Soon after the Spanish colonization of Cuba in 1519, a small army headed by Hernán Cortés (1485-1547) defeated the Aztecs and took control of Mexico. This event occurred in Mexico.
Conquistadors from Spain led by Hernán Cortés formed an alliance with indigenous peoples in order to take Tenochtitlan, the capital city of the Aztec empire. The Spanish were able to take control of Tenochtitlan because to their superior armament as well as a terrible outbreak of smallpox that occurred during the 93 days that Cortés’ army laid siege to the city.
Conquistador from Spain who was responsible for the conquest of Mexico, Hernándo Cortés, shown here with Moctezuma II, the final emperor of the Aztec empire, in 1519.
In his pursuit of riches, glory, and deity, Cortes set his sights on the Aztec people. As a result of these factors, a significant number of individuals living in the Aztec Empire were miserable. A number of them provided assistance to the Spanish conquistadors during their conquest of the empire.
In the search for wealth, glory, and territory, thousands of men made the journey to the New World. These warriors traveled throughout the New World for two centuries, subjugating whatever indigenous populations they came across in the name of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain (and the hope of gold). They eventually became renowned as the conquistadors throughout history.
The Spanish explorer and conqueror Francisco Pizarro lays a trap on the Inca ruler, Atahualpa, on November 16, 1532. Pizarro, who had fewer than 200 soldiers to fight several thousand, enticed Atahualpa to a feast held in the emperor’s honor and then opened fire on the unarmed Incans. Atahualpa was killed in the ensuing battle.
Any of the leaders in the Spanish conquest of America, particularly in the 16th century in Mexico and Peru, is referred to as a conquistador. The word ″conquistador″ comes from the Spanish word ″conquista,″ which means ″conqueror.″
After the fall of the Aztec empire, the beautiful art that had been kept in its temples was turned into currency and the buildings themselves were defiled or destroyed. The common people suffered from the illnesses brought by the Europeans, which killed out up to fifty percent of the population, and their new masters turned out to be no better than the Aztecs had been.
Poor nobles from the impoverished west and south of Spain made up the majority of Spanish conquistadors. They were able to conquer the vast empires of the New World with the assistance of superior military technology, disease (which weakened indigenous resistance), military tactics including surprise attacks and powerful weaponry.
The Aztecs had lost faith in Montezuma, their food supply was running low, and an outbreak of smallpox had begun among them. More than three million Aztecs perished as a result of the smallpox epidemic; with such a severely depleted population, it was very simple for the Spanish to conquer Tenochtitlán.