Most of what is now present-day Mexico was conquered by the by 1502. The Aztec exacted from tribes they conquered in the form of taxes or captives. This created much hatred, especially among the Tlaxcalan, who lived east of Tenochtitlan. In 1519, Aztec emperor responded to the arrival of the Spanish troops on the east coast with gifts of gold and silver.
Cortes Reaches Tenochtitlan
Seeking gold, sailed with his troops from Spain. When he got to Mexico, he burned his fleet to keep his men from retreating. Going to Tenochtitlan, the group met an Indian woman, , who hated the Aztec and convinced many Indians to join Cortes. Arriving at the Aztec capital, Cortes got a warm welcome.
Conquest of the Aztec
Cortes easily took Moctezuma prisoner and gained control of the . In fury, the Aztec drove the Spanish out, but Moctezuma was killed in the fray. Cortes gathered more troops and Indians and attacked again in 1521. Aztec ruler
and his people were defeated when Cortes's men
blockaded Tenochitlan and blocked their food and water supply. The Spaniards then destroyed the Aztec and burned their sacred books. They declared Mexico a colony of Spain, called New Spain.
Pizarro Conquers the Inca
In 1531, Spanish conquistador and 180
soldiers set out to conquer the , who lived in the Andes mountains. The Inca empire stretched from present-day Columbia to Chile. In 1532 Pizarro met the Inca chief Atahualpa in the city of Cajamorca. Atahualpa was murdered and 1,500 of his followers were ambushed, despite his surrender of a great deal of gold.