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|Behind the scenes|
Mexico, also known as New Spain, or Nueva Espana was a region in Central America and contained one of the largest Spanish colonies. Prior to Spanish occupation, Mexico was the home of the Aztec Empire.
In 1519, Mexico was discovered by the Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés and his band of adventurers. Upon reaching the shores, a small port known as Vera Cruz was constructed and the colony of Nuevo Espana was established. Cortés gathered an expedition to embark on an inland trek, and after believing the lands were uninhabited, his band discovered that the lands were already claimed by the struggling Aztec Empire who had already been living in Mexico for three centuries. After taking advantage of the natives' hospitality, the soldiers were driven out of Tenochtitilan following an ambush, which resulted in the expedition pulling out of Vera Cruz.
Two years later, in 1521, Cortés mounted a campaign against the Aztec Empire, and along with 600 conquistadors, returned to Vera Cruz and marched on the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. Armed with the Sword of Cortés, Cortés was unbeatable. The Spanish Army forged an alliance with both the Tlaxcaltec and Texcoco peoples (the main enemies of Aztecs) and together, the combined army (which contained 10,000 in all) laid siege to the Aztec capital. Once the fighting ceased, the Aztecs were rounded up and enslaved by the Spanish. Tenochtitilan was ordered burned to the ground by Cortés following the victory in order to show the Aztecs that he was the new master of the once proud realm. At some point during the conquest, Mexico's Aztec rulers bribed Cortés with a stone chest filled with 882 identical pieces of Aztec gold.
The Spanish defeat of the Aztecs in 1521 marked the beginning of the Spanish rule. Mexico became known as "la Nueva España" or "New Spain". This entity was part of an eponymous vice-royalty, which joined with it the Spanish Caribbean islands, Central America as far south as Costa Rica, and the Philippines. Cortés was appointed the first governor of New Spain in 1522 and he ordered the construction of a brand new capital city. Upon the ruins of the old Aztec capital, the town of "Mexico" was built and it soon became one of the most prosperous Spanish colonies in the New World.
Throughout the 17th and 18th century Spanish vessels had sailed from Mexico to Spain with their valuables. During their quest to lift the Aztec curse, Hector Barbossa's cursed crew raided on Spanish ships heading back to Seville from the country's colonies in Mexico and Peru. All the wealth they plundered included huge quantities of gold and silver bars and coins, which they would put in the caves of Isla de Muerta. Some time after the death of Barbossa, his former crew, now led by Bo'sun, had searched for the magical Aztec Idol in Mexico.
Behind the Scenes
- In real-world history, Spanish Conquistador Francisco Hernández de Córdoba explored the shores of South Mexico in 1517, followed by Juan de Grijalva in 1518. The most important of the early conquistadors was Hernán Cortés, who entered the country in 1519 from a native coastal town which he renamed "Puerto de la Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz".