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The Aztec Empire

Essay by   •  February 24, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,097 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,804 Views

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The Aztec empire:

The Aztec empire is known of one of the most intriguing and unique empires to ever have been established. . This was a relatively short lived empire, though, only lasting just under 100 years.

The beginnings of the Aztec empire actually go back to the early 1200s, when people who called themselves the "Mexicas" migrated to the Mexico valley, which was ruled by several different city states. Then in 1325 they build the city of Tenochtitlan on an island in Lake Texcoco, which became the Aztec capital. From there, eventually the Aztec Triple Alliance formed, between 3 rulers: Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan. They dominated the region for 100 years. They used a method of warfare where instead of killing the enemies and destroying their villages, they would capture the community and turn them into Aztecs. They would however usually burn down the temples, and they created their own places of worship. With this method, their empire grew very large.

The Aztec empire reached it's peak when Ahuitzotl ruled. However, it would end 17 years after his successor, Montezuma took overÐ'.....

Hernan Cortes , a Spaniard "Conquestor", decided shortly after arriving in the new world that he wanted to conquer the main land of Mexico. He knew in order to do this, he would have to take down it's most dominant power, the Aztecs. VelÐ"ÐŽzquez, who was the governor of Cuba and was the person who sent Cortes on the expedition. Knowing he would not follow orders, so he ordered another conquistor, Luis de Medina, to attempt to conquer Mexico instead. However, Cortes brother, Medina, killed him. On the dock the day Cortes left for Mexico, VelÐ"ÐŽzquez commanded him to stop and stay in Cuba, but he said time was short, and sailed away very quickly.

He arrived at Cozumel shortly after, and spent some time there. Then he left and landed at the tip of the Yucatan peninsula, at a town called Potonchanon. He shortly learned that Montezuma ruled these lands, as the Aztec empire. At first, the Aztecs had very little resistance to the Spaniards, in fact, Montezuma gave him gifts as they thought he may be a god-king, named Quetzalcoatl. Many of his men, who were loyal to Cuba, attempted to flee back to Cuba. However, he scuttled, or deliberately sunk all of his ships to make sure this act of mutiny wouldn't happen. He then drove on, know now that he had to get to the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, and destroy it to conquer Mexico. He made an alliance with the towns of Tlazcalteca, who despised the Aztecs, they battled him at first, then welcomed them after they realize they were trying to conquer the Aztecs. They urged him to go to Cholula, as it was a much safer city. He didn't want to at first, not realizing it was mainly a religious city founded in year 2, and was perhaps the religious Mecca of the Aztec empire. So, he eventually lead his men, along with 3,000 Tlazcaltecan to Cholula. Then, it is unsure was exactly happen after that, but, Cortes heard rumors that their small army planned to kill the Spaniards in their sleep. He then proceeded to order his people to attack an then lit fire to the city. He claimed he killed over 3,000 people in a couple hours, then set fire to the city. Cortes still claimed they provoked him, and they still shouldn't fear him as long as they treated him and his people with the up most respect.

Cortes and his people arrived at Tenochtitlan 3 months after leaving the Yucatan peninsula, on November 8, 1519. This was believed to be perhaps the largest city in the world, population estimated to people around 200,000. Montezuma welcomed him and his men, and showered them with gifts. Cortes kept asking for gifts, a long with changing many of their religious temples, Montezuma cooperated and did everything Cortes asked of him. Cortes

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