Hernando Cortes sailed for Spain. He traveled to the New World at the age of 19 and played a major role in advancing Spain's position in the Americas. He is best known for defeating the Aztec Empire and conquering Mexico for Spain.
Hernando Cortes sailed to Hispaniola in 1504 and remained there for several years. He later sailed to Cuba and entered politics. In 1519, Cortes sailed to Mexico against orders. There, he established alliances with some native groups and conquered others. After capturing Montezuma and conquering the Aztec Empire, he was appointed governor of New Spain by King Charles I. Cortes retired in Spain and died in 1547.