The Fall of Tenochtitlan

After a brutal 75-day siege, the Mexica capital of Tenochtitlan surrendered on August 13, 1521. The war cost tens of thousands of lives, civilian and warrior alike. It was a war of atrocity, massacre, and systematic violence. By the end, a few thousand Spaniards under the command of Hernando Cortés fighting alongside many times more Indigenous warriors from places like Tlaxcala and Huexotzinco had destroyed one of the greatest cities of the early modern world, the seat of the Aztec Empire.

Written by Diego Javier Luis. Narration by Dr. Nicholas B. Breyfogle. Video production by Laura Seeger and Dr. Nicholas B. Breyfogle.

This is a production of Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective at the Goldberg Center in the Department of History at The Ohio State University and the Department of History at Miami University.