Today in World History: February 28th

The last emperor of the Aztecs, Cuauhtémoc, was executed on this day in 1521. After the death of Moctezuma II, he ascended to the throne during a time of Aztec weakness, after being devastated by smallpox and other European diseases. Cuauhtémoc also had to face the Spanish conquistadors, led by Hernán Cortés, as they wreaked havoc on his empire. He was quickly overpowered bu the Spaniards’ vastly superior weapons and the capital of Tenochtitlan was stormed. He was captured by Cortés, and  taken to Honduras with the conquistador. It is said that on the 27 of February Cortés discovered a plot by Cuauhtémoc to kill him, and the next day, Cortés had Cuauhtémoc and two other Aztec noblemen executed, marking the end of the Aztec Empire, and another step towards Spanish domination of South, Central and part of North America.


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