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The Aztec Empire

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Julie Liang

on 5 March 2013

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Transcript of The Aztec Empire

The Rise The Fall Religion Art Government, Law and Military The Creation Sacrifices The Aztec Empire The Rise Started as alliance between city-states Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan
Against Tepanec and Azcapotzalco
who previously dominated the Basin of Mexico Science & Technology The Rise and Fall of Considered advanced for their time
Mandatory education Disease Killed thousands of people
Led to hatred of citizens and surrounding states
People from city-state Tlaxcala were sacrificed
Tlaxcala joined Spaniards against the Aztecs Spanish army from Cuba came to monitor Cortes
Cortes fought them and brought back Smallpox
Aztecs caught it and it spread quickly
25% of population said to be lost due to smallpox, including emperor Cuitláhuac Tactics Spanish had more advanced technology (i.e. swords)
Aztec weapons and trapping techniques were weak in comparison
Spanish allied with surrounding natives to defeat Aztecs Government Tribute System
indirect and effective
in the form of food, clothing, supplies, precious stones, and captives
Marriage alliances used between states for unity throughout empire Military Every Aztec male received basic military training at an early age
Only nobles received elaborate training
War had perks and hindrances
warfare stimulated politics and religion: expanded empire, war captives for sacrifice
Aztecs were known for their savage war techniques - this made them enemies Law Crime & Punishment Minor crimes: tried in local court
convicts sold into slavery
Serious crimes: tried in Tenochtitlan teccalco court
convicts used for sacrifice
Extremely Serious crimes: tried in emperor's palace
one in which a noble commits a crime advances through studies of astronomy
created two calendars:

tracked the movements of the sun, moon, stars and planets
advanced in the field of medicine
were well-educated individuals
created innovative tools such as: dugout canoes, aqueducts, terraces Strong economy; primarily cacao beans and cotton Advanced transportation system Valley of Mexico was rich in resources Strong military allowed them to conquer most of Central America Absolute monarchy emperor is head of state Laws governed every aspect of life
ex. marriage, ownership property
some laws immoral by today's standards
ex. a man is allowed to have as many mistresses as he wishes
Other laws show Aztec belief of equality
ex. in the event of divorce, the assets are shared equally Music Very important in everyday life
Each lord had his own chapel, composers and singers
Music was a way of sharing stories
Meant for religious purposes
Cantares were dedicated to the gods performers would sing and dance for hours in a trance Art Literature The Xiuhpohualli and The Tonalpohualli Various types of art such as masks, clothing and sculptures
Clothing was elaborately decorated with jewels, furs, feathers and precious metals
Clothing (and adornments) made up a large part of economy
Masks and sculptures usually meant for religious purpose (e.g. in rituals)
Masks often covered with mosaics made from turquoise or shells
Art included a lot of metaphors. For example, animals were greatly admired and so were used to represent the gods Most stories told with pictures
Books folded out like fans
Poetry was the most popular form of literature
Most poetry dedicated to gods or war
Again, included many metaphors and symbols Aztecs worshiped over 1000 different gods
The sun god was the most important because it was believed he fought off the darkness everyday
The gods were very respected and the Aztecs put all their effort into making temples and places of worship beautiful
Aztecs made many human sacrifices (on specific days)
14 heavens and 9 hells
Believed the gods controlled their lives from birth to death Values Valued humanity, loyalty, sacrifice, rituals, and nature
Men were the head of the family
Moral values passed on from previous generations based on class system
used cacao beans and cotton as currency
trade system present among the Aztec empire through merchants: pochetca or regional
slaves were sold in markets along with crops and other goods
markets were held every five days or so Economy * * Quetzalcoatl Aztec deity: "feather serpent"
banished by the god of night
vowed he would return when the world was going to end to save the Aztecs
Quetzalcoatl rumored to have fair skin
Aztecs believed Cortes was Quetzalcoatl, came with followers
hospitable towards conquistadors
Cortes was lucky - Aztecs usually captured intruders to be sacrificed Julie, Wenna, Hannah, and Lesley * * s * * * * *
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