The Aztec Empire

The Aztec Empire was a Native American state that ruled much of current day Mexico from 1428 to 1521. Its captial, Tenochitian, was one of the largest and most advanced in the world when it was captured. Henan Cortes led a small group of well armed Spanish soldiers that defeated an Empire with tens of thousand of soldiers. Learn More About Aztec
Hernan Cortes had been living in Cuba, which he had taken an active part in conquering. Cortes and other Spaniards heard rumors of gold and a great civilization  on the mainland.  Cortes secured a charter from the Spanish governor to explore and exploit whatever land was there.  At the last minute, the governor revoked his charter.  Cortes sailed anyway. He took a small fleet of 11 ships and 600 Spanish soldiers to find the gold.  Learn More About Cortes
In March of 1519, Cortes landed on the Yucatan Peninsula, now part of Mexico.  There he met a Native American princess named Malintzin.  Malintzin knew a number of Native American Languages and soon became Cortes' translator.  She told him about the Aztecs.  Cortes marched inland in April towards the Aztec capital. More on Malintzin
Cortes enter the Atec capital of Tenochitian without opposition. The Aztec King wanted to learn more about the Spaniards. Cortes and his men soon took Montezuma hostage and started looting the gold of the Empire. While Cortes fought a Spanish for on the coast his men massacred Aztec priests which began a revolt More on event in the Tenochitian