The Mexica Empire, or Aztec Empire, was a large empire in Central America existing between about 1345 AD and 1521 AD.
Many civilizations before (and after) the Mexica were conquered by explorers and colonizers. But this empire's fall was due to Spanish conquistadors led by the particularly nasty Hernán Cortés. After the states of Tlaxcala and Huexotzingo rebelled and beat the Mexica military, Cortés and the conquistadors arrived at the capital of the empire, Tenochtitlan. Emperor Moctezuma II invited them in, he thought Cortés was a god prophesized to bring them eternal peace. But Cortés took him prisoner, yet even then things were friendly. But when Cortés was away, Spanish soldiers attacked and killed many Aztecs who decided that they have had enough. They killed Moctezuma II, and made his brother, Cuitláhuac, the new emperor, who drove the Spanish out of the city. When he came back, Cortés tried make Motecuhzoma II get everyone to stop but no one listened. The Spanish survivors fled to Tlaxcala where enemies of the Mexicas protected them, that whole night was referred to as La Noche Triste. Cuitláhuac died of smallpox brought from the Spanish ships shortly afterward and Motecuhzoma's nephew, Cuauhtémoc, was made the new emperor.
Ten months later, Hernán Cortés came back to Tenochtitlan with more Spanish soldiers, but they were mostly Tlaxcaltecas and other indigenous enemies of the Mexicas. They had too many enemies as they force them to pay tributes and participate in human sacrifices, Cortés used the hatred of the Empire's enemies to his advantage, using Malintzin, the daughter of a local chieftain, Cortés was able to get them on his side. They all started a siege of Tenochtitlan cutting off the city's water and food supplies. After ninety-one days, without any food and with disease throughout the city, Emperor Cuauhtémoc surrendered to the Spanish and was eventually executed. The Spanish destroyed the capital and started a Spanish colony that they named New Spain ending the Mexica Empire. When most of the remaining population of Mesoamerica converted to Christianity away from the Aztec pantheon, the Mexica Gods lost a significant source of power and retreated to the mythical realm known as Aztlán, it the home place of the Mexica tribe before they traveled South. Most Mexica souls went to their underworld that was known as Mictlan, though some still remain in the world of the living and are protected by the Mayan Gods.
- The Mexica Empire was the farthest and fastest ancient civilization to fall.
- According to What If? magazine, if Motecuhzoma was wary enough, he would've attacked the Spanish and Cortés would've been killed. Then the Mexica would gain knowledge of things like horse riding and guns but Spain would struggle financially without the gold they would've got. This would lead to the cancellation of the Peru and Inca Empire and the massacre of the Tlaxcalans. The Mexica wouldn't fall until 1819 where the Spanish would receive help from the British and French.
- What If? Book of Alternative History (2nd Edition)