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The Conquest of Cortes What audacity he possessed Did Hernan Cortes the Spaniard He was greedy for wealth and power alone But not even Cortes could imagine that he would conquer the most powerful empire of the 1500s The year is 1519 when Cortes sets foot on the Mexican beaches along with 550 men 16 horses 14 cannon and many dogs Shortly after he was greeted by ambassadors of the Aztec empire who were under rule of Montezuma II lord of the Aztecs After receiving amazing gifts of gold and riches This would prompt an ill-legal expedition to the Aztec capitol If the Cuban government which Cortes was working for had known of this expedition he would surely have been killed For he was on a search for gold and riches to bring the country Which in the end they would return with many treasures But nothing could prepare the men of what they were to find Cities which were larger than any in Spain huge volcanoes armies so large that they stretched out of sight and unknown rituals of bloody human sacrifice This was a completely astonishing event for Cortes and his men For all their lives they had believed that Spain and their culture was the mightiest and largest in the world and that only savages lived on the mainland This was a completely different truth that was the opposite of how they viewed the world Contrary to popular beliefs the Aztecs were not inferior savages but an extremely advanced and intelligent society Much like today the Aztecs had a social government with a king and members of government Basic unit of the Aztec society Calpulli Known as a clan or a group of families who descended from a common ancestor Each Calpulli ran their own style of government keeping order led in war dispensed justice and kept records They also ran school for males that taught the art of war history
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