The end of the Aztec Empire

Duration 04:30

Moctezuma welcomes Hernan Cortes to Tenochtitlan and gives him gifts of gold and jewels, hoping that the conquistadors will go away. Cortes has Moctezuma arrested and held hostage to protect the Spanish from Aztec attack. The Aztecs attack the palace and Moctezuma is killed. The Spanish retreat and many are drowned or killed. They return a year later, in 1521, and lay siege to Tenochtitlan, spelling the end for the Aztec Empire.

First broadcast:
25 September 2007

The class could be split into Aztecs and Spanish to re-enact the chase from the palace, pausing for freeze framing of thoughts, emotions, sights, sounds and smells, leading into writing diary entries from contrasting points of view. This clip could act as a stimulus for research into the factors that led to the end of the Aztec Empire and investigate the longer lasting legacy.