The Spanish army, led by Hernán Cortés, conquered the Aztecs. The battle for parts of what is now Mexico lasted for just over two years between the Aztecs and the Spanish.
Cortés landed in Mexico in 1519 with the intention of colonizing it for Spain. Although he had never commanded an army before, there were already successful expeditions to the area from which to learn the strategies he needed to conquer and settle the land. Factors such as disease and ritual sacrifice that lessened Aztec population played a factor in their defeat. Cortes also allied with rival tribes that aided in his successful conquest, which ended in his seizure of the Aztec capital in August 1521.