Hernando Cortes is the Spanish conqueror of and ruler of Central America including Mexico. His power and influence during his time paved the way for 300 years of control and ownership over the region of Mexico and Central America. Born from a noble family in Spain, Hernando Cortes was an adventurer and had military training before he eventually landed and conquered Mexico. Here are some facts related to this important person in Mexican and Central American history:
Fact 1: Hernando Cortes was a law school dropout. Born to a wealthy family, Cortes was groomed to become a lawyer but the young lad was keen on having an adventure rather than finish his studies in law. After only two years, he left law school and went home.
Fact 2: Christopher Columbus was an inspiration to Hernando Cortes. The discoveries of the so-called “new world” by Columbus inspired the adventures of Cortes in terms of seeking knowledge and travelling the world to add to his riches and become famous.
Fact 3: Hernando Cortes conquered Mexico with the help of an interpreter. When he landed in Mexico back in 1519, Cortes met a native in the Yucatan Peninsula which eventually became his interpreter. From then on, Cortes was able to gain power over the Aztec Empire and ruled over Mexico.
Fact 4: Hernando Cortes befriended Talascan Indians to overthrow the Aztec rulers of Mexico. While fighting the natives and Indians in various parts of Mexico, Hernando Cortes was able to convince some Indians to join his group which eventually became successful in conquering Mexico and other parts of Central America.
Fact 5: Some Mexican native mistook Hernando Cortes as a god or king. These people thought of Cortes as the reincarnated god king called Quetzalcoatl which was supposedly their savior that would give them sunrise without having to do human sacrifices.
Fact 6: Hernando Cortes was given lots of cacao beans when he conquered Mexico. These beans at the time were considered very valuable and were even used as currency.
Fact 7: The young Hernando Cortes was given the nickname “Killer” when he was in military training. This moniker eventually held true for Cortes as he led the successful invasion over Mexico and nearby lands.
Fact 8: It took only 1000 troops to topple the Aztec Empire of 5 million people. Led by Hernando Cortes, his troops were able to fight successfully against the natives without suffering too much casualties. Many locals and Indians were also befriended and supported his rule.
Fact 9: Hernando Cortes was named governor of the New Spain by King Charles I. After he successfully conquered the Aztecs, the city of Tenochtitlan was eventually renamed to Mexico City which is often dubbed as the New Spain. With this achievement, Cortes was also declared governor of the city.
Fact 10: The Gulf of California was previously named as Sea of Cortes in honor of the great Spanish conquistador and explorer. In this area, the strip of land called Baja California was also discovered by Hernando Cortes.