Period: Jan 1, 1492 to Dec 31, 1493
Columbus' First VoyageIn 1492 Columbus led an expedition to find a quicker trade route to Asia, but instead he accidentally discovered North America. This is important because this started the exploration of the Americas.
Jan 1, 1519
Cortes lands in MexicoCortes lands on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and is met by resistance from the natives. After quickly overpowering them and forcing them to surrender, the natives gave them gold, supplies, food, and 20 women, including an interpreter named Doña Marina. After months, he set sail west to Veracruz. He then set out to rule the Aztec empire and on the way met the Tlaxcalans, enemies of the Aztecs. (Cont.)
Jan 2, 1519
The Siege of TenochtitlánWhen the Aztecs saw Cortes they thought he was the propheted god, Quetzalcoatl. Thinking this, Montezuma (The leader of the Aztecs) greeted them with honor. While Cortes marched into the city, his soldiers and the Tlaxcalans sacked the city, while Cortes took Montezuma hostage. With the help of Dona Marina, he ruled Tenochtitlán through him. During this, a Spanish force landed on the coast of Mexico with the intentions of unseating Cortes. He took his men and the Tlaxcalans to march on them.
Jan 3, 1519
Pineda's VoyageIn 1519, Spain commissioned Alonso Alvarez de Pineda to explore the coast of the Gulf Of Mexico in hopes of finding a water passage to the Orient. Pineda mapped nearly 800 miles of coastline. After arriving in Vera Cruz in August 1519, only to find out that Hernan Cortes already claimed the land. After escaping an attempted capture by Cortes, Pineda sailed north. It is thought he died to wounds from an Indian skirmish. This is important because his maps later lead the way for future explorers.
Period: Jan 5, 1519 to Dec 31, 1521
The Fall of TenochtitlanAfter defeating the Spanish force that opposed him, Cortes regrouped and attacked Tenochtitlan in full force in 1521. Cortes and his men returned to a full rebellion. At this point, Tenochtitlan's society had crumbled. The Aztecs no longer trusted Montezuma and 3 million Aztecs had died from the smallpox that one of Cortes' men had spread. With such a severely weakened empire, it was easy to conquer the once mighty empire of the Aztecs. After this, Cortes began building Mexico City on the ruins.
Jun 1, 1527
De Vaca's Voyage; Narváez Expedition [Part One]The Narváez expedition started in 1527 and was intended to establish colonial settlements and garrisons in Florida. It was originally lead by Panfilo de Narváez.
Nov 6, 1528
De Vaca discovers TexasOn this day, the Spanish conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca was shipwrecked at a place they named the Island of Misfortune. From 1529 De Vaca lived in a state of semi-slavery to the Karankawas. In 1534, he and the other Spanish survivors started west across Texas and Mexico. During this time he encountered two other tribes. the Coahuiltecan and the Jumanos. When De Vaca returned to Spain, he told of the Seven Cities of Gold.
Jan 1, 1538
Fray Marcos and Esteban's JourneyMarcos de Niza was a priest who was sent north from Mexico City by in 1538-39 to search for gold cities that were rumored to be north of the frontier of New Spain. He left and journeyed north into the unknown for several months. In the summer of 1539 he returned saying he had discovered the cities - in a province called Cibola. He reported that he had reached the city and saw it from a distance, but because his companion, Esteban, had been killed there, he returned without entering it.
Jan 1, 1539
Moscoso's ExpeditionThe expedition lead by Hernado de Soto traveled throughout the southeastern United States. In May 1542, De Soto died from a fever at the Mississippi River in what is now Arkansas and command of the expedition was transferred to Moscoso. After many hardships, Moscoso returned and reported that there was no gold to be found in Texas,
Sep 1, 1540
Coronado's ExpeditionTo confirm the report of gold, the Viceroy of New Spain sent Coronado to search for Cibola. Finding no gold in Cibola, he moved his army east. During this time, he met another Indian, called the Turk, who spoke of another city, Quivera. In April 1541, the army marched to the Texas panhandle, and in May Coronado rode north to Quivera. The city turned out to be an adobe Zuni village. Realizing that the Turk had mislead him, he put him to death. The expedition was considered a failure.