The Spanish colony of New Spain was established and the Aztec Empire had ended. The fall of the Aztec empire was the key event in the formation of the Sp… Hernán Cortés and his men retreating from Tenochtitlán, undated illustration. Historical records say that the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes took Moctezuma II (also known as Moctezuma Xocoyotzin, sometimes also spelled Montezuma) hostage and held him in the palace in an attempt to force the emperor to control the Aztec population. This victory marked the fall of the Aztec empire. True. After Montezuma II was killed the Aztecs elected Cuauhtemoc as … Houses were burned and temples destroyed. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Aztecs controlled a vast amount of territory containing 400 to 500 subjugated states. —Photos reveal the history of the Montezuma Castle in Arizona The Spanish conquest was devastating to the Aztec people. Visit our corporate site. Conquest of the Aztec empire. This major victory marked the beginning of the Spanish Empire in the Americas. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The conquest of Tenochtitlan and the subsequent consolidation of Spanish domination over the former Aztec Empire was the first major possession in what became the Spanish Empire. Aztec … Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. He left Tenochtitlán in the hands of his trusted officer Pedro de Alvarado and set out to subdue the arrest party. There was a problem. Cortés was also observing Montezuma’s fighting force, however, and grew concerned. This sparked a revolt throughout the city, and many members of Cortés’s garrison were killed in retaliation. Tenochtitlán was situated on an artificial island in the middle of Lake Texcoco. share. Cortés defeated a local Mayan tribe, and as recompense they gifted him several slave girls, one of whom was named Malintzin (Marina). They subdued the Aztecs street by street, slaughtering indiscriminately and looting what they could. High in the Andes Mountains of Peru, the Inca built a dazzling empire that governed a population of 12 million people. They brought in sugar and other grains. The Spanish tried to quell the rebellion by having Moctezuma II address the rebels from a palace balcony; but the rebels refused to stop their siege and the emperor was killed in the crossfire. He was either killed during the fighting or assassinated. Smallpox had been introduced to the Aztecs through the Spanish, and during those months the disease killed half of Tenochtitlán’s inhabitants, among them the emperor Cuitláhuac. In the meantime, Cortés forged alliances with several disgruntled Aztec subject tribes, chief among them the Totonac and the Tlaxcalans. Ritual human sacrifice did not always sit well with the vassal tribes. While the Spanish had access to gunpowder and steel, the indigenous tribes armoured themselves with thick cloth and animal hides and fought with macuahuitl (bladed clubs), bows, and spears. How many people died on the Aztec side during the spanish conquest? Over the next few months, Cortés founded a base at La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz (now Veracruz, Mexico), and his conquistadores moved west along the coast toward Aztec lands. Aftermath and the fall of the Aztec empire, https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Tenochtitlan, HistoryNet - Perfect Storm at Tenochtitlan 1521, Ancient Origins - The Fall of Tenochtitlan. By August 13th, 1521, the Aztec empire was ruined and Spanish rule soon spread throughout the newly gained land. During the Spaniards retreat, they defeated a large Aztec army at Otumba and then rejoined their Tlaxcaltec allies. Smallpox continued to ravage the indigenous population and cripple their capacity to resist the Spanish. ... coming to Europe during the 11th century’s Crusades. He was the emperor of the Aztecs when Cortes and his army conquered the empire. The archaeologists also found that sculptures from the palace were reused like blocks to build Hernan Cortes' house. Updated October 27, 2019. Posted by 5 years ago. I wan't to get an idea of how many people died during the conflict. It was an opportunity for him to try to appease the Spanish while sizing up their army. Cortés became worried that some of his crew would steal his ships and desert him so he sunk his fleet before marching to Tenochtitlan. The Spanish campaign began in February 1519, and was declared victorious on August 13, 1521, when a coalition army of Spanish forces and native Tlaxcalan warriors led by Hernándo Cortés and Xicotencatl the Younger captured the emperor Cuauhtemoc and Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire. The Spanish introduced horses, cattle, sheep and pigs to the American continents. Conquest of the Aztec empire. —7 biblical sites ravaged by modern-day looters. Between 1519 and 1521, Spanish conquistadors, led by Hernán Cortés, overthrew the Aztec Empire. 2. Smallpox had been introduced to the Aztecs through the Spanish, and during those months the disease killed half of Tenochtitlán’s inhabitants, among them the emperor Cuitláhuac. The conquest of the Aztecs marked a significant period for the Spanish. —Photos: The amazing pyramids of Teotihuacan The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was one of the most significant events in the Spanish colonization of the Americas.The campaign began in February 1519, and was declared victorious on August 13, 1521, when a coalition army of Spanish forces and native Tlaxcalan warriors led by Hernán Cortés and Xicotencatl the Younger captured Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire. There's little doubt that the ritual Aztec sacrifice contributed to the fall of the Aztec Empire, and in more ways than one. Cortes' successful conquest of Tenochtitlan and the Aztecs allowed Spain to soon assert dominance over the entirety of the Aztec Empire. The Spanish conquistadors eventually destroyed the rebel forces along with the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan (where modern-day Mexico City is located). Detail from Mexican artist Diego Rivera's mural. 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