Spanish Conquest.

The empire reached its height during Ahuzotl's reign in 1486–1502. His successor, Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin (better known as Moctezuma II or Moctezuma), had been Tlatoani for 17 years when the Spaniards landed on the Gulf Coast in the spring of 1519.
external image Moctezuma_II.gif
external image Moctezuma_II.gif

Despite some early battles between the two, Hernan Cortes allied himself with the Aztecs’ long-time enemy, the Confederacy of Tlaxcala, and arrived at the gates of Tenochtitlan on the 8th of November of 1519.
The Spaniards and their Tlaxcallan allies became increasingly dangerous and unwelcome guests in the capital city. In June, 1520, hostilities broke out, culminating in the massacre in the Main Temple and the death of Moctezuma II. The Spaniards fled the town on July 1, an episode later characterized as La Noche Triste (the Sad Night). After the death of Moctezuma II, the

empire fell into the hands of severely weakened emperors.
Despite the decline of the Aztec empire, most of the Mesoamerican cultures were intact after the fall of Tenochtitlan. Indeed, the freedom from Aztec domination may have been considered a positive development by most of the other cultures. The upper classes of the Aztec empire were considered noblemen by the Spaniards and generally treated as such initially. All this changed rapidly and the native population were soon forbidden to study by law, and had the status of minors.
The Tlaxcalans remained loyal to their Spanish friends and were allowed to come on other conquests with Cortés and his men.