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Brief Introduction of Hernando Cortes:
Hernan Cortes de Monroy y Pizarro, Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century. Cortes was part of the generation of Spanish colonizers who began the first phase of the Spanish colonization of the Americas.
Born in Medellín, Spain, to a family of lesser nobility, Cortes chose to pursue a livelihood in the New World. He went to Hispaniola and later to Cuba, where he received an encomienda and, for a short time, became alcalde (magistrate) of the second Spanish town founded on the island. In 1519, he was elected captain of the third expedition to the mainland, an expedition which he partly funded. His enmity with the Governor of Cuba, Diego Velazquez de Cuellar, resulted in the recall of the expedition at the last moment, an order which Cortes ignored.
Arriving on the continent, Cortes executed a successful strategy of allying with some indigenous people against others. He also used a native woman, Doña Marina, as an interpreter; she would later bear Cortes a son. When the Governor of Cuba sent emissaries to arrest Cortes, he fought them and won, using the extra troops as reinforcements. Cortes wrote letters directly to the king asking to be acknowledged for his successes instead of punished for mutiny. After he overthrew the Aztec Empire, Cortes was awarded the title of Marques del Valle de Oaxaca, while the more prestigious title of Viceroy was given to a high-ranking nobleman, Antonio de Mendoza. In 1541 Cortes returned to Spain, where he died peacefully but embittered, six years later.
Because of the controversial undertakings of Cortes and the scarcity of reliable sources of information about him, it has become difficult to assert anything definitive about his personality and motivations. Early lionizing of the conquistadors did not encourage deep examination of Cortes. Later reconsideration of the conquistadors' character in the context of modern anti-colonial sentiment also did little to expand understanding of Cortes as an individual. As a result of these historical trends, descriptions of Cortes tend to be simplistic, and either damning or idealizing.
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- August 04, 2016 Initial release