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10th February, 1519 in Mexico went colonizing expedition of Hernan Cortes

Hernan CortesOn the 10th of February, 1519 a fleet of 11 ships and 670 crew members, including infantry, 16 mounted knights, 30 crossbowmen, two hundred Indians, led by Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes took the course to the coast of Yucatan. On the map you can see that this peninsula is located in Central America and separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea. The goal of the expedition was ambitious - to conquest Mexico.

In 1518 expedition of conquistador Juan de Grijalva discovered Mexico. The leader of Aztecs Montezuma gave overseas visitors gold in exchange for various commodities. Untold riches brought from Mexico, caused a stir among the conquistadors. Governor of Cuba, Diego de Velazquez, ordered immediately to organize an expedition deep into Mexico under the leadership of soldiers Motu and dandy Hernan Cortes. Subsequently, however, Velasquez dropped the idea. But Cortes was not going to back down and went to the land without permission of the Aztecs in February 1519.

In April, the expedition reached the coast of the island of San Juan de Uloa where Cortes erected a fortress city of Veracruz. Spaniards had a huge advantage over the local population: they had horse, iron armor and firearms. Therefore supreme leader Montezuma sent their ambassadors to the overseas invaders with rich gifts to the Spanish king. These were magnificent items of pure silver and gold, which survived until our days. Other samples of Aztec jewelry did not survived because they were melted down into ingots in order to make it easier to transport and divide the spoils.

Hernán Cortés told the ambassadors that he must personally deliver the message from the Aztec ruler of the Spanish king. Leader decided to pay off the intruders in gold, but the greed of strangers does not know borders. Besides, Montezuma was forced to invite the Spaniards in the capital of Tenochtitlan (now on the world map this town called Mexico City in honor of the Aztec god of war Mehitli).

The Spaniards arrived in Tenochtitlan, where Cortes arrested supreme leader and took over the country on his behalf. He made the Aztec leaders to swear to the Spanish crown, and forced to pay tribute in gold. Spaniards conquered more and more trophies: they managed to find a huge treasure of Montezuma the revision of which took three days.

Meanwhile, concerned about the antics of Cortes in Mexico, Velasquez fitted out 18 ships and 700 soldiers called to take Cortez alive or dead. Found out about this, Cortes left in the capital garrison of 150 soldiers, and went to the coast, where he defeated arrived compatriots, whom he bribed or captured and added to the army. While Cortes was not in the capital, Montezuma was killed. According to one version, this was done by Indians who could not forgive the betrayal of their ruler.

Mexico rebelled. The city's defense kept the young leader Kuatemok . But the thirst, hunger and epidemic did not allowed indigenous Mexicans resist the invaders. Aztec capital fell, Spaniards looted Tenochtitlan and destroyed all that they could not take with them, and the population was thralled. In 1524 Honduras was taken and almost all the land of Guatemala and Mexico.

Spain acquired new colonies, and Hernán Cortés was not just a commander in chief but the governor of the king himself. In Spain Cortés was awarded the title of Marquis, awarded the Order of St. Innocent and he was donated the estate in Mexico. As a result of the Spanish aggression hundreds of thousands of local residents were killed or died of diseases brought by the Europeans.

This Day in History 10-02-2014