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Class Systems of The Aztec and Spanish.

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Nibin Alex

on 12 January 2016

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Transcript of Class Systems of The Aztec and Spanish.

Aztec Class Systems
The pipiltin were the upper class or nobles of the Aztec.
Many members of this class were occupying top positions in the army, the priest hood and government.
Members of the pipiltin were expected to conduct themselves in an exemplary way and follow a strict code of behavior.
The pipiltin were expected to be role models for the commoners.
Class Systems of The Aztec and Spanish.
The Aztec and Spanish social systems had certain features and aspects that were similar to each other's. Certain aspects from the social systems of both these societies greatly influenced how the people of each society lived in their daily lives. There were also many social system aspects of both the societies which differed from each other's, such as the different classes and their different roles, which also affected the lives of all the people living inside of these societies. Both the details and the similarities and differences of Aztec and Spanish social systems will be examined.
The Aztec society had a hierarchical social system. For the Aztec society, the pipiltin were the upper elite class, with the macehualtin being the middle class, the mayeques being the lower class, and the tlatcotin being the slaves of the Aztec Empire. The men, women, and priests also had unique roles in Aztec society, but didn't have their own class in the class system.
The macehualtin were the middle class in the Aztec society
The macehualtin were able to imrpove their status by gaining recognition in the military or by becoming a priest
Men in the middle class could distinguish themselves as tolteca, or artisans
Very few macehualtin men who showed exemplary attitudes in military could be chosen to be judges in their calpulli
Macehualtin could also become merchants or pochteca(long-distance traders)
Very few macehualtin managed to become wealthy, usually through trading, and were able to afford their own land.
This was the lowest class in the Aztec society
This class was made up of peasants(Mayeques) and slaves(Tlacotin)
The Mayeques were required to work the land of nobles, build and maintain temples of the cities and the palaces of the nobles
Mayeques were guaranteed a piece of land that they could have for life and even pass it on to their children.
No person could be born into slavery.
A person would go into slavery if they were unable to pay a debt or as punishment for a crime.
The Tlacotin could own property and marry and it was possible to buy back their freedom
Class Systems of the Spanish
Commoners/ Merchant Class
Priests of the Aztec and Spanish

Leaders of the Spanish
The main leader of the Spanish expedition to Mexico was Hernando Cortes.
The king and Queen of Spain of the time was King Ferdinand of Aargon and Queen Isabella of Castile.
The rulers of Spain were thought to be chosen by God.
Cortes was the main reason why the Spanish were able to conquer the Aztec and Tenochtitlan.

In the Spanish hierarchical class system, there were only two main classes. The nobility was made up of the king, the queen, the Spanish Grande(dukes, marquis, and counts). Minor nobles were referred to as don. The commoners made up ninety percent of Spain's population. The commoner class also included peasant farmers or herders that had the lowest status in Spanish society. In Spanish society, priests played a very important role but didn't have their own class in Spanish society, just like the Aztec priests.
Roles of Men and Women in Spanish Society
Roles of Men and Women in Aztec Society
Leaders of the Aztec
The peasants of the Spanish were part of the commoner class, and had the lowest status
Many peasants lived and worked in huge estates that belonged to the nobles.
Only a tiny percentage of peasants owned their own land or were able to save money.
The nobility were the highest class in the class system. They were extremely powerful to the extent the they ruled their estates like monarchs.
The highest class of nobility were called the Spanish Grande
They made up only 10% of Spain's population.
The lower class of the nobles were called don.
The lowest class of the nobility were called hildago.Hildago had strict rules for behavior based on courage in battles.
Many people from the hidalgo class contributed to the Spanish Reconquista by joining it.
A noble's land and property was passed down to the eldest son when they died. The other sons would try to become a conquistador or enter the clergy.
They looked down on manual labour and thought it was shameful. People in the nobility judged someone by their social position, and not their hard work.
Comparison between Spanish and Aztec Class Systems
Commoners made up most of Spain's population with about 90% of Spain's population being commoners.
By the support from the monarchs, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, a merchant class was created and growing.
Individuals from the Merchant class were trained in religion, law and medicine.
Commoners with the positions of merchants, shopkeepers, artisan and traders had a better lifestyle and social status than commoners who did do manual labour.
Wealthy merchants owned property and were well educated.
The leader of the Aztec society was the emperor.
The emperor was also called the Huey Tlotani, the great speaker.
The emperor was the highest ranking priest and the representative of the god Huitzilopochtli
Nobody could disobey the emperor and the final decision for the punishment of a criminal was his decision
The Council of Wise Men, which were made up of the wisest priests and greatest warriors, chooses the emperor
The Council of Wise Men also could dismiss an emperor if he does not do his duties.
Hard labour was done by mostly men, although peasant women would cultivate the land if it was needed.
Only men could enter the government and contribute to running a business.
Divorce was forbidden.
The roles of women in Spain were similar to the rest of Europe during the Renaissance
Women were expected to marry and take care of the household.
There are also women who did become artisans and writers.

Men joined the army if there was soldiers needed. They also did most of the physical work.
The household and family were expected to be taken care of by the women.
Women could run a business and do crafts.
Women could also control and keep property.
Women could also become artisans.
Children worked with their parents staring at the age of 5.
Girls married in their late teens while boys married late teens or early twenties.
The household and family were expected to be taken care of by the women.
Wives had legal protection from marital abuse.
In case of a divorce or a marriage breakup, women had custody of the children.
Only men could hold positions of power.
Aztec priests came from every class. A priest could be a male or female, but were assigned different roles in different rituals to different gods.
In festivals, priests perform human sacrifices to their gods. They believed sacrifice was necessary to sustaining the world. Sacrifices came from various classes and war captives.
In important rites, the priest could sacrifice parts of himself or even another god. In festivals individuals would impersonate god to become physical manifestation for the god.
Spanish priests were Roman Catholic and they would join religious orders such as Franciscans, Jesuits, and the Dominican.
Religious orders often educate commoner children.
Priests who didn't join religious orders often had to support themselves with other jobs.
Both the Spanish and the Aztec were hierarchical systems.
The Spanish were governed by a King and a Queen.
The Aztec were governed by a King and was assisted by a council.
Women in the Aztec were more privileged with more available roles (such as priests) in society.
Commoners in both the Aztec and Spain did the manual labor.
There was no social mobility in Spain while the Aztec did have mobility, but only to a certain extent
There was no slavery in Spain.
No one could be born a slave in Aztec society. Some Aztecs became slaves to repay debt.
Slaves could buy freedom.
In conclusion, the Aztec and Spanish had many similarities and differences in their social systems that shaped their worldview and their lifestyles. Each class contributed to their society and country through their roles. Their worldview changed because of this, and so did how other societies thought of them and how they interacted with other societies.

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