Hernando Cortes Facts

Cortez and Montezuma in Mexico

Picture of the explorer Hernando Cortes
and Montezuma in Mexico

This article on  the biography and life of Hernando Cortes provides facts and information about:

  • Who was Hernando Cortes?
  • The man who conquered the Aztec empire
  • Life and Biography of Hernando Cortes
  • Fast information and interesting facts about Hernando Cortes
  • Educational resource for teachers and kids
Explorers & Discovery of America
American Colonies Index

History of the Famous Explorers and the Discovery of America

The discovery of America and the brave explorers like Hernando Cortes who led the way for the early colonists

Facts about Hernando Cortes
The following Fact File contains fast information about the life of Hernando Cortes. Interesting facts and an overview and description of the life and times and his involvement in the Exploration and the discovery of the New World leading to the colonization of America.

Facts about Hernando Cortes

Hernando Cortes Fact 1Why was Hernando Cortes famous and what part of America did he explore?Hernando Cortes began the first phase of the Spanish colonization of the Americas and conquered the Aztec empire.

Picture of Hernan Cortes

Picture of Hernan Cortes, Hernando Cortes who conquered the Aztecs

Hernando Cortes Fact 2When was Hernando Cortes born? He was born in 1485

Hernando Cortes Fact 3What was his country of origin and where was Hernando Cortes born? He was born in Medellin, Extremadura, Spain

Hernando Cortes Fact 4Hernando Cortes was born into a wealthy noble Spanish family. His parents were Martin Cortes de Monroy and Catalina Pizarro Altamirano
Hernando Cortes Fact 5He tried to become a lawyer, but failed. He was inspired by the stories about the New World and decided to go to sea

Hernando Cortes Fact 6In 1502 he joined the expedition to the West Indies led by Nicolas de Ovando with Diego Velazquez that consisted of 2500 people and 30 ships. Another famous explorer, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, was also on this expedition
Hernando Cortes Fact 7Hernando Cortes proved to be an excellent soldier under the command of Spanish soldier named Diego Velazquez (1460-1532)
Hernando Cortes Fact 8In 1511 Diego Velazquez was selected as commander of an expedition to Cuba and Hernando accompanied him

Hernando Cortes Fact 9The expedition to Cuba consisted of four ships with 300 men.

Hernando Cortes Fact 10Cuba was conquered and by 1514 towns of Trinidad, Santo Espiritu, Puerto Principe, and Santiago de Cuba had been founded

Hernando Cortes Fact 11Hernando then settled in Cuba and became a farmer

Hernando Cortes Fact 12In 1518 Diego Velazquez decides to explore further and chooses Hernando Cortes to captain an expedition to establish a colony in Mexico
Hernando Cortes Fact 13On February 19, 1519 Hernando sets sail for Mexico with a force of six hundred men, and less than twenty  horses.

Hernando Cortes Fact 14They arrive at the Yucatan Penisula and march inland to Tenochtitlan

Hernando Cortes Fact 15March 1519: He lands in Mexico, and meets a woman called Malinche who becomes his mistress, guide and interpreter

Facts about Hernando Cortes for Kids

Facts about Hernando Cortes
This article contains a short biography in a fact file format in date order. Fast facts and information about the life of Hernando Cortes. Who was Hernando Cortes and why was he famous? When did he explore the New World of America? Which area of America did Hernando Cortes explore? Read the fact file that provides fast access to interesting facts for kids about the life of this famous explorer and his place in the history of America.  For more info refer to the
Spanish in America.

Facts about Hernando Cortes

Hernando Cortes Fact 16Hernando Cortes was a strong commander.  He established the town of La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz and to prevent the possibility of desertion or retreat he literally burnt all of his boats
Hernando Cortes Fact 17He learns about the fabulous wealth of the Aztec Empire and vows to conquer them
Hernando Cortes Fact 18Hernando Cortes first forces an alliance with the Aztec Indians of Tlaxcala. He then learns about their customs, culture and religion

Hernando Cortes Fact 19During this period he learns about and Aztec legend. In the myth Quetzalcoatl the 'Winged God is a light skinned, bearded God-King of Civilisation and learning who was revered by the Aztecs

Hernando Cortes Fact 20The arrival of the Spanish soldiers coincides with the predicted return of the God-King Quetzalcoatl

Hernando Cortes Fact 21He reaches the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan and the Aztecs believe that Cortes could be Quetzalcoatl their light skinned, bearded God-King.

Hernando Cortes Fact 22In November 1519 he meets the King of the Aztecs - Montezuma II

Hernando Cortes Fact 23Montezuma II allows Cortes and his small force to enter Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, which houses thousands of Aztec Indians.
Hernando Cortes Fact 24He takes Montezuma as hostage and forces him to swear allegiance to King Charles V of Spain

Hernando Cortes Fact 25During this time period Diego Velasquez had sent 1,400 soldiers to arrest Cortes.

Hernando Cortes Fact 26He decides to march to the coast to do battle with the soldiers but instead he persuades them to join him. Whilst he is away his soldiers kill 600 Aztec nobles

Hernando Cortes Fact 27He then tries to calm the Aztecs by releasing Montezuma

Hernando Cortes Fact 28The Aztecs stone Montezuma to death on July 1, 1520 and Hernando Cortes and his soldiers are forced out of Tenochtitlan

Hernando Cortes Fact 29In 1521 he returns to Tenochtitlan with reinforcements.

Hernando Cortes Fact 301521 August 13, 1521: A terrible Plague strikes the Aztec population and Tenochtitlan falls to Cortes.

Hernando Cortes Fact 31Hernando Cortes  conquered 5 Million Aztecs with less than 1000 soldiers and returns to Spain triumph. He then returns to Mexico
Hernando Cortes Fact 32In 1533 he makes his final expedition and discovers Baja in California which he explores for a year before returning to Mexico
Hernando Cortes Fact 33He returns home to Spain 1540
Hernando Cortes Fact 34His reputation is smeared by rumors that he murdered his wife, and the Spanish who were wary of the power he held in Mexico refused him permission to return to the New World.
Hernando Cortes Fact 35He was given permission to fight against the Moors and the pirates of Algiers and this is how he spent the last years of his life
Hernando Cortes Fact 36Hernando Cortes died on December 2, 1547 near Seville. A wealthy but embittered man.

Facts about Hernando Cortes for Kids

Hernando Cortes Facts for kids
The life and biography of Hernando Cortes is presented in a short, easy fact file format that is highly suitable for kids. The facts about  are a fast and accurate way to gain a good understanding of the life of this famous man who played a major role in the Discovery of America. The facts include the major events in the life of Hernando Cortes together with important dates and details of his family. For additional facts for kids and information refer to the additional articles including:

Mercator World Map

The Exploration & Discovery of America - The Geradus Mercator World Map

Hernando Cortes

  • Life, Biography and fast, interesting fun, facts for kids

  • Life History Biography and fun facts

  • Fast Facts and info about this famous explorer for kids

  • The biography is a great history resource for kids

  • Social Studies Homework help for kids on this famous explorer

Biography - Life - History - Discovery of America - North Explorers - Life - History - Facts - Biography - England - Biography - Life - History - Facts - English - Biography - America - USA -Famous - Life - Spain - France - Europe - America - USA -European - Biography - Life - History - Facts - Map - Biography - History - Biography - US - America - USA -Discovery - Interesting - Discovery - Life - History - Facts - Information - Info - Biography - Short - Kids - Children - Studies - Life - America - USA -History - Facts - Biography - US - United States - America - USA - Biography - Discovery - America - USA - British - Life - History - Facts - Discovery and exploration - Social Studies Teaching resource - Social Studies - History - Teachers - Discovery of America