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Differences Between the Maya, Aztec, and Inca Empires

Chapter 2, American History Book, Mr. West's Class
by

Nicholas Fenske

on 17 August 2011

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Transcript of Differences Between the Maya, Aztec, and Inca Empires

FARMING Differences Between the Maya, Aztec, and Inca Empires Previous knowledge passed on from ancestors helped the Maya to produce multiple crops, building terraces and draining marshlands to create more farmland. The Inca also terraced hillsides in order to grow much of the same crops the Maya did. In addition, they constructed irrigation canals and herded llamas and alpaca for wool and meat. Unlike the other empires, though, the Incan government owned all food produced and kept some for emergency situations. However, the Aztec, with not as much farmland as the Incan and Mayan empires, and also originally being hunter-gatherers or nomads, cleverly created "floating gardens" made of mats topped with soil on the ample swampland, tending the crops by means of boats. TRADE The Mayas and the Aztecs appeared to be the traders of the 3 empires, trading off items such as bright feathers and the like. However, the Maya were able to trade off food due to their plentiful supply, something the Aztecs could not. OVERALL... The Maya and Aztec civilizations were a lot alike in the sense of what their societies were based on, but were different in their methods.The Inca, however, were the most different, having an actually organized and peaceful empire. QUESTION TIME!!! BUILDING All 3 empires seemed to be magnificent builders, which would be pointless to talk about since this is a prezi about the differences. HOWEVER, what they built is what has constituted this section to be included. While both the Maya and Aztec peoples built pyramids, the Maya had little other to offer (other than houses and markets, of course), as they were mostly on one piece of land; on the other hand, the Aztecs built causeways and aqueducts to connect their river/swamp infested area. The Inca also were skilled, having many citizens build a 10,000 mile road system to combine their empire. RELIGION & SCIENCE The Maya had many important priests, who, alongside regular citizens, helped worship the gods of whom were believed to control many forces of nature. Priests also created calendars, a number system, and hieroglyphs, among others. The Inca, similarly to the Maya, developed their own language and religion of which everyone learned. The Aztecs were mostly focused on religion, in any case much more so than Maya and Inca. With around 1,000 gods, the most sacred was the god of sun and war. Aztec priests kept books filled with history of Aztec religion and civilization whilst also teaching children Aztec customs. An example of a terraced hillside used for farming. An Incan bridge. An Aztec pyramid. CONQUEST The Aztec were major conquerors, capturing many people and making them become part of the Aztec community. Tribute, or items/service work that could be paid, was required of all conquered people, and they had to function off of the Aztec's society class system: Nobles Commoners Peasant Farmers Enslaved People The Inca also conquered many surrounding people. However, they did so in a friendly matter; persuading the leaders of said conquered people to surrender. Rulers were generally allowed to stay, but everyone had to become familiar with and learn the Incan language and religion. The Maya, unlike the other empires, did not appear to have an army that captured people. LOCATION The Maya empire was located in what was a thick jungle on the Yucatan Peninsula. The Aztecs settled in what is now Mexico City, while the Incan empire could be found along the Andes Mountains. DECLINE Both the Aztec and Incan empires were put to an end by foreign travelers, but the Aztecs was much more war-like when the Spaniards came; the Inca simply were unlucky as they were weak due to their ruler's death. As for the Maya, scientists believe people left due to climates changing or less fertile farmland. 1. Which empire was on the Yucatan Peninsula?
A) Maya
B) Aztec
C) Inca 2. Which 2 empires used terraced hillsides to farm on?
A) Aztec and Inca
B) Maya and Aztec
C) Inca and Maya 3. Which of the following is not on the Aztec society class system?
A) Enslaved People
B) Government
C) Nobles ANSWERS: 1. A; 2. C; 3. B P.S. - Thank you for not snoring too loudly.
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