(1485–1547), first of the Spanish conquistadors. He overthrew the Aztec empire by conquering its capital, Tenochtitlán, in 1519 and by deposing its emperor, Montezuma. In 1521, he destroyed Tenochtitlán completely, established Mexico City as the capital of New Spain (now Mexico), and served briefly as its governor.
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Syllabification: Cor·tés, Hernando
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