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  • 1. The Aztecs
    • By: Dane Tahbaz
  • 2. Government
    • The Aztecs spent much of their time conquering neighbors. However, they did not exert supreme control over the conquered peoples, they merely expected them to pay tributes. Tributes were both monetary and respect based.
    • The government was headed by an emperor and his royal family
    • Because of the immense size of the Aztec empire, the emperor would appoint auhtorities to rule regions of the empire.
  • 3. economy
    • Aztec economy can be separated into two sectors; commercial and political.
    • The nobility owned the majority of the land and forced the lower classes to pay them in some fashion for land use.
    • In the commercial sector of the population, small purchases were made by using Cacao beans as currency. Cotton cloth was used for larger purchases.
  • 4. Transportation
    • As mentioned earlier, the Aztecs spent much of their time conquering other tribes. This gave birth to a road system between conquered territories.
    • There were rest stops and latrines at 10-15 kilometer intervals.
    • Couriers often used these roads to deliver messages to neighboring communities.
  • 5. Religion
    • Like many other tribal religions, Aztecs observed a wide range of Gods blending Shamanism, Animism, and Astronomy.
    • Aztecs often practiced human sacrifice in an effort to appease the Gods.
    • Calender was divided into eighteen twenty day months each meant to observe a particular Aztec deity.
  • 6. Human Sacrifice
    • Upon meeting the Aztecs for the first time, the incoming Europeans were struck by the practice of human sacrifice.
    • On the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, 84,400(figure is disputed) enemy captives were said to have been sacrificed in a four day period.
    • Sacrifices were meant to pay respect and thanks to the Gods.
  • 7. Education
    • Education was of primary importance to the Aztecs.
    • Children were instructed in the subjects of mathematics, history, animal and plant identification.
    • Boys also received a thorough tutelage in the art of military.
  • 8. Arts
    • Art was a highly respected practice in Aztec society.
    • Poetry and song were the two most revered forms of art. They were regularly practiced at Aztec festivals.
    • Poetry was divided into four different sub-categories, each with their own specific focus.
  • 9. Architecture:Tenochtitlan
    • Situated in what is now Mexico City, Tenochtitlan served as the capital of the Aztec civilization.
    • Before the Aztecs settled in Tenochtitlan, they were wandering desert nomads in search of an “ eagle eating a snake while perched atop a cactus.” The nomads found their great city when they stumbled upon the swampy lands of lake Texcoco.
    • In November of 1519, Hernan Cortes and his army wrought destruction upon the city leading to the eventual fall of Tenochtitlan.