Spanish Conquistador: Hernán Cortés

Hernán Cortés was one of the most well known Spanish Conquistadors from Spain who was loyal to his native country by accomplishing his goal to capture new land in order to establish new civilizations and expand the Christian religion.

Hernán Cortés- 1500's

      Growing up in a fairly small and poor town in Spain, I was always curious about the world and how big it actually is. I am an only child and my family's social status was high, however, we did not have much money. My parents wanted me to get a strong law degree in college and bring money into their hands, but I had always known that being an explorer is what God had wanted me to do. Plus, I had absolutely no interest in law, and I was only fourteen years old at the time. Despite the fact that I went to school to study law, the main thing I learned at university was the highly anticipated and talked about Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the new land in San Salvador. Capturing land for my country has always been my biggest goal, because it would lead to expansion of civilization, Christianity, and I would receive a fair amount of money while doing what I love. Religion was wildly important to us Spaniards. God put me on earth in order to discover new land and capture it for people who believe in Him.

     By the age of 19, I was ready to join Diego Velázquez and about 500 other men in setting sail to the new world. Our first travels were to Cuba, where we soon conquered the land. I became mayor of the city of Santiago, also working with government. Velázquez, the main leader of my group of conquistadors, took a larger role and became the governor of Cuba. After working in the government for a couple of years, I realized that I wanted to set sail and discover new land with the approval of Velázquez again. He agreed, and set up specific dates and plans to travel to a land called Mexico. At the last minute, Velázquez cancelled the voyage, but I refused to listen to him and continued with the original plan.

     After the long voyage including more than 500 men, we finally settled in Mexico in 1521. I soon discovered that the land was already taken by the Aztecs, but that didn't phase me. It was a complicated fight; the Aztecs attempted to force us Spaniards out of the land, but we would not surrender. A close friend of mine whom I made a deal with about capturing the land, King Charles I of Spain, was very proud of me and my army for fulfilling our promises of conquering the new land. We named the captured land New Spain, and I was anointed governor.  New Spain extended to other parts of Central America (which is between modern day North America and South America), but I was only associated with the capturing of Mexico. Expanding the land owned by Spain would give my country an opportunity to have a new start and build new communities, and I am very proud of my accomplishments in life and the land that I have gained for my country.

Hernán Cortés conquering land by attacking the natives.
Hernán Cortés and his army making a deal with a person of a high level for land.
New Spain was land captured by the Spanish, which extended from parts of modern day North America to South America.