In 1519 Hernán Cortés led a couple hundred other Spaniards inland to the impressive Empire of the Mexica ruled by the Great Montezuma. Many historians today tell how quickly and almost effortlessly these Spaniards conquered the Empire. They paint an image of ignorant, helpless Indians practically giving up their land out of fear of this group because certainly the Spaniards must be gods since they have powerful weapons and strange animals. We know neither Cortés nor any of his men were gods, of course, but what was it that allowed Cortés to prevail over the inhabitants of the land?
The First Expeditions
To begin, in 1517 Francisco Hernández de Córdova, Bernal Díaz del Castillo, and some other gentlemen …show more content…
Journeying little more and encountering fewer opportunities for trading beads for gold, Grijalva returned to Cuba. Governor Velásquez was very pleased with Grijalva's mission. In addition to the gold from the first voyage, the governor received a total of 20 thousand dollars. (Díaz)
In the second expedition, the explorers first hear of "Méjico," "Montezuma," and "gold." But was Governor Diego Velásquez's desire for gold the only instigation for trekking inland? What was "Méjico"? Who was "Montezuma"? What could Spain gain by going there? To answer some of these questions, we need to learn a little of the history of the Aztecs, known as the Mexica. (Díaz)
The Aztecs arrived in northwestern Mexico around the middle of the second century. The history