The Aztecs The Aztec Civilization The Aztecs built their capital city, Tenochtitln, in 1325. They built homes called Chinampas. These were built on man made islands created with mud
that had been piled up. Everyday Life The Aztecs made canoes and would go fishing. They also grew food like
corn and raised animals, like turkeys, to eat. The Aztecs also had traditional plants and ointments that they would use as medicine. The Aztecs made their own clothes. Hernan Cortez Cortez was an explorer sent by the governor of Cuba on a voyage.
He was chosen because he was an experienced explorer and was known for his courage. He also said that he would Purpose of the Voyage The governor of Cuba wanted more land and had heard a rumor of land being found. He
wanted to send Cortez to find the land and claim it for the many Europeans who had begun to move to Cuba. The governor also thought that people in this new area could be converted into Christians. At the last minute the governor decided to cancel the voyage because he thought Cortez had other motives. Cortez set sail anyway! Cortez's Voyage Cortez had 11 ships, 400 men, and 16 horses.
The men on the ship were mostly poor Europeans who had come to Cuba for a new life. They were promised free land, but by the time they got to Cuba all of the land was taken. When the Spanish men landed Cortez burned the Motezuma
Montezuma was the leader of the Aztecs. He believed that Cortez was the descendant of a God who was supposed to be coming back to rule over the Aztecs. Welcoming of Cortez
Montezuma welcomed Cortez into the city of Tenochtitln with open arms and gave him presents of jewels and gold. The Aztecs also gave him and his men food. In return Cortez captured Montezuma and held him as a prisoner. Cortezs Letter to the King
Cortez had upset the governor of Cuba and needed to get someone on his side. He wrote a letter to King Charles V and told him of the "ungodly ways" of the natives and said that he was helping them rebel against their tyrannical ruler. He also told the king that the Aztecs had a huge wealth and that he wanted to conquer their land in the name of
Christianity and the Spanish Crown. Cortezs Past Cortez had gone on the voyage without permission from the governor of Cuba. As a result the governor sent him men to capture Cortez. Cortez had to leave the city of
Tenochtitln to meet them. Instead of taking him back to Cuba the men were talked into helping Cortez. He told them of the gold that was to be found. Return to Tenochtitln When Cortez returned to the city he found that the men he left in charge
had brutally murdered hundreds of Aztecs. The Aztecs had been in the middle of a religious ceremony and had no weapons. The Spaniards had slashed the Aztecs hands and faces until they were dead.
The Aztecs let Cortez back into the city. At first the Aztecs were calm, but then they surrounded Cortez and his men and began to attack them. Cortez made Montezuma speak to the Aztecs to calm them. The Aztecs threw stones at Montezuma for being a traitor and he later died.
Defeat Cortez and his men were forced to leave the city and it is said that he began to cry. The defeat of the Spanish that night is known as The Sad Night. Half of the Spanish men were killed.
The Sad Night Revenge Cortez spent the next year building up his forces. He talked members of other native tribes to join him. The he went back into the city of Tenochtitln and killed over 40,000
Aztecs. He also burnt or destroyed as much of the city as he could. Wall of Skulls in Tenochtitln Tenochtitln Today Today Mexico City is built on top of the ruins of the Aztec land. There are still
Aztecs in this area and they still have traditional ways of life. They farm, make their
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