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A History Of World Societies By John P Mc Kay

1823 words - 7 pages

1. The religion of the Aztec people was prominent in other aspects of Aztec civilization including military and politics. According to the Aztecs, "War was an article of religious faith" (McKay 276). The Aztec's religion gave them the advantage over surrounding groups in Mexico because they retained this view. War was seen as a religious duty and a way in which to pay tribute to the gods. The Aztec's believed that the god, Huitzilopochtli, needed human blood in order to keep the sun moving. The sun was the most important of all because it is "the source of all life" (McKay 276). Human sacrifice fueled everything behind what the Aztecs did. The Aztecs believed that the world would pretty much end if they did not sacrifice humans to the gods. War was also an avenue in which to attain human sacrifices for the gods. The Aztec's would conquer surrounding groups and use them as sacrifices for the gods. Other candidates for human sacrifices included tribute from conquered groups, unsuccessful generals, corrupt judges, and others. Human sacrifice even determined social status for young men. During Aztec wars against neighboring groups, young Aztec soldiers were encouraged to take enemy prisoners for human sacrifice. If that young soldier captured his first prisoner he would attain the title "iyac" or warrior. In later campaigns, if the warrior captured four of the enemy he would then be a tequiua and be a member of the nobility. This also works against the warrior in the case that he fails to capture prisoners then he would join the maceualtin or working class. Prisoners acquired from wars and Aztec imperial expansions were also used in future battles as warriors. Many warriors of the Aztec army were composed of individuals captured through wars. Conquered people had to adapt to Aztec ways. They had to pay tribute to Aztec emperors with human sacrifices. They also provided warriors, laborers, and foodstuffs. These laborers were primarily used for agriculture, "the economic basis of Mexica society" (McKay 276). Even more they had to provide workers to support most aspects of Aztec infrastructure including the building of roads, temples, palaces and aqueducts.

2. The Aztecs and Incas were similar in many ways. The way in which they ruled their people share similar principles. The groups that they conquered were exploited. The conquered groups were used for labor and drafted into Aztec and Incan armies to fight wars. The Aztecs and Incas appointed officials of provinces that they conquered. These officials were chosen by the emperor and "exercised full political, judicial and military authority on the emperor's behalf" (McKay 278). The successor to the king of the empires differed between the two. The Aztecs chose their leader depending on success in war. The Incas leader was chosen from the bloodline of the previous king. The society of both the Aztecs and Incas evolved in similar ways. They both started out as small...

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