede dens befolkning med 40 procent på et enkelt år.

Kopper er forårsaget af en inhaleret virus, der forårsager feber, opkastning og udslæt, der snart dækker kroppen med væskefyldte blærer. Disse bliver til skorper, der efterlader ar. Dødelig i cirka en tredjedel af tilfældene udvikler en anden tredjedel af dem, der er ramt af sygdommen, typisk blindhed.

Kopper eksisterede i oldtiden i egyptiske, indiske og kinesiske kulturer. Det forblev endemisk i menneskelige befolkninger i årtusinder og kom til Europa under det 11. århundredes korstog. Da europæerne begyndte at udforske og kolonisere andre dele af verden, rejste kopper med dem.

De indfødte i Amerika, herunder aztekerne, var særligt sårbare over for kopper, fordi de aldrig havde været udsat for virussen og dermed ikke havde nogen naturlig immunitet. Ingen effektive antivirale behandlinger var tilgængelige.

Et offer, der huskede epidemien, rapporterede:

"Pesten varede i 70 dage, ramte overalt i byen og dræbte et stort antal af vores mennesker. Sår brød ud i vores ansigter, vores bryster, vores maver vi var dækket af kvalende sår fra hoved til fod."

En franciskaner munk, der fulgte med Cort & eacutes, gav denne beskrivelse:

"Da indianerne ikke kendte til afhjælpningen af ​​sygdommen, døde de i dynger, som væggelus. Mange steder skete det, at alle i et hus døde, og da det var umuligt at begrave det store antal døde, trak de ned huse over dem, så deres hjem blev deres grave. "

Kopper tog sin vej på aztekerne på flere måder. For det første dræbte det mange af dets ofre direkte, især spædbørn og små børn. Mange andre voksne var uarbejdsdygtige af sygdommen og fordi de enten var syge selv, plejede syge slægtninge og naboer eller simpelthen mistede viljen til at modstå spanierne, da de så sygdom hærge dem omkring dem. Endelig kunne folk ikke længere passe deres afgrøder, hvilket førte til udbredt hungersnød, hvilket yderligere svækkede immunsystemet for overlevende fra epidemien.

Sygdom kan drive menneskets historie

Aztekerne var naturligvis ikke de eneste oprindelige mennesker, der led af indførelsen af ​​europæiske sygdomme. Ud over Nordamerikas indianer, blev maya- og inka -civilisationerne også næsten udslettet af kopper. Og andre europæiske sygdomme, såsom mæslinger og fåresyge, tog også betydelige vejafgifter og sammen reducerede nogle oprindelige befolkninger i den nye verden med 90 procent eller mere. Nylige undersøgelser har antydet, at andre infektiøse midler, såsom Salmonella og mdashknown for at forårsage samtidige udbrud blandt dyreejere og mdashmay, kan have forårsaget yderligere epidemier.

Koppernes evne til at invalidere og decimere befolkninger gjorde det til et attraktivt middel til biologisk krigsførelse. I 1700 -tallet forsøgte briterne at inficere indianer. En kommandør skrev: "Vi gav dem to tæpper og et lommetørklæde ud af kopperhospitalet. Jeg håber, at det får den ønskede effekt." Under anden verdenskrig undersøgte britiske, amerikanske, japanske og sovjetiske hold alle muligheden for at producere et biologisk våben til kopper.

Heldigvis har verdensomspændende vaccinationsindsats været en succes, og det sidste naturligt forekommende tilfælde af sygdommen blev diagnosticeret i 1977. Det sidste tilfælde opstod i 1978, da en fotograf døde af sygdommen, hvilket fik forskeren, hvis forskning hun dækkede til at tage sin egen liv.

Mange store møder i verdenshistorien, herunder Cort & eacutes sammenstød med aztekernes imperium, havde mindre at gøre med våben, taktik og strategi end med sygdommens hærgen. Nationer, der formoder, at de strengt kan sikre sig gennem investeringer i militære udgifter, bør studere historie og tid og igen og igen er hændelsesforløbet endeligt blevet ændret af sygdomsudbrud. Mikrober, der er for små til at blive set med det blotte øje, kan gøre ineffektive selv krigens mægtigste maskineri.

Richard Gunderman er kanslerprofessor i medicin, liberal kunst og filantropi ved Indiana University

Denne artikel er genudgivet fra The Conversation under en Creative Commons -licens. Læs den originale artikel.


Indhold

Cortés brugte selv formen "Hernando" eller "Fernando" til sit fornavn, som det ses i hans underskrift og titlen på et tidligt portræt. [2] William Hickling Prescott's Erobring af Mexico (1843) omtaler ham også som Hernando Cortés. På et tidspunkt begyndte forfattere at bruge den forkortede form for "Hernán" mere generelt.

Der findes ingen portrætter i løbet af Hernan Cortes 'levetid, men den bedst kendte beretning om erobringen af ​​Aztec -imperiet, skrevet af Bernal Díaz del Castillo, giver en detaljeret beskrivelse af Hernan Cortes' fysiske udseende:

Han var af god statur og krop, velproportioneret og kraftig, ansigtets farve var noget grå, ikke særlig munter, og et længere ansigt ville have passet ham mere. Hans øjne virkede til tider kærlige og til tider alvorlige og alvorlige. Hans skæg var sort og sparsomt, ligesom hans hår, som han dengang sportede på samme måde som sit skæg. Han havde et højt bryst, en velformet ryg og var magert med lille mave. [3]

Cortés blev født i 1485 i byen Medellín, dengang en landsby i kongeriget Castilla, nu en kommune i den moderne provins Badajoz i Extremadura, Spanien. Hans far, Martín Cortés de Monroy, født i 1449 af Rodrigo eller Ruy Fernández de Monroy og hans kone María Cortés, var infanterikaptajn af fornem herkomst, men slanke midler. Hernáns mor var Catalína Pizarro Altamirano. [4]

Gennem sin mor var Hernán anden fætter, der engang blev fjernet af Francisco Pizarro, som senere erobrede Inka-imperiet i det moderne Peru og ikke at forveksle med en anden Francisco Pizarro, der sluttede sig til Cortés for at erobre aztekerne. (Hans mormor, Leonor Sánchez Pizarro Altamirano, var fætter til Pizarros far Gonzalo Pizarro y Rodriguez.) [4] Gennem sin far var Hernán i familie med Nicolás de Ovando, den tredje guvernør i Hispaniola. Hans fader oldefar var Rodrigo de Monroy y Almaraz, 5. Lord of Monroy.

Ifølge hans biograf, kapellan og ven Francisco López de Gómara var Cortés bleg og syg som barn. I en alder af 14 blev han sendt for at studere latin under en onkel i Salamanca. Moderne historikere har misforstået denne personlige vejledning som tid indskrevet på University of Salamanca. [5]

Efter to år vendte Cortés hjem til Medellín, til stor irritation for hans forældre, der havde håbet at se ham rustet til en rentabel advokatkarriere. Disse to år i Salamanca, plus hans lange uddannelsesperiode og erfaring som notar, først i Valladolid og senere i Hispaniola, gav ham imidlertid kendskab til de juridiske koder i Castilla, som han anvendte for at retfærdiggøre hans uautoriserede erobring af Mexico. [6]

På dette tidspunkt i sit liv blev Cortés beskrevet af Gómara som hensynsløs, hovmodig og uartig. [7] Den 16-årige ungdom var vendt hjem for at føle et begrænset liv i sin lille provinsby. På dette tidspunkt strømmede nyheden om de spændende opdagelser af Christopher Columbus i den nye verden tilbage til Spanien.

Der blev planlagt, at Cortés skulle sejle til Amerika med en familiekendt og fjern slægtning, Nicolás de Ovando, den nyudnævnte guvernør i Hispaniola. (Denne ø er nu delt mellem Haiti og Den Dominikanske Republik). Cortés pådrog sig en skade og blev forhindret i at rejse. Han tilbragte det næste år på at vandre rundt i landet og tilbragte sandsynligvis det meste af sin tid i Spaniens sydlige havne Cadiz, Palos, Sanlucar og Sevilla. Han forlod endelig til Hispaniola i 1504 og blev kolonist. [8]

Ankomst

Cortés nåede Hispaniola i et skib under kommando af Alonso Quintero, der forsøgte at bedrage sine overordnede og nå den nye verden før dem for at sikre personlige fordele. Quinteros mutinous adfærd kan have tjent som model for Cortés i hans efterfølgende karriere. Conquistadores historie er fyldt med beretninger om rivalisering, jockeying om stillinger, mytteri og forræderi. [9]

Da han ankom i 1504 til Santo Domingo, hovedstaden i Hispaniola, gav den 18-årige Cortés registreret som borger ham ret til en byggegrund og jord til gård. Kort tid efter gav guvernør Nicolás de Ovando ham en encomienda og udnævnte ham til notar for byen Azua de Compostela. Hans næste fem år syntes at hjælpe med at etablere ham i kolonien i 1506, Cortés deltog i erobringen af ​​Hispaniola og Cuba. Ekspeditionslederen tildelte ham et stort landområde og indiske slaver for hans indsats. [ citat nødvendig ]

Cuba (1511–1519)

I 1511 ledsagede Cortés Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, en medhjælper for guvernøren i Hispaniola, i sin ekspedition for at erobre Cuba. Velázquez blev udnævnt til guvernør i det nye Spanien. I en alder af 26 blev Cortés stillet til ekspedient hos kassereren med ansvaret for at sikre, at kronen modtog quinto, eller sædvanlig en femtedel af overskuddet fra ekspeditionen.

Velázquez var så imponeret over Cortés, at han sikrede ham en høj politisk position i kolonien. Han blev sekretær for guvernør Velázquez. Cortés blev to gange udnævnt til kommunal magistrat (alkalde) i Santiago. I Cuba blev Cortés en substansmand med en encomienda at skaffe indisk arbejdskraft til sine miner og kvæg. Denne nye magtposition gjorde ham også til den nye kilde til lederskab, som modsatte kræfter i kolonien derefter kunne henvende sig til. I 1514 ledede Cortés en gruppe, der forlangte, at flere indere blev tildelt nybyggerne.

Efterhånden som tiden gik, blev forholdet mellem Cortés og guvernør Velázquez anstrengt. [10] Dette begyndte, da nyheden nåede frem til Velázquez, at Juan de Grijalva havde etableret en koloni på fastlandet, hvor der var et bonanza af sølv og guld, og Velázquez besluttede at sende ham hjælp. Cortés blev udnævnt til kaptajn-general for denne nye ekspedition i oktober 1518, men blev rådet til at bevæge sig hurtigt, før Velázquez ændrede mening. [10]

Med Cortés 'erfaring som administrator, viden opnået fra mange mislykkede ekspeditioner, og hans upåklagelige retorik var han i stand til at samle seks skibe og 300 mand inden for en måned. Velázquezs jalousi eksploderede, og han besluttede at lægge ekspeditionen i andre hænder. Imidlertid samlede Cortés hurtigt flere mænd og skibe i andre cubanske havne.

Cortés fandt også tid til at blive romantisk involveret i Catalina Xuárez (eller Juárez), svigerinde til guvernør Velázquez. En del af Velázquez 'utilfredshed synes at have været baseret på en tro på, at Cortés var bagatellisk med Catalinas følelser. Cortés blev midlertidigt distraheret af en af ​​Catalinas søstre, men giftede sig endelig modvilligt med Catalina under pres fra guvernør Velázquez. Men ved at gøre det håbede han at sikre både hendes families og Velázquez 'gode vilje. [11]

Det var først, da han havde været næsten 15 år i Indien, at Cortés begyndte at se ud over sin betydelige status som borgmester i Cubas hovedstad og som en sagsmand i den blomstrende koloni. Han savnede de to første ekspeditioner under ordre fra Francisco Hernández de Córdoba og derefter Juan de Grijalva, sendt af Diego Velázquez til Mexico i 1518.

I 1518 satte Velázquez Cortés i kommando over en ekspedition for at udforske og sikre det indre af Mexico til kolonisering. I sidste øjeblik, på grund af det gamle argument mellem de to, ændrede Velázquez mening og tilbagekaldte Cortés 'charter. Han ignorerede ordrerne, og i en handling med åben mytteri gik han alligevel i februar 1519. Han stoppede i Trinidad, Cuba, for at ansætte flere soldater og skaffe flere heste. Ledsaget af omkring 11 skibe, 500 mand (inklusive garvede slaver [12]), 13 heste og et lille antal kanoner landede Cortés på Yucatán -halvøen på mayaområdet. [13] Der stødte han på Geronimo de Aguilar, en spansk franciskanerpræst, der havde overlevet et skibsvrag efterfulgt af en periode i fangenskab med Mayaerne, inden han slap. [13] Aguilar havde lært Chontal Maya -sproget og kunne oversætte til Cortés. [14]

Cortés militære erfaring var næsten ikke -eksisterende, men han viste sig at være en effektiv leder af sin lille hær og vandt tidlige sejre over kystindianerne. [15] I marts 1519 krævede Cortés formelt jorden for den spanske krone. Derefter gik han videre til Tabasco, hvor han mødte modstand og vandt en kamp mod de indfødte. Han modtog tyve unge indfødte kvinder fra de besejrede indfødte, og han konverterede dem alle til kristendom. [14]

Blandt disse kvinder var La Malinche, hans kommende elskerinde og mor til hans søn Martín. [1] Malinche kendte både Nahuatl -sproget og Chontal Maya, hvilket gjorde det muligt for Cortés at kommunikere med aztekerne gennem Aguilar. [16]: 82, 86–87 I San Juan de Ulúa påskedag 1519 mødtes Cortés med Moctezuma IIs guvernører i Tecile Empire Tendile og Pitalpitoque. [16]: 89

I juli 1519 overtog hans mænd Veracruz. Ved denne handling afviste Cortés guvernøren i Cuba til at placere sig direkte under kong Charles 'ordrer. [13] For at fjerne enhver ide om tilbagetog, skød Cortés sine skibe. [17]

Marts på Tenochtitlán

I Veracruz mødte han nogle af aztekernes bifloder og bad dem om at arrangere et møde med Moctezuma II, tlatoani (hersker) af aztekernes rige. [17] Moctezuma afviste gentagne gange mødet, men Cortés var bestemt. Efterladt hundrede mand i Veracruz marcherede Cortés på Tenochtitlán i midten af ​​august 1519 sammen med 600 soldater, 15 ryttere, 15 kanoner og hundredvis af oprindelige transportører og krigere. [13]

På vej til Tenochtitlán indgik Cortés alliancer med oprindelige folk som Totonacs i Cempoala og Nahuas i Tlaxcala. Otomierne indledningsvis og derefter Tlaxcalans kæmpede med spanierne i en række på tre kampe fra den 2. til den 5. september 1519, og på et tidspunkt bemærkede Diaz, "de omringede os på alle sider". Efter at Cortés fortsatte med at frigive fanger med fredsbudskaber og indså, at spanierne var fjender af Moctezuma, overtalte Xicotencatl den Ældre og Maxixcatzin Tlaxcalan -krigsføreren, Xicotencatl den Yngre, at det ville være bedre at alliere sig med de nyankomne end at dræbe dem. [16]: 143–55, 171

I oktober 1519 marcherede Cortés og hans mænd ledsaget af omkring 1.000 Tlaxcalteca, [16]: 188 til Cholula, den næststørste by i det centrale Mexico. Cortés, enten i en præ-mediteret indsats for at indgyde frygt for aztekerne, der ventede på ham i Tenochtitlan, eller (som han senere hævdede, da han blev undersøgt), ønskede at tage et eksempel, da han frygtede indfødt forræderi, massakrerede tusinder af ubevæbnede medlemmer af adelen samlede sig på den centrale plads, og brændte derefter delvist byen. [16]: 199–200

Da han ankom til Tenochtitlán, havde spanierne en stor hær. Den 8. november 1519 blev de fredeligt modtaget af Moctezuma II. [18] Moctezuma lod bevidst Cortés komme ind i Aztekernes hovedstad, øen Tenochtitlán, i håb om at lære deres svagheder bedre at kende og knuse dem senere. [13]

Moctezuma gav overdådige guldgaver til spanierne, som i stedet for at berolige dem begejstrede deres ambitioner om plyndring. I sine breve til kong Charles hævdede Cortés på dette tidspunkt at have lært, at han af aztekerne blev anset for enten at være en udsending fra den fjerormede slangegud Quetzalcoatl eller Quetzalcoatl selv - en tro, der er blevet bestridt af et par moderne historikere. [19] Men hurtigt fik Cortés at vide, at flere spaniere ved kysten var blevet dræbt af aztekerne, mens de støttede Totonacs, og besluttede at tage Moctezuma som gidsel i sit palads og indirekte herskede Tenochtitlán gennem ham. [20]

I mellemtiden sendte Velázquez en anden ekspedition, ledet af Pánfilo de Narváez, for at modsætte sig Cortés, der ankom til Mexico i april 1520 med 1.100 mand. [13] Cortés efterlod 200 mand i Tenochtitlán og tog resten for at konfrontere Narváez. Han overvandt Narváez, på trods af hans numeriske mindreværd, og overbeviste resten af ​​Narváezs mænd om at slutte sig til ham. [13] I Mexico begik en af ​​Cortés løjtnanter Pedro de Alvarado massakre i det store tempel, der udløser et lokalt oprør. [21]

Cortés vendte hurtigt tilbage til Tenochtitlán. 1. juli 1520 blev Moctezuma dræbt. Over for en fjendtlig befolkning besluttede Cortés at flygte til Tlaxcala. Under Noche Triste (30. juni - 1. juli 1520) lykkedes spanierne en smal flugt fra Tenochtitlán over Tlacopan -motorvejen, mens deres bagvagt blev massakreret. Meget af den skat, der blev plyndret af Cortés, gik tabt (såvel som hans artilleri) under denne paniske flugt fra Tenochtitlán. [13]

Ødelæggelse af Tenochtitlán

Efter en kamp i Otumba formåede de at nå Tlaxcala, efter at have mistet 870 mand. [13] Med bistand fra deres allierede sejrede Cortés mænd endelig med forstærkninger, der ankom fra Cuba. Cortés begyndte en nedslidningspolitik over for Tenochtitlán, afbryder forsyninger og dæmper aztekernes allierede byer. During the siege he would construct brigantines in the lake and slowly destroy blocks of the city to avoid fighting in an urban setting. The Mexicas would fall back to Tlatelolco and even succeed in ambushing the pursuing Spanish forces, inflicting heavy losses, but would ultimately be the last portion of the island that resisted the conquistadores. The siege of Tenochtitlán ended with Spanish victory and the destruction of the city. [1] [22]

In January 1521, Cortés countered a conspiracy against him, headed by Antonio de Villafana, who was hanged for the offense. [13] Finally, with the capture of Cuauhtémoc, the tlatoani (ruler) of Tenochtitlán, on August 13, 1521, the Aztec Empire was captured, and Cortés was able to claim it for Spain, thus renaming the city Mexico City. From 1521 to 1524, Cortés personally governed Mexico. [13]

Many historical sources have conveyed an impression that Cortés was unjustly treated by the Spanish Crown, and that he received nothing but ingratitude for his role in establishing New Spain. This picture is the one Cortés presents in his letters and in the later biography written by Francisco López de Gómara. However, there may be more to the picture than this. Cortés's own sense of accomplishment, entitlement, and vanity may have played a part in his deteriorating position with the king:

Cortés personally was not ungenerously rewarded, but he speedily complained of insufficient compensation to himself and his comrades. Thinking himself beyond reach of restraint, he disobeyed many of the orders of the Crown, and, what was more imprudent, said so in a letter to the emperor, dated October 15, 1524 (Ycazbalceta, "Documentos para la Historia de México", Mexico, 1858, I). In this letter Cortés, besides recalling in a rather abrupt manner that the conquest of Mexico was due to him alone, deliberately acknowledges his disobedience in terms which could not fail to create a most unfavourable impression. [23]

King Charles appointed Cortés as governor, captain general and chief justice of the newly conquered territory, dubbed "New Spain of the Ocean Sea". But also, much to the dismay of Cortés, four royal officials were appointed at the same time to assist him in his governing – in effect, submitting him to close observation and administration. Cortés initiated the construction of Mexico City, destroying Aztec temples and buildings and then rebuilding on the Aztec ruins what soon became the most important European city in the Americas. [13]

Cortés managed the founding of new cities and appointed men to extend Spanish rule to all of New Spain, imposing the encomienda system in 1524. [13] He reserved many encomiendas for himself and for his retinue, which they considered just rewards for their accomplishment in conquering central Mexico. However, later arrivals and members of factions antipathetic to Cortés complained of the favoritism that excluded them. [24]

In 1523, the Crown (possibly influenced by Cortés's enemy, Bishop Fonseca), [25] sent a military force under the command of Francisco de Garay to conquer and settle the northern part of Mexico, the region of Pánuco. This was another setback for Cortés who mentioned this in his fourth letter to the King in which he describes himself as the victim of a conspiracy by his archenemies Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, Diego Columbus and Bishop Fonseca as well as Francisco Garay. The influence of Garay was effectively stopped by this appeal to the King who sent out a decree forbidding Garay to interfere in the politics of New Spain, causing him to give up without a fight.

Although Cortés had flouted the authority of Diego Velázquez in sailing to the mainland and then leading an expedition of conquest, Cortés's spectacular success was rewarded by the crown with a coat of arms, a mark of high honor, following the conqueror's request. The document granting the coat of arms summarizes Cortés's accomplishments in the conquest of Mexico. The proclamation of the king says in part:

We, respecting the many labors, dangers, and adventures which you underwent as stated above, and so that there might remain a perpetual memorial of you and your services and that you and your descendants might be more fully honored . it is our will that besides your coat of arms of your lineage, which you have, you may have and bear as your coat of arms, known and recognized, a shield . [26] : 43

The grant specifies the iconography of the coat of arms, the central portion divided into quadrants. In the upper portion, there is a "black eagle with two heads on a white field, which are the arms of the empire". [26] : 43 Below that is a "golden lion on a red field, in memory of the fact that you, the said Hernando Cortés, by your industry and effort brought matters to the state described above" (i.e., the conquest). [26] : 43 The specificity of the other two quadrants is linked directly to Mexico, with one quadrant showing three crowns representing the three Aztec emperors of the conquest era, Moctezuma, Cuitlahuac, and Cuauhtemoc [26] : 43 and the other showing the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. [26] : 43 Encircling the central shield are symbols of the seven city-states around the lake and their lords that Cortés defeated, with the lords "to be shown as prisoners bound with a chain which shall be closed with a lock beneath the shield". [26] : 44–45

Cortés's wife Catalina Súarez arrived in New Spain around summer 1522, along with her sister and brother. [27] His marriage to Catalina was at this point extremely awkward, since she was a kinswoman of the governor of Cuba, Diego Velázquez, whose authority Cortés had thrown off and who was therefore now his enemy. Catalina lacked the noble title of doña, so at this point his marriage with her no longer raised his status. Their marriage had been childless. Since Cortés had sired children with a variety of indigenous women, including a son around 1522 by his cultural translator, Doña Marina, Cortés knew he was capable of fathering children. Cortés's only male heir at this point was illegitimate, but nonetheless named after Cortés's father, Martín Cortés. This son Martín Cortés was sometimes called "El Mestizo". [ citat nødvendig ]

Catalina Suárez died under mysterious circumstances the night of November 1–2, 1522. There were accusations at the time that Cortés had murdered his wife. [1] There was an investigation into her death, interviewing a variety of household residents and others. [28] The documentation of the investigation was published in the nineteenth century in Mexico and these archival documents were uncovered in the twentieth century. [29] [30] The death of Catalina Suárez produced a scandal and investigation, but Cortés was now free to marry someone of high status more appropriate to his wealth and power. In 1526, he built an imposing residence for himself, the Palace of Cortés in Cuernavaca, in a region close to the capital where he had extensive encomienda holdings. In 1529 he had been accorded the noble designation of don, but more importantly was given the noble title of Marquess of the Valley of Oaxaca and married the Spanish noblewoman Doña Juana de Zúñiga. The marriage produced three children, including another son, who was also named Martín. As the first-born legitimate son, Don Martín Cortés y Zúñiga was now Cortés's heir and succeeded him as holder of the title and estate of the Marquessate of the Valley of Oaxaca. [31] Cortés's legitimate daughters were Doña Maria, Doña Catalina, and Doña Juana. [32]

Since the conversion to Christianity of indigenous peoples was an essential and integral part of the extension of Spanish power, making formal provisions for that conversion once the military conquest was completed was an important task for Cortés. During the Age of Discovery, the Catholic Church had seen early attempts at conversion in the Caribbean islands by Spanish friars, particularly the mendicant orders. Cortés made a request to the Spanish monarch to send Franciscan and Dominican friars to Mexico to convert the vast indigenous populations to Christianity. In his fourth letter to the king, Cortés pleaded for friars rather than diocesan or secular priests because those clerics were in his view a serious danger to the Indians' conversion.

If these people [Indians] were now to see the affairs of the Church and the service of God in the hands of canons or other dignitaries, and saw them indulge in the vices and profanities now common in Spain, knowing that such men were the ministers of God, it would bring our Faith into much harm that I believe any further preaching would be of no avail. [33]

He wished the mendicants to be the main evangelists. Mendicant friars did not usually have full priestly powers to perform all the sacraments needed for conversion of the Indians and growth of the neophytes in the Christian faith, so Cortés laid out a solution to this to the king.

Your Majesty should likewise beseech His Holiness [the pope] to grant these powers to the two principal persons in the religious orders that are to come here, and that they should be his delegates, one from the Order of St. Francis and the other from the Order of St. Dominic. They should bring the most extensive powers Your Majesty is able to obtain, for, because these lands are so far from the Church of Rome, and we, the Christians who now reside here and shall do so in the future, are so far from the proper remedies of our consciences and, as we are human, so subject to sin, it is essential that His Holiness should be generous with us and grant to these persons most extensive powers, to be handed down to persons actually in residence here whether it be given to the general of each order or to his provincials. [34]

The Franciscans arrived in May 1524, a symbolically powerful group of twelve known as the Twelve Apostles of Mexico, led by Fray Martín de Valencia. Franciscan Geronimo de Mendieta claimed that Cortés's most important deed was the way he met this first group of Franciscans. The conqueror himself was said to have met the friars as they approached the capital, kneeling at the feet of the friars who had walked from the coast. This story was told by Franciscans to demonstrate Cortés piety and humility and was a powerful message to all, including the Indians, that Cortés's earthly power was subordinate to the spiritual power of the friars. However, one of the first twelve Franciscans, Fray Toribio de Benavente Motolinia does not mention it in his history. [35] Cortés and the Franciscans had a particularly strong alliance in Mexico, with Franciscans seeing him as "the new Moses" for conquering Mexico and opening it to Christian evangelization. In Motolinia's 1555 response to Dominican Bartolomé de Las Casas, he praises Cortés.

And as to those who murmur against the Marqués del Valle [Cortés], God rest him, and who try to blacken and obscure his deeds, I believe that before God their deeds are not as acceptable as those of the Marqués. Although as a human he was a sinner, he had faith and works of a good Christian, and a great desire to employ his life and property in widening and augmenting the fair of Jesus Christ, and dying for the conversion of these gentiles . Who has loved and defended the Indians of this new world like Cortés? . Through this captain, God opened the door for us to preach his holy gospel and it was he who caused the Indians to revere the holy sacraments and respect the ministers of the church. [36]

In Fray Bernardino de Sahagún's 1585 revision of the conquest narrative first codified as Book XII of the Florentine Codex, there are laudatory references to Cortés that do not appear in the earlier text from the indigenous perspective. Whereas Book XII of the Florentine Codex concludes with an account of Spaniards' search for gold, in Sahagún's 1585 revised account, he ends with praise of Cortés for requesting the Franciscans be sent to Mexico to convert the Indians. [37]

From 1524 to 1526, Cortés headed an expedition to Honduras where he defeated Cristóbal de Olid, who had claimed Honduras as his own under the influence of the Governor of Cuba Diego Velázquez. Fearing that Cuauhtémoc might head an insurrection in Mexico, he brought him with him to Honduras. In a controversial move, Cuauhtémoc was executed during the journey. Raging over Olid's treason, Cortés issued a decree to arrest Velázquez, whom he was sure was behind Olid's treason. This, however, only served to further estrange the Crown of Castile and the Council of Indies, both of which were already beginning to feel anxious about Cortés's rising power. [38]

Cortés's fifth letter to King Charles attempts to justify his conduct, concludes with a bitter attack on "various and powerful rivals and enemies" who have "obscured the eyes of your Majesty". [39] Charles, who was also Holy Roman Emperor, had little time for distant colonies (much of Charles's reign was taken up with wars with France, the German Protestants and the expanding Ottoman Empire), [40] except insofar as they contributed to finance his wars. In 1521, year of the Conquest, Charles was attending to matters in his German domains and Bishop Adrian of Utrecht functioned as regent in Spain.

Velázquez and Fonseca persuaded the regent to appoint a commissioner (a Juez de residencia, Luis Ponce de León) with powers to investigate Cortés's conduct and even arrest him. Cortés was once quoted as saying that it was "more difficult to contend against [his] own countrymen than against the Aztecs." [41] Governor Diego Velázquez continued to be a thorn in his side, teaming up with Bishop Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca, chief of the Spanish colonial department, to undermine him in the Council of the Indies.

A few days after Cortés's return from his expedition, Ponce de León suspended Cortés from his office of governor of New Spain. The Licentiate then fell ill and died shortly after his arrival, appointing Marcos de Aguilar as alcalde mayor. The aged Aguilar also became sick and appointed Alonso de Estrada governor, who was confirmed in his functions by a royal decree in August 1527. Cortés, suspected of poisoning them, refrained from taking over the government.

Estrada sent Diego de Figueroa to the south. De Figueroa raided graveyards and extorted contributions, meeting his end when the ship carrying these treasures sank. Albornoz persuaded Alonso de Estrada to release Gonzalo de Salazar and Chirinos. When Cortés complained angrily after one of his adherents' hands was cut off, Estrada ordered him exiled. Cortés sailed for Spain in 1528 to appeal to King Charles.

First return to Spain (1528) and Marquessate of the Valley of Oaxaca

In 1528, Cortés returned to Spain to appeal to the justice of his master, Charles V. Juan Altamirano and Alonso Valiente stayed in Mexico and acted as Cortés' representatives during his absence. Cortés presented himself with great splendor before Charles V's court. By this time Charles had returned and Cortés forthrightly responded to his enemy's charges. Denying he had held back on gold due the crown, he showed that he had contributed more than the quinto (one-fifth) required. Indeed, he had spent lavishly to build the new capital of Mexico City on the ruins of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, leveled during the siege that brought down the Aztec empire.

He was received by Charles with every distinction, and decorated with the order of Santiago. In return for his efforts in expanding the still young Spanish Empire, Cortés was rewarded in 1529 by being accorded the noble title of don but more importantly named the "Marqués del Valle de Oaxaca" (Marquess of the Valley of Oaxaca and married the Spanish noblewoman Doña Juana Zúñiga, after the 1522 death of his much less distinguished first wife, Catalina Suárez. The noble title and senorial estate of the Marquesado was passed down to his descendants until 1811. The Oaxaca Valley was one of the wealthiest regions of New Spain, and Cortés had 23,000 vassals in 23 named encomiendas in perpetuity. [13] [42]

Although confirmed in his land holdings and vassals, he was not reinstated as governor and was never again given any important office in the administration of New Spain. During his travel to Spain, his property was mismanaged by abusive colonial administrators. He sided with local natives in a lawsuit. The natives documented the abuses in the Huexotzinco Codex.

The entailed estate and title passed to his legitimate son Don Martín Cortés upon Cortés's death in 1547, who became the Second Marquess. Don Martín's association with the so-called Encomenderos' Conspiracy endangered the entailed holdings, but they were restored and remained the continuing reward for Hernán Cortés's family through the generations.

Return to Mexico

Cortés returned to Mexico in 1530 with new titles and honors, but with diminished power. Although Cortés still retained military authority and permission to continue his conquests, viceroy Don Antonio de Mendoza was appointed in 1535 to administer New Spain's civil affairs. This division of power led to continual dissension, and caused the failure of several enterprises in which Cortés was engaged. On returning to Mexico, Cortés found the country in a state of anarchy. There was a strong suspicion in court circles of an intended rebellion by Cortés.

After reasserting his position and reestablishing some sort of order, Cortés retired to his estates at Cuernavaca, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Mexico City. Der koncentrerede han sig om bygningen af ​​sit palads og om udforskning af Stillehavet. Remaining in Mexico between 1530 and 1541, Cortés quarreled with Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán and disputed the right to explore the territory that is today California with Antonio de Mendoza, the first viceroy.

Cortés acquired several silver mines in Zumpango del Rio in 1534. By the early 1540s, he owned 20 silver mines in Sultepec, 12 in Taxco, and 3 in Zacualpan. Earlier, Cortés had claimed the silver in the Tamazula area. [43]

In 1536, Cortés explored the northwestern part of Mexico and discovered the Baja California Peninsula. Cortés also spent time exploring the Pacific coast of Mexico. The Gulf of California was originally named the Sea of Cortés by its discoverer Francisco de Ulloa in 1539. This was the last major expedition by Cortés.

Second return to Spain

After his exploration of Baja California, Cortés returned to Spain in 1541, hoping to confound his angry civilians, who had brought many lawsuits against him (for debts, abuse of power, etc.). [13]

On his return he went through a crowd to speak to the emperor, who demanded of him who he was. "I am a man," replied Cortés, "who has given you more provinces than your ancestors left you cities." [44] [45]

Expedition against Algiers

The emperor finally permitted Cortés to join him and his fleet commanded by Andrea Doria at the great expedition against Algiers in the Barbary Coast in 1541, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire and was used as a base by Hayreddin Barbarossa, a famous Turkish corsair and Admiral-in-Chief of the Ottoman Fleet. During this campaign, Cortés was almost drowned in a storm that hit his fleet while he was pursuing Barbarossa. [46]

Last years, death, and remains

Having spent a great deal of his own money to finance expeditions, he was now heavily in debt. In February 1544 he made a claim on the royal treasury, but was ignored for the next three years. Disgusted, he decided to return to Mexico in 1547. When he reached Seville, he was stricken with dysentery. He died in Castilleja de la Cuesta, Seville province, on December 2, 1547, from a case of pleurisy at the age of 62.

He left his many mestizo and white children well cared for in his will, along with every one of their mothers. He requested in his will that his remains eventually be buried in Mexico. Before he died he had the Pope remove the "natural" status of four of his children (legitimizing them in the eyes of the church), including Martin, the son he had with Doña Marina (also known as La Malinche), said to be his favourite. [ citat nødvendig ] His daughter, Doña Catalina, however, died shortly after her father's death.

After his death, his body was moved more than eight times for several reasons. On December 4, 1547 he was buried in the mausoleum of the Duke of Medina in the church of San Isidoro del Campo, Sevilla. Three years later (1550) due to the space being required by the duke, his body was moved to the altar of Santa Catarina in the same church. In his testament, Cortés asked for his body to be buried in the monastery he had ordered to be built in Coyoacan in México, ten years after his death, but the monastery was never built. So in 1566, his body was sent to New Spain and buried in the church of San Francisco de Texcoco, where his mother and one of his sisters were buried.

In 1629, Don Pedro Cortés fourth "Marquez del Valle, his last male descendant, died, so the viceroy decided to move the bones of Cortés along with those of his descendant to the Franciscan church in México. This was delayed for nine years, while his body stayed in the main room of the palace of the viceroy. Eventually it was moved to the Sagrario of Franciscan church, where it stayed for 87 years. In 1716, it was moved to another place in the same church. In 1794, his bones were moved to the "Hospital de Jesus" (founded by Cortés), where a statue by Tolsá and a mausoleum were made. There was a public ceremony and all the churches in the city rang their bells. [ citat nødvendig ]

In 1823, after the independence of México, it seemed imminent that his body would be desecrated, so the mausoleum was removed, the statue and the coat of arms were sent to Palermo, Sicily, to be protected by the Duke of Terranova. The bones were hidden, and everyone thought that they had been sent out of México. In 1836, his bones were moved to another place in the same building. [ præcisering nødvendig ]

It was not until November 24, 1946 that they were rediscovered, [47] : 467 thanks to the discovery of a secret document by Lucas Alamán. His bones were put in the charge of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH). The remains were authenticated by INAH. [47] : 468 They were then restored to the same place, this time with a bronze inscription and his coat of arms. [48] When the bones were first rediscovered, the supporters of the Hispanic tradition in Mexico were excited, but one supporter of an indigenist vision of Mexico "proposed that the remains be publicly burned in front of the statue of Cuauhtemoc, and the ashes flung into the air". [47] : 468 Following the discovery and authentication of Cortés's remains, there was a discovery of what were described as the bones of Cuauhtémoc, resulting in a "battle of the bones". [47] : 468

Cortés is commemorated in the scientific name of a subspecies of Mexican lizard, Phrynosoma orbiculare cortezii. [49]

There are relatively few sources to the early life of Cortés his fame arose from his participation in the conquest of Mexico and it was only after this that people became interested in reading and writing about him.

Probably the best source is his letters to the king which he wrote during the campaign in Mexico, but they are written with the specific purpose of putting his efforts in a favourable light and so must be read critically. Another main source is the biography written by Cortés's private chaplain Lopez de Gómara, which was written in Spain several years after the conquest. Gómara never set foot in the Americas and knew only what Cortés had told him, and he had an affinity for knightly romantic stories which he incorporated richly in the biography. The third major source is written as a reaction to what its author calls "the lies of Gomara", the eyewitness account written by the Conquistador Bernal Díaz del Castillo does not paint Cortés as a romantic hero but rather tries to emphasize that Cortés's men should also be remembered as important participants in the undertakings in Mexico.

In the years following the conquest more critical accounts of the Spanish arrival in Mexico were written. The Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las Casas wrote his En kort redegørelse for ødelæggelsen af ​​Indien which raises strong accusations of brutality and heinous violence towards the Indians accusations against both the conquistadors in general and Cortés in particular. [50] The accounts of the conquest given in the Florentine Codex by the Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagún and his native informants are also less than flattering towards Cortés. The scarcity of these sources has led to a sharp division in the description of Cortés's personality and a tendency to describe him as either a vicious and ruthless person or a noble and honorable cavalier.

Representations in Mexico

In México there are few representations of Cortés. However, many landmarks still bear his name, from the castle Palacio de Cortés in the city of Cuernavaca to some street names throughout the republic.

The pass between the volcanoes Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl where Cortés took his soldiers on their march to Mexico City. It is known as the Paso de Cortés.

The muralist Diego Rivera painted several representation of him but the most famous, depicts him as a powerful and ominous figure along with Malinche in a mural in the National Palace in Mexico City.

In 1981, President Lopez Portillo tried to bring Cortés to public recognition. First, he made public a copy of the bust of Cortés made by Manuel Tolsá in the Hospital de Jesús Nazareno with an official ceremony, but soon a nationalist group tried to destroy it, so it had to be taken out of the public. [51] Today the copy of the bust is in the "Hospital de Jesús Nazareno" [52] while the original is in Naples, Italy, in the Villa Pignatelli.

Later, another monument, known as "Monumento al Mestizaje" by Julián Martínez y M. Maldonado (1982) was commissioned by Mexican president José López Portillo to be put in the "Zócalo" (Main square) of Coyoacan, near the place of his country house, but it had to be removed to a little known park, the Jardín Xicoténcatl, Barrio de San Diego Churubusco, to quell protests. The statue depicts Cortés, Malinche and their son Martín. [53]

There is another statue by Sebastián Aparicio, in Cuernavaca, was in a hotel "El casino de la selva". Cortés is barely recognizable, so it sparked little interest. The hotel was closed to make a commercial center, and the statue was put out of public display by Costco the builder of the commercial center. [51]

Kulturelle skildringer

Hernán Cortés is a character in the opera La Conquista (2005) by Italian composer Lorenzo Ferrero, which depicts the major episodes of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521.

Writings: the Cartas de Relación

Cortés' personal account of the conquest of Mexico is narrated in his five letters addressed to Charles V. These five letters, the cartas de relación, are Cortés' only surviving writings. See "Letters and Dispatches of Cortés", translated by George Folsom (New York, 1843) Prescott's "Conquest of Mexico" (Boston, 1843) and Sir Arthur Helps's "Life of Hernando Cortes" (London, 1871). [44]

His first letter was considered lost, and the one from the municipality of Veracruz has to take its place. It was published for the first time in volume IV of "Documentos para la Historia de España", and subsequently reprinted.

Det Segunda Carta de Relacion, bearing the date of October 30, 1520, appeared in print at Seville in 1522. The third letter, dated May 15, 1522, appeared at Seville in 1523. The fourth, October 20, 1524, was printed at Toledo in 1525. The fifth, on the Honduras expedition, is contained in volume IV of the Documentos para la Historia de España. [54] [55]

Natural children of Don Hernán Cortés

  • doña Catalina Pizarro, born between 1514 and 1515 in Santiago de Cuba or maybe later in Nueva España, daughter of a Cuban woman, Leonor Pizarro. Doña Catalina married Juan de Salcedo, a conqueror and encomendero, with whom she had a son, Pedro. [56]
  • donMartín Cortés, born in Coyoacán in 1522, son of doña Marina (La Malinche), called the First Mestizo about him was written The New World of Martín Cortés gift doña Bernaldina de Porras and had two children:
    • doña Ana Cortés
    • don Fernando Cortés, Principal Judge of Veracruz. Descendants of this line are alive today in Mexico. [57]

    He married twice: firstly in Cuba to Catalina Suárez Marcaida, who died at Coyoacán in 1522 without issue, and secondly in 1529 to doña Juana Ramírez de Arellano de Zúñiga, daughter of don Carlos Ramírez de Arellano, 2nd Count of Aguilar and wife the Countess doña Juana de Zúñiga, and had:


    May 1520: The Battle of Cempoala

    Meanwhile, back in Cuba, Governor Velazquez was still fuming at Cortes' insubordination. He sent veteran conquistador Panfilo de Narvaez to Mexico to rein in the rebellious Cortes. Cortes, who had undertaken some questionable legal tricks to legitimize his command, decided to fight. The two conquistador armies met in battle on the night of May 28, 1520, at the native town of Cempoala, and Cortes handed Narvaez a decisive defeat. Cortes gleefully jailed Narvaez and added his men and supplies to his own. Effectively, instead of regaining control of Cortes' expedition, Velazquez had instead sent him much-needed weapons and reinforcements.


    In 1519, when the Spanish first made official contact with the Empire, the Aztecs ruled most of present-day Mexico either directly or indirectly. About one hundred years before, three powerful city-states in central Mexico — Tenochtitlan, Tlacopan and Tacuba — united to form the Triple Alliance, which soon rose to pre-eminence. All three cultures were located on the shores and islands of Lake Texcoco. Through alliances, wars, intimidation, and trade, the Aztecs came to dominate most of the other Mesoamerican city-states by 1519 and collected tribute from them.

    The pre-eminent partner in the Triple Alliance was the Mexica city of Tenochtitlan. The Mexica were led by a Tlatoani, a position roughly similar to Emperor. In 1519, the tlatoani of the Mexica was Motecuzoma Xocoyotzín, better known to history as Montezuma.


    Cortés, Hernán: Fall of the Aztec Empire

    Cortés, learning that the Aztec empire of Montezuma was honeycombed with dissension, assumed the role of deliverer and rallied the coastal Totonacs to his standard he also began negotiations with Montezuma. Scuttling his ships to prevent the return of any Velázquez sympathizers to Cuba, he began his famous march to Tenochtitlán (modern Mexico City), capital of the Aztec empire. He defeated the Tlaxcalan warriors and then formed an alliance with the so-called republic of Tlaxcala practically destroyed Cholula and arrived at Tenochtitlán in Nov., 1519. There the superstitious Montezuma received the Spanish as descendants of the god Quetzalcoatl. Cortés seized his opportunity, took Montezuma hostage, and attempted to govern through him.

    In the spring of 1520, Cortés went to the coast, where he defeated a force under Pánfilo de Narváez. Pedro de Alvarado, left in command, impetuously massacred many Aztecs, and soon after Cortés's return the Aztecs besieged the Spanish. In the ensuing battle, Montezuma was killed. The Spanish, seeking safety in flight, fought their way out of the city with heavy losses on the noche triste [sad night] (June 30, 1520). Still in retreat, they defeated an Aztec army at Otumba and retired to Tlaxcala.

    The next year Cortés attacked the capital, and after a three-month siege Tenochtitlán fell (Aug. 13, 1521). With it fell the Aztec empire. As captain general, Cortés extended the conquest by sending expeditions over most of Mexico and into N Central America. In 1524–26, Cortés himself went to Honduras, killing Cuauhtémoc, the Aztec emperor, in the course of the expedition.

    Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. Alle rettigheder forbeholdes.


    Hernan Cortes Summary

    Hernan Cortes was a Spaniard conquistador who undertook the exploration of the Mexican region in 1519. Cortes did so in defiance of the Crown’s appointed officer, the governor of Cuba. However, he was able to reach Mexico and bring about the end of the Aztec Empire through a series of strategic alliances and battles. Ultimately, the crown acknowledged his conquests and he was made the governor of Mexico. During his reign, he built Mexico City on the ruins of Tenochtitlan.


    Se videoen: La CONQUISTA DE MÉXICO y HERNAN CORTES. El Camino a Tenochtitlan. Parte 1 (November 2022).

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