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Hernando Cortes was born in 1485 in a town called Medellin in Extremadura Spain During the time of Cortes youth the town of his birth was like the setting of a carnival for a growing boy Marks 3 Medellin was the home of an old castle from the days of the wars between the Spanish and the Moors the young boys of the town found this castle most entertaining Later in his life Cortes started attending the University of Salamanca in Salamanca Spain His law school years were cut short in 1501 when he decided to try his luck in the New World In the spring of 1504 Cortes set sail for the land of Cuba After arriving in Cuba in 1511 he joined the Spanish soldiers and Administrator Diego Velasquez in the conquest of the land and there he became mayor of Santiago de Cuba In 1518 he persuaded Velasquez to give him command to the expedition of Mexico that had recently been discovered by Juan de Grijalva nephew of Velasquez Despite Velasquezs cancellation on his payment to Cortes due to suspicion that he was exploring and discovering for his own glory Cortes set sail west from Cuba on February 19 1519 Cortes took with him about 600 men less than 20 horses and 10 field pieces Cortes sailed along the east coast of Yucatan and in March 1519 landed in Mexico and quickly neutralized the town of Tabasco The artillery the ships and especially the horses had the natives captivated from the minute they landed Quickly after Cortes had taken Tabasco the natives began telling him the stories of the Aztecs and their ruler Montezuma These intriguing stories struck Cortes attention and he began asking more questions about these mysterious Aztecs At the beginning of Cortes search for the Aztecs he and his men took many of the locals captive one of which they found special so they baptized her and
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