When Cortes landed on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico it was Good Friday in 1519,
Aztecs greeted the Spaniards with food, gold, and women. The Spaniards set up camp at Veracruz. Tales of 11
tall wooden towers reached Tenochtitlan from the east coast.
They were Spanish ships.
Aztec spies learned that these men were called
Spaniards and the news was immediately taken to Moctezuma II.
He decided to send gifts of gold to the Spanish leader Hernan
Spaniards burned their ships and set off on
horses to Tenochtitlan. Cortes set out from the Gulf Coast with
400 Spaniards, 16 horses, and several cannons. On his way to
Tenochtilan Cortes persuaded many enemies of the Aztec people
to join him as he marched through their lands. Cortes soon reached
Lake Texcoco and was greeted by Moctezuma II. Moctezuma II and
Cortes met and almost became friends. The Spaniards and their
native allies were invited to stay in one of the palaces by Moctezuma
On November 8, 1519, Cortes
began to fight battles.
Cortes took Moctezuma II hostage and tried
to control the city of Tenochtitlan.When Cortes went to get more
soldiers many Aztec nobles and priests were murdered at a religious
festival by the Spaniards that Cortes had left behind to keep
Moctezuma II told his people, the Aztecs to
make peace with the Spaniards, but these were not the words of
a brave ruler so the Aztecs elected Cuitlahuac, his brother,
as the new ruler. Moctezuma II was pelted with stones for continually
begging the Aztecs to make peace with the Spaniards. Moctezuma
II fell, and the Spaniards carried him back to the palace and
he was never seen again.
Although many Spaniards were lost in battle,
the Spaniards had won.The
Aztec capital was finally destroyed on August 31, 1521. The final attack of Tenochtitlan was led by the Spaniards
who had 400 men with 150,000 native allies. They returned to
destroy Tenochtitlan house by house and built Mexico City on
top of the destroyed city.
The Spanish introduced horses,
cattles, sheep and pigs to the American continents. They brought
sugar and other grains, and fruit. The took potatos, tomatoes,
beans and maize back to Europe.
That's how the Aztec civilization ended.