I have included only a few items concerning the history of this empire. A good source for more details can be
found on Wikipedia or in history books.
Mexica migrants arrived in 1250 AD and persuaded the king of Culhuacán to cede Chapultepec.
In 1428 AD, the Nahua city-states of Tenochtitlan,
Texcoco and Tlacopan (Tepaneca people)
formed an alliance to control the Lake Texcoco region.
Acolhua people (a culture similar to the Aztecs) arrived at Texcoco circa 1200 AD.
The Mexica of Tenochtitlan gained supremacy and expanded their territory. Europeans called these people the Aztecs.
The Triple Alliance fought a successful war against Tepaneca forces in 1426 AD. Chief architect of the
alliance, Tlacaelel, ordered religious records burned to consolidate
his rule. Moctezuma I succeeded to the throne and continued efforts
to rewrite history as more favorable to the Mexica. He also instituted a new system to extract tribute from
subject people and launched campaigns to expand territory. His reforms created ritual "Flower Wars", which were fought
to obtain a steady supply of victims for sacrifice atop their pyramid temples.
In 1455 AD, the Tarascan Empire under Tzitzipandaquare seized the
Toluca valley. A series of wars with Aztec forces ensued, including one in
which 90% of the Mexica soldiers under Axayacatl died or were captured in a border battle. Tarascans never
again faced the cowed Aztecs. A new Aztec king, Ahuitzotl, subdued the Guerrero coast and Valley of
Oaxaca (site of Monte Alban and
In 1502 AD, Moctezuma II succeeded his brother, Ahuitzotl, to
the throne. He consolidated power over conquered regions. In 1519 AD, a Spanish expedition under
Hernán Cortés originally landed at
Cozumel, then proceeded to Campeche.
The local king gave a slave woman named Malintzin to
interpret between Cortés and the Aztecs. Cortés convinced leaders of the Totonacs at
Cempoala, and eventually the Tlaxcala, to ally with him.
While at Cholula, Cortés ordered a
massacre of suspected enemies. The Spanish conquistadors
entered Tenochtitlan as guests, but fought Aztec soldiers while Cortés made a brief return east--to
burn his ships and prevent a withdrawal of his troops.
He and a Spanish contingent battled their way into and out of the capital during the battle of
La Noche Triste. After their expulsion, 50% of the
city population died from smallpox and Cortés returned with an army of 100,000 to complete the conquest.