Cortés: The Spanish Conquistador

The Aztec Empire

Montezuma, the Aztec Emperor

The Spanish Invade the Aztec Empire

Teachers' Corner

Unit: Cortes and the Aztec

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King of the Aztec Empire

Montezuma, or Moctezuma, was 55 years old in 1519. He was the chief priest, head of the Aztec army, and ruler of the Aztec Nation, as was his father before him. As chief priest, he was in charge of thousands of human sacrifices to Huitzilopochtli, the god of the sun, war, and hunting.
Quetz.jpg 169x233 When Montezuma first heard of Cortes, Moctezuma thought he might be Quetzalcoatl, the beloved Aztec god who had promised to return one day as a bearded and fair-skinned man.

This mistake led Montezuma to send gifts to bribe Cortés and his army into leaving Mexico instead of sending his armies to force them to leave. cortes_indios.jpg 300x181

When Moctezuma's messengers gave Cortes the gifts, they told him that Moctezuma was too busy to meet with Cortés. Cortes replied that he could not leave Mexico before marching to Tenochtitlán to say hello to Moctezuma in person.
cortezmoctezuma.jpg 219x242 When Cortez arrived in Tenochtitlán, Moctezuma allowed Cortés to enter the city and stay in the imperial palace. Cortes promptly placed Moctezuma under arrest. During his time as a prisoner of Cortes, Moctezuma accepted Christianity and meekly swore allegiance to the King of Spain.
Meanwhile, the Aztec people grew tired of the white skinned man named Cortes. A mob formed outside of the main hall that housed Montezuma, Cortes, and his men.
The Aztec people revolted, and, during the battle, an Aztec person threw a rock and killed Moctezuma. death.jpg 300x241

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