Cortes was born in Medellin, Extremadura, Spain in 1485. Cortes was of low Spanish nobility. His name is pronounced as [kohr-tez', air-nahn']. Cortes has many different names like Hernan Cortes, Hernando Cortes and Hernando Cortez. Cortes had many names but his main name was Hernan Cortes.
At the age of 14, Cortes studied law at the University of Salamanca. But in 1501 he quit university to try to find his fortune in the New World. His fortune would be the gold of the Aztecs. He did not realize that this would be his fortune in the New World.
He wandered Spain for three years after quitting university and could not find a job so he sailed to Santo Domingo do find his fortune. It was spring 1504 when he left Spain. In Santo Domingo he could not find any job suitable for himself. This went on for seven years.
He then joined a Spanish conquest of Cuba, which was led by Diego Velazquez. After this over whelming defeat of Cuba, Cortes became mayor of Santiago de Cuba. He then persuaded Diego Velazquez let him go on an expedition to conquer the Indians. He was very persuasive because he got his expedition in 1519.
He would be trying to conquer Mexico from the Indians (see picture 1). He not only was going to conquer them he would convert the Aztec's religion to Christianity. This was because the Aztecs were ripping people's hearts out for sacrifices (see picture 2). They would rip the hearts out on large pyramids, which were painted red. (See picture 3). The Spanish would not tolerate this ripping out hearts ceremony so they sent Cortes to rid Mexico of this ceremony. He was also trying to get some of the gold from the Aztecs...