(AP) — There are two ways of remembering the Spanish siege of Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital now known as Mexico City. It was either the painful birth of modern Mexico, or the start of centuries of enslavement.
The world-changing battle started May 22, 1521, and lasted until the city fell to the conquistadores on Aug. 13th. It was one of the few times an organized Indigenous army under local command fought European colonizers to a standstill for months.
The final defeat helped set the template for much of the conquest and colonization that came afterward. Historian Salvador Rueda says “The fall of Tenochtitlan opened the modern history of the West.”