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Aztec Empire

1300-1521
by

M W

on 10 June 2015

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Transcript of Aztec Empire

Architecture
Culture/Social Structure
-Strong gender roles/ patriarchal society

-Advancement through achievements as a warrior

-Religion was extremely important

-Slavery existed in the Empire, typically slaves were people captured in battle

-Human Sacrifice and Cannibalism

-Greeted the Spanish Conquistadores with gifts and hospitality
Overview
-Originally a Nomadic people, the Aztecs migrated to the central Mexican valley in about the year 1300

-Strong history of 'warrior culture'

-Quickly established supremacy in the region as they
won several military victories and brought other people groups under their control

-Spoke the 'Nahua' or 'Nahuatl' language (as did many other groups in the region)

-Established the epic city of Tenochtitlan, one of the greater human accomplishments of the time

-Triple Alliance: Tlacopan, Texcoco, Tenochtitlan

-Economic Influence/ Trade/Tribute
Technology
-The causeways and canals
-Architecture and Canoes
-Palace
-Floating Farms (Chinampas)
-Stone/Obsidian weapons
-advanced farming techniques
Art
-The Aztecs practiced many types of visual and performing arts, much of which was tied to their religious practices. The Aztecs had elaborate religious customs and had large feasts with elaborate performances.

-The Aztecs possessed no written symbolic language, thus they kept track of information in pictorial Codices (ancient manuscripts), some of which we still have copies (most were destroyed by the Spanish).
Religion
-Extremely important in Aztec daily life
-Revolves around on a constant need to win the favor of the gods through ritual
-Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli were the 2 most important gods
Tlaloc, god of the rain (essential for survival)
Huitzilopochtli, god of war and the sun, patron god of the Aztec/Mexica tribe
1350-1521
The Aztec Empire
Fall to the Spanish
-Hernan Cortes and the Spanish Conquistadores
-Came to Mesoamerica for 2 major reasons:
wealth (gold/land mainly)
to spread their religion (Roman Catholicism)
Pyramid of the Sun
Tenochtitlan
Templo Mayor
Causeway and Templo Mayor Grounds
Florentine Codex
(Nahua, Spanish, English translation)
-Sacrifices were made frequently to appease these gods and others, usually food and plants, but for festivities human sacrifice was performed

-Many of the other peoples of Mesoamerica had similar religious beliefs
1519-1521
Sourcing
: Most of what we know is from Spanish or Spanish-influenced accounts, Hernan Cortes' letters to the King, Bernal Diaz's Narrative, Florentine Codex
Fall to the Spanish (continued)
-There is considerable debate among historians about the most significant reasons for the
Aztecs fall to the Spanish. Disease
,
technology
and
alliances
all played major roles in their eventual fall; other theories: 'teules' (gods), cultural superiority

-
Major events
:
-Spanish arrive after march to Tenochtitlan
-Take Moctezuma prisoner in his own palace
-Aztecs rebel against this act
-Moctezuma killed
-Spanish ambush during important festival
-Bloody and destructive battle in the city of Tenochtitlan begins
-Cuauhtemoc takes power, surrenders to Spanish
King Moctezuma II
-Lived: 1466-1520 Reign: 1502-1520
-Expanded Aztec territory through warfare
-Aztec Empire reached its largest size during his reign
-Was generally beloved and respected by his people
-Welcomed the Spanish and attempted to befriend them, likely in an attempt to protect his empire
-Differing accounts of who killed him
Full transcript