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Today in Latin American History

Aztec Capital of Tenochtitlán Fell to Hernán Cortés in 1521

Aztec Capital of Tenochtitlán Fell to Hernán Cortés in 1521

Photo: Tenochtitlán

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Today in Latin American history, the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán (present-day Mexico City) fell to conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1521.

Though numerous battles were fought between the Aztecs and the Spanish army, it was the siege of Tenochtitlan that was the final, decisive battle that led to the downfall of the Aztec civilization and marked the end of the first phase of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire.

The Aztecs surrendered on August 13, 1521. Cortés demanded the return of the gold lost during La Noche Triste.

Cuauhtémoc, the Aztec ruler of Tenochtitlan, was taken hostage the same day and remained the titular leader of Tenochtitlan, under the control of Cortés, until he was hung for treason in 1525 while accompanying a Spanish expedition to Guatemala.

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