The Aztecs Essay

1826 words - 7 pages

The Aztec empire dominated Mesoamerica from Mexico and Guatemala to the territories of Salvador and Honduras for nearly 100 years. The people of Aztec civilization migrated from the Pacific Northwest and inhabited the area which became the capital of Mexico, Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs began their reign in 1427 after the leader; Itzcoatl defeated the Tepanecs and gained control of the Mexican basin. The nation's leadership was passed down through inheritance.The Aztecs made ritual sacrifices. Warriors captured in battles or tributes from vassal states in the form of humans were usually offered up for sacrifice. They needed a steady supply of ritual sacrifice victims. They never used their own people for sacrifice, because it would cause an uprising. The motivation behind the ritual sacrifices is the concept of "tonalli", or animating spirit. The human's tonalli was believed to be located in the blood, which concentrates in the heart when one becomes frightened. The god's encouraged sacrifice, because they had a hunger for the heart. The Aztecs believe that if they do not sacrifice, all motion stops. This includes the movement of the sun. So when they made sacrifices, the Aztecs believe they were keeping the sun in motion.There was another reason for these ritual sacrifices, and that reason is cannibalism. They removed the hearts and bodies, and threw them down the temple steps, which supposedly was given to the gods that way. The limbs were removed and cooked. Today it is widely opposed, but at the time cannibalism was a delicacy amongst the Aztecs. Only the Aztec royalty were allowed to take on cannibalism. The hands and thighs were the Aztec's favorite parts of the body to eat.The Aztecs had a single ruler, called the emperor, and a social class system that consisted of three social classes. They were the nobles, commoners, and slaves. Under the emperor, the nobles were the highest ranked. The only way to be in the noble class is to either inherit the power, or become a religious leader. They stood out by the way they dressed, because they mainly used cotton in their clothing. The clothing also included symbols of their ranks and made with bright colors. Nobles also wore feathers on their heads, and gold adornments.The commoners were ordinary people in society. They usually worked the land, or performed agricultural tasks. It's possible for them to work the land for a portion of land for life, even though the land belonged to the community, and they would work under authority. Some commoners were hired hands or tenants. If someone was in economic problems, they could sell themselves as slaves. Slaves In this society, slaves were strictly protected by law. You would originally become a slave if you were in debt or broke the law. The children of slaves are born free.The Aztecs believed in many gods. The gods controlled their lives completely. Gods were assigned specific duties. They kept the "good" gods strong to protect them from the "bad" gods. To...

Find Another Essay On The Aztecs

The Aztecs Essay

3712 words - 15 pages The Aztecs Throughout time women have had to fill a role, defined by her culture, in order to be considered desirable. Wherever or whenever she might have been from she struggled with the pressure to fill her niche in society. These pressures vary greatly from one culture to another, but some cultures are particularly demanding. Women in pre-Colombian Aztec society were held to a very strict code of behavior. From the day they were born to

The Aztecs rise to power Essay

608 words - 2 pages The Aztecs were a pre-Columbian civilization which dominated Meso America from the 14th to the 16th century. The Aztec's advanced military, stable economy and their stratified society were the foundations for the building and existence of a great civilization. The world remembers the Aztecs as an advanced, elaborate and wide-ranging empire which was later destroyed by the Spanish.At first, the Aztecs were a relatively small and unknown tribe who

The Mayans, The Aztecs, And The Incas

961 words - 4 pages From 250 A.D. to the late 1500's A.D., three advanced civilizations, the Mayans, the Aztecs, and the Incas controlled Central America and South America. Each of them was different but all shared some of the same qualities. They all were civilizations that had a daily life than revolved around religion. Their religions also required a lot of human sacrifices to please the gods. Also, they all invented calendars that were surprisingly accurate

Comparison of The Aztecs and The Incas

1550 words - 6 pages within their ancient artifacts. Inca Artifacts were made of gold and other precious metals. The Inca Empire was large and successful, stretching along the western part of South America, down the Andes Mountains. The Inca people were skilled craftsmen, they made jewelry, masks, pottery, tapestries, musical instruments, baskets, and other crafts. The Aztecs and Inca artwork was beautiful and has great historical value. The Aztec’s made theirs

The Aztecs: Culture, Religion, and Lifestyle

934 words - 4 pages be at the forefront of their thoughts.The rainy season that the Aztecs experienced lasted from May through October. The amount of rainfall varied from an average of 450 mm in the north up to 1000 mm in the southern part of the valley. Rainfall, although plentiful throughout most of the valley, was often sparse and could not be relied upon for the watering of the Aztec's crops. The Aztecs learned early that rain was unpredictable and knew

Early American civilizations, most notably the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans,

641 words - 3 pages Early American civilizations, most notably the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans, were far advanced and demonstrated their developed cultures with references towards their high organization, complex architecture, and technological innovations. Considering that these three civilizations had very little contact from the Eurasian and African worlds, their progress should be rightfully commended. Through generational inheritance of previous cultures, these

Who were more Savage and who were more Civil between the Spanish Conquistadors and the Aztecs?

871 words - 3 pages There is a question that has been on many, many minds for years. This question is "Who was more savage and who was more civil between the Spanish Conquistadors and the Aztecs?" This question was created in the Age of Exploration when the Spanish and the Aztecs met and clashed, with the Spanish ultimately winning the war. There are an innumerable amount of reasons for why either of them could be more civil or savage. For me, this decision is

The Destruction of the Aztecs as a Result of Miscommunication and Lack of Cultural Understanding

6470 words - 26 pages The collision of the Spaniards and the Aztecs was a collision of two alien cultures that had evolved over thousands of years, each unknown to the other. Here we have two empires that see the world through two totally different perspectives. Miscommunication and lack of cultural understanding were major factors in the breakdown of diplomatic relations between the Aztecs and Spaniards. The Aztec perspective was based on prophecy and sign but the

Conquestador invasion on the Aztec empire in Mexico and how it affected both the europeans and the Aztecs.

902 words - 4 pages caused the Taino population to drop from six million in 1492 to a few thousand in the 1540s (Bentley 670). Deposits of gold in the Caribbean were slim, Spanish explorers found deposits of silver in Mexico and Peru. Spanish interest shifted from the Caribbean Spanish conquistadors headed past the Caribbean islands to Mexico. Hernan Cortes and a small band of men brought down the Aztec empire in Mexico (Bentley 670).The Aztecs had a very stratified

AZTECS

1150 words - 5 pages AZTECS The Aztecs came from Azatlan which is the mythical place of origin(Aztecs of Lost Civilization). Huizilopochtli, the god of war, told the Aztecs to leave Azatlan and wander until they saw an eagle perched on a cactus growing out of a rock and eating a snake(Los Aztecas). The Aztecs traveled many years to find the legend and finally found it while at Lake Texcoco. Lake Texcoco was ruled by the Toltecs between the 10th and 11th centuries

Aztecs

2320 words - 9 pages Aztec The Aztec Indians, who are known for their domination of southern and central Mexico, ruled between the 14th and 16th centuries. Their name is derived from Azatlan, the homeland of the north. The Aztecs also call themselves Mexica and there language came from the Nahuatlan branch of the Uto-Aztecan family.      The Aztecs were formed after the Toltec civilization occurred when hundreds of civilians came

Similar Essays

The Aztecs Essay

977 words - 4 pages The Aztecs Introduction      The tribe in which I will be researching is the Aztecs tribe. I plan to find out the answers to the questions below. 1.     Where they lived? 2.     Their religions? 3.     What they ate? 4.     Some of their beliefs? 5.     What life was like

The Aztecs Essay

1753 words - 8 pages The Aztecs culture was one of many amazing discoveries. Archeologists have found many interesting tools, ruins, and codices that were left behind in Mexico City. The Aztecs were a powerful tribe. They called themselves the Mexicas and spoke the Nahuatl language. Since they came from a land called Aztlan, people named them the Aztecs. Because the Aztecs were very rich, the Spaniards wanted to take control of their territory by destroying

The Aztecs Essay

3455 words - 14 pages      The Aztecs were an American Indian people who ruled a mighty empire in Mexico from the 1400's to the 1500's. The Aztecs had one of the most advanced civilizations in the Americas and built cities as large as any in Europe at that time. They also practiced a remarkable religion that affected every part of their lives and featured human sacrifice. The Aztecs built towering temples, created huge sculptures, and held

The Aztecs Essay

3183 words - 13 pages The Aztecs When the Spaniards under Hernan Cortez gazed upon the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán in Mexico in 1519, the scene before them amazed them. There, in the middle of a wide lake was a shimmering city with bright white walls of vast buildings sitting on an island in the middle of a large lake with causeways linked to it. The astonishment of those first Spanish visitors soon turned to horror when they saw the vast scale of ritual