Comparative Middle Ages:  The Americas
Where Were We At In Europe? <ul><li>West:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decline of Roman Empire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rural ...
Meanwhile… <ul><li>In the Americas indigenous civilizations were thriving: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Olmec and Toltec empires ...
Maya <ul><li>AD 250-900 </li></ul><ul><li>Collection of states with common culture </li></ul><ul><li>Complex hieroglyphic ...
Inca <ul><li>AD 1200-1535 </li></ul><ul><li>Empire spanned ~2500 mi. north-south span of S. America, from Ecuador to south...
Inca, cont’d. <ul><li>Developed highway system in Andes </li></ul><ul><li>Had very large armies </li></ul><ul><li>Kept rec...
Aztecs <ul><li>~1100s-1519 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Late-Comers” to area, were sets of weaker tribes wandering until 1325 </li>...
 
Aztecs, Cont’d. <ul><li>Central Mexican Valley was home to fresh-water and saltwater lakes next to each others, with islan...
Religion <ul><li>Believed in many gods, but main one was  Quetzlcoatl , a plumed (feathered) serpent </li></ul>
Religion, Cont’d. <ul><li>Calendar followed sun and moon </li></ul><ul><li>Believed that gods must be fed with human blood...
 
 
Decline of Aztecs <ul><li>Ever-increasing need for sacrifices greatly reduced: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Male population in ar...
 
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Americas during the Middle Ages

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Americas during the Middle Ages

  1. 1. Comparative Middle Ages: The Americas
  2. 2. Where Were We At In Europe? <ul><li>West: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decline of Roman Empire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rural (Feudal) societies & infighting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Isolation from others in trade, religion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plague </li></ul></ul><ul><li>East: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact w/ Moslems for trade, education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Success in preserving ancient traditions, but increased incursion of growing Moslem empires </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Meanwhile… <ul><li>In the Americas indigenous civilizations were thriving: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Olmec and Toltec empires gave way to-- </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aztecs (Mexica) in central Mexico </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maya in east central Mexico </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inca in S. America </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Maya <ul><li>AD 250-900 </li></ul><ul><li>Collection of states with common culture </li></ul><ul><li>Complex hieroglyphic writing system </li></ul><ul><li>Mathematical advances </li></ul><ul><li>Astronomical advances (calendars more accurate than European) </li></ul><ul><li>Done in by civil warfare between states, cities abandoned </li></ul>
  5. 5. Inca <ul><li>AD 1200-1535 </li></ul><ul><li>Empire spanned ~2500 mi. north-south span of S. America, from Ecuador to southern Chile </li></ul><ul><li>In the Andes, most of Empire was in high elevations </li></ul>
  6. 6. Inca, cont’d. <ul><li>Developed highway system in Andes </li></ul><ul><li>Had very large armies </li></ul><ul><li>Kept records in knotted strings called quipu </li></ul><ul><li>Many gov’t buildings, laid out as spiritual mazes </li></ul><ul><li>Grew potatoes, tomatoes, corn as main staples </li></ul><ul><li>Elaborate food storage system </li></ul><ul><li>Nature-based mythology </li></ul>
  7. 7. Aztecs <ul><li>~1100s-1519 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Late-Comers” to area, were sets of weaker tribes wandering until 1325 </li></ul><ul><li>1325- Established Tenochtitlan on island in present day Mexico City </li></ul>
  8. 9. Aztecs, Cont’d. <ul><li>Central Mexican Valley was home to fresh-water and saltwater lakes next to each others, with islands in between </li></ul><ul><li>Set up a tribute system, where religion was integral part of government </li></ul><ul><li>Codex : Record (drawing) of events </li></ul><ul><li>Tenochtitlan grew to ~150,000 people at its height </li></ul>
  9. 10. Religion <ul><li>Believed in many gods, but main one was Quetzlcoatl , a plumed (feathered) serpent </li></ul>
  10. 11. Religion, Cont’d. <ul><li>Calendar followed sun and moon </li></ul><ul><li>Believed that gods must be fed with human blood- sacrifices made on top of pyramids </li></ul><ul><li>War captives were ideal sacrifice - Aztecs set up “mock wars” to get captives </li></ul><ul><li>Cities depended on tribute from surrounding kingdoms, in terms of food and men </li></ul>
  11. 14. Decline of Aztecs <ul><li>Ever-increasing need for sacrifices greatly reduced: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Male population in area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to keep food supplies going </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Willingness of kingdoms to support Aztecs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spanish (Cortez) - 1519 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>End of Aztec Empire! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aztec point of view = :( </li></ul></ul></ul>
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