When the Tlaxcalans agreed to camp in neighboring fields, the Cholulans relented and allowed Cortes and about 400 of his Spanish men, as well as his Totonac friends, to enter the city. Cortes' first impressions of the city were positive. He wrote that it was "a very fair town, with wide streets and large houses." But he also noted that it was filled with idols so he had some torn down to be burned. In their place, he had wooden images made for worship back in Spain.
Cortes then sent messages to Pánfilo de Narváez, who was waiting outside the city with a small army, asking him to come inside. The two leaders agreed to be joint rulers of the new country called New Spain. This agreement was not binding since neither man wanted to start a war over it. However, it did give them both power enough to deal with the problems they faced.
Cortés built his headquarters near the center of town where there was an abundant supply of water from springs that still flow today. He named his new city after his wife, Doña Isabel Cortés.
After about a year in Mexico City, Don Carlos decided to move his court to Valladolid because of problems with thieves and rebels in Mexico City.
The Tlaxcalans brought Cortes and his forces to Cholula in 1519 to facilitate revenge against the city for its treachery. When they arrived at the outskirts of Cholula, they found the town well defended by high walls with deep ditches outside them. However, when they approached within shooting distance of the wall, the Tlaxcalans retreated back into the town.
Cortes' army followed the Tlaxcalans inside the walled city. The Spanish soldiers captured several priests who told them that if anything happened to the image of Kukulkan, the city's main deity, there would be no end to the violence against Christians. With this warning ringing in their ears, Cortes' men burned down the churches and houses of worship associated with the cult.
After destroying all evidence of Christianity within the city limits, Cortes ordered the construction of a large cannon known as the "devil's ball" because it was said to bring evil upon anyone who used it. This weapon was aimed directly at the face of Kukulkan.
When the gun was complete, it was taken to the edge of the city where Cortes had an altar built for it to fire prayers at God. Then, the cannon was fired once, never to be used again.
Cortes agreed to send emissaries to persuade the Spaniards to go to Cholula to entertain them. The Spaniards had been there for a few days when word came that Moctezuma was planning to ambush them. Cortes joined up with Moctezuma's opponents and invaded the city, killing 6,000 people. He burned it down then left.
In 1540, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado led an expedition into what is now the American Southwest in search of gold. One of his main sources of information about the region was a book called "The Comentarios" by Garcilaso de la Vega, which described in great detail the culture of Mexico at the time. In this book, Garcilaso mentioned a city named Cholula that was said to be full of gold. This inspired Coronado to lead an expedition to Cholula, but it ended badly when his soldiers attacked and killed many priests there. After this incident, Coronado returned home without finding any gold.
In 1598, another Spanish explorer named Diego de Hidalgo went to Mexico looking for gold. When he got there, he found out that Cuauhtemoc, the last emperor of the Mexica empire, was willing to trade land for horses so they could fight against the Spanish. De Hidalgo traded five horses for eight large tracts of land including Cholula.
On the wide causeway leading to Tenochtitlan, Cortes meets Montezuma. He seizes the Aztec ruler and gains control of the city less than a week later. On the Night of Tears, the Spaniards and their allies evacuated Tenochtitlan. They rally at Tlacopan after losing more than half their troops before retiring to Tlaxcala. There they regroup before returning to Spain.
Cortes demands that Montezuma pay him for the loss of his men, but the emperor refuses. So, in order to make an example of him, Cortes orders that he be burned alive.
According to the account of one of his soldiers, Bernal Diaz del Castillo, during the final siege of the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan, Cortes had some 200,000 Tlaxcalan and other native auxiliaries, while the Aztec warriors were drawn from the numerous cities surrounding Lake Xochimilco in the Valley of Mexico...
The number of natives that helped Cortes depends on which army member is telling the story. If we accept Bernal Diaz del Castillo as a reliable source, then it can be estimated that around 20,000 Mexicans fought at the side of Hernán Cortés during the conquest of Mexico. This includes troops from Tlaxcala, Huejotzingo, Piedras Negras, Malinaltepec, and others.
However, this estimate does not include Indians from other countries who joined Cortes' forces. For example, there are reports of Cubans fighting with him, and there are also reports of Europeans (probably Spaniards) joining his forces. It has been suggested that up to 10,000 Europeans may have participated in the Conquest of Mexico. Although the evidence is not conclusive, it seems likely that most of these people came from Spain rather than Europe elsewhere in the world.
It is estimated that between 200,000 and 500,000 Indians served as auxiliaries during the Conquest of Mexico. These numbers include both men and women.