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Hernan Cortes was a Spanish conquistador in the 16th century.  He is best known because he was the one who led a small group of Spaniards to what is now Mexico.  There, they (with a great deal of help from Indians who allied with them) overthrew the Aztec empire which was centered in what is now Mexico City.

Cortes, then, is seen as the man who conquered the Aztec empire.  After the conquest, Cortes became very rich and important.  He was not allowed to rule the colony that he had conquered, but he was given a great deal of land, the control of which made him a very rich man.

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