The Transformation Of The Aztec Empire

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After landing on the coast of Mexico in the early 1500’s in what is now Veracruz, Cortés caught word of the possibility of much wealthier land if he were only willing to travel more inland. The Aztec empire centered around it’s powerful capital city of Tenochtitlán, and Cortés wanted it for himself and Spain. After arriving in the great city he said to have gasped at the sight of the large buildings, beautiful design, and overall substance. While the accounts written by him and his men are the only known surviving writings of the late empire, we are able to get a pretty clear glimpse into its beauty by the way he spoke. Built on a sizeable lake, the Tenochtitlán was only assessable by four very large bridges. Cortés was quite impressed by the way in which 10 of his men could ride side by side while crossing. The actual size of the city was not what impressed him most, seeing as it was comparable to the city of Seville that he had seen at home, but instead he found it intriguing how the people had developed roads that worked around the grand body of water. After spending some time in the empire, Cortés began to write about his observations. Notably, he discussed an incident in which he had seen a native eating the meat of one of his fallen comrade. Cortés had the man burned and explained to the chief and his people that it was due to the fact that he had eaten another human being. He defended his actions to himself and others by stating that he had only come to teach the

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