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FAQ: What happened to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan?

The Spanish conquistadors, aided by an alliance of indigenous peoples, laid siege to the Aztec capital for 93 days, until the Mexica surrendered on August 13, 1521. A great deal of Tenochtitlan was destroyed in the fighting, or was looted, burned, or destroyed after the surrender.

When did the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan fall?

On 13 August 1521, after over two months of fighting, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés succeeded in bringing about the fall of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, and consequently brought an end to Aztec civilisation.

What caused the fall of Tenochtitlan?

Disease. When the Spanish arrived, they brought with them smallpox. Smallpox spread among the indigenous people and crippled their ability to resist the Spanish. The disease devastated the Aztec people, greatly reducing their population and killing an estimated half of Tenochtitlán’s inhabitants.

Who conquered the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan?

How Hernán Cortés Conquered the Aztec Empire. Tenochtitlán, the capital city of the Aztec Empire, flourished between A.D. 1325 and 1521—but was defeated less than two years after the arrival of Spanish invaders led by Cortés.

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Did the Aztecs conquer Tenochtitlan?

The Spanish campaign against the Aztec Empire had its final victory on 13 August 1521, when a coalition army of Spanish forces and native Tlaxcalan warriors led by Cortés and Xicotencatl the Younger captured the emperor Cuauhtémoc and Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire.

What happened to Tenochtitlán lake?

Mexico City suffered from periodic floods; in 1604 the lake flooded the city, with an even more severe flood following in 1607. Eventually the lake was drained by the channels and a tunnel to the Pánuco River, but even that could not stop floods, since by then most of the city was under the water table.

How did the Aztecs find Tenochtitlán?

Huitzilopochtli directed them to build where they saw an eagle perched on a cactus, eating a snake. When they saw this exact scene on an island (located in what was once Lake Texcoco), they interpreted it as a sign from their god and founded Tenochtitlan on that island.

Why did Montezuma II welcome Cortes at Tenochtitlán?

Montezuma II, also spelled Moctezuma, (born 1466—died c. Welcomed into the capital city of Tenochtitlán by Montezuma, Cortés realized it was a trap and, instead, made the emperor his prisoner, believing that the Aztecs would not attack as long as he held Montezuma captive.

What was the purpose of Tenochtitlán?

In less than 200 years, it evolved from a small settlement on an island in the western swamps of Lake Texcoco into the powerful political, economic, and religious center of the greatest empire of Precolumbian Mexico. Tenochtitlan was a city of great wealth, obtained through the spoils of tribute from conquered regions.

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Why did the Aztecs lose to the Spanish?

The overthrow of the Aztec Empire by Cortez and his expedition rests on three factors: The fragility of that empire, the tactical advantages of Spanish technology, and smallpox.

What was the downfall of Montezuma?

Enraged, the people of Tenochtitlan threw stones and spears at Montezuma, who was badly wounded before the Spanish were able to bring him back inside the palace. According to Spanish accounts, two or three days later, on June 29, Montezuma died of his wounds.

What killed the Aztecs?

Smallpox took its toll on the Aztecs in several ways. First, it killed many of its victims outright, particularly infants and young children.

Who Brought Down the Inca empire?

Atahuallpa, the 13th and last emperor of the Incas, dies by strangulation at the hands of Francisco Pizarro’s Spanish conquistadors. The execution of Atahuallpa, the last free reigning emperor, marked the end of 300 years of Inca civilization.

Why did Cortes want to conquer the Aztecs?

Cortes might have wanted to conquer the Aztec because he wanted gold, silver, to convert them to Christianity, glory, and greed. The advantages that the Spanish had over the Aztec were 16 horses, guns, armor, formed alliances, and diseases, steel.

What happened after the Spanish conquered the Aztecs?

During the Spaniards’ retreat, they defeated a large Aztec army at Otumba and then rejoined their Tlaxcaltec allies. In May 1521, Cortés returned to Tenochtitlán, and after a three-month siege the city fell. This victory marked the fall of the Aztec empire.

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How did Pizarro conquer the Incas?

With fewer than 200 men against several thousand, Pizarro lures Atahualpa to a feast in the emperor’s honor and then opens fire on the unarmed Incans. Pizarro’s men massacre the Incans and capture Atahualpa, forcing him to convert to Christianity before eventually killing him. Pizarro’s timing for conquest was perfect.

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