It came in the form of a smallpox epidemic that progressively crept inland from the coast of Mexico and obliterated the highly populated city of Tenochtitlan in 1520, reducing its population by forty percent in a single year. He contracted it as a result of this outbreak.
Aztecs did not had any protection to the illnesses brought by Europeans. The indigenous people were ravaged by a smallpox epidemic that greatly reduced their capacity for resistance against the Spanish. The epidemic decimated the Aztec people, causing a significant drop in their population and causing an estimated fifty percent of the people living in Tenochtitlan to perish.
In the year 1519, when Cortés and his army launched their battle against the Aztecs, the population of Mexico was already well over 30 million people. One hundred years later, after a string of smallpox outbreaks had wiped off a large portion of the native population, it is believed that only between 1.5 and 3 million Indians had survived.
The most catastrophic epidemics, known as cocoliztli, have been variously attributed to measles, smallpox, and typhus. Cocoliztli is an Aztec word. The results of a recent DNA study on teeth taken from victims who were buried during a cocoliztli reveal that Salmonella enterica may have been a contributing factor in the outbreak.
It has been suggested that an African slave (by the name of Francisco Egua, according to one version) was responsible for bringing the disease of smallpox to the Aztecs, although this theory has been called into question. The disease made its way slowly to Tepeaca and Tlaxcala between May and September of 1520, and by the fall of that year, it had reached Tenochtitlan.
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. The triumph of Cortés brought to the fall of the Aztec empire, and the Spanish then started to cement their dominance over what would eventually become the province of New Spain.
In 1520, when it first landed on the coasts of Mexico, smallpox wreaked havoc on the Aztec populace, eventually taking the life of the Aztec monarch himself. In November of 1519, Hernando Cortés arrived near the capital of the Aztec kingdom and had a face-to-face encounter with Moctezuma, the monarch of the Aztec empire.
Because of their contribution to the development of Aztec society, the Spanish had a beneficial impact on Aztec civilisation. They taught the Aztecs how to cultivate using European techniques, as well as how to raise domestic animals, sugar, and wheat. The most important thing that the Spanish did was to put an end to the Aztec practice of human sacrifice.
In the past, the successful conquest of the Mexican Aztec and Peruvian Inca empires by a handful of Spanish conquistadors led by Hernando Cortes and Francisco Pizarro, respectively, resulted in large part from epidemics of smallpox and measles virus infection that decimated the native defenders. These epidemics occurred during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Only a little amount of meat was consumed on a daily basis; the Aztec diet was predominantly vegetarian, with the exception of grasshoppers, maguey worms, ants, and other types of larvae.
Nahua is the name that has come to be used for the Aztecs’ descendants in modern times. More than one and a half million Nahua people make their life in tiny settlements that are spread out throughout wide swaths of rural Mexico. These people make their living mostly by farming and sometimes by selling handicrafts.