You might know a little bit about the history of Hernando Cortes. However, be prepared to delve even deeper into the life of this well known individual.
Facts About Hernando Cortes
- Hernando Cortes was Spanish.
- He was born in 1485.
- He was born in Medellin, Spain.
- He was born of Spanish nobility.
- His parents' names were Martin Cortes and Catalina Pizarro Altamirano.
- The military ran in his blood, as his father was an officer in the Spanish army during his lifetime.
- He was very sickly when he was a child.
- His parents had sincerely hoped that he would become a lawyer one day.
- Cortes attended the University of Salamanca.
- He had started attending the university when he was 14 years old.
- In 1501, he failed his law studies and wound up leaving the University of Salamanca.
- At 19 years of age he joined Diego Velazquez and Nicola de Ovando on their voyages to the New World.
- In 1511, he moved to Cuba and became the secretary to Diego Velaquez and later owned a ranch in Cuba.
- He is best known as a Spanish conquistador and explorer. He led expeditions to the mainland where he conquered Montezuma and the Aztec Empire.
- in 1519 he tricked the Aztecs into giving him a lot of gold when he first arrived in Mexico. One of the treasures he found was chocolate.
- When he first arrived in Mexico, the Talascan Indians attacked him and his crew. Two of his men died and 800 Indians perished.
- After one confrontation with the Indians, he discovered that a few thousand of them actually wanted to join him.
- Hernando Cortes was very warlike and confronted Indians with weapons quite a few times during his travels.
- He attempted to convert the Indians to his own religion, although he was not entirely successful.
- When he arrived in Mexico with 500 other men, some of the citizens mistook him for Quetzalcoatl, a god-king of the peoples of the land. It was prophesied that would be reincarnated in 1519, freeing the Aztecs from having to perform human sacrifices to guarantee that the sun would continue to rise.
- He was offered a drink called Xocolatl. Cortes proceeded to take over the kingdom of five million people, receiving vast stores of cacao beans. These beans were used as currency as well as making a drink.
Cortes returned to Spain with the beans and equipment for making Xoclatl for Charles V but it was not well received, probably because it was strong and bitter. When sugar began to be added, as well as spices like vanilla and cinnamon, the drink became quite popular. The taxes on it were high, so only the rich could afford to drink it.
Seeing the value of the cacao beans, Cortes started plantations in Mexico, Trinidad, Java, Haiti, and other places in the Caribbean. The Spanish dominated the cocoa industry for many years. Because this was highly profitable, the Spanish kept the details of processing the cocoa private. The work was done by monks, who guarded their secret, until 1580, when a chocolate production plant was built in Spain.
- In 1536, he discovered the peninsula of California.
- Cortes was well liked amongst his fellow explorers.
- He was also a great soldier.
- While he was in the military, his nickname was Killer.
- He was also known as Hernan Cortes.
- He married Catalina Xuares, who passed away.
- He then married Dona Juana de Zuniga.
- They had four children together. Three of his children were girls.
- He held office once he had helped to colonize Cuba.
- He was also the Captain of Mexico.
- According to the stories, Cortes' two loves were women and gambling.
- People said that he was willing to task risks when it came to love.
- Toward the end of his life, Cortes became less popular than he had been and he would often walk through crowds with people really not caring one way or another.
- Hernando Cortes passed away in 1547 near Seville when he was 62 years old.
Often times, when we talk about colonization and religious conversion, debates come about regarding whether one was a hero or a villain. Perhaps we will never know all of the details of Cortes' life, but we know enough that you could make a sound judgment for yourself.