Overview• The Aztecs were a Mexica group of about 10,000 people who slowlyexpanded their power till they controlled the most important lands inSouth Central Mexico.• At its height the Aztecs controlled an empire of some 22 million people,making it more populous than any kingdom or empire in Europe.• Unlike their European counterparts, the Aztecs developed no formalbureaucracy.• Instead, the Aztecs let regional kings and leaders remain in power as longas they continued to send tribute.• Aztec kings held both political and religious power. They controlled thecivil powers and were seen as representatives of the gods.• Religion was a key element in keeping control of conquered peoples –especially with the sacrifice system.
Aztec s Overview• The Aztecs were a Mexica group of about 10,000 people who expanded their power.• At its height they controlled an empire of some 22 million people, making it more populous thanany kingdom or empire in Europe.• The Aztecs developed no formal bureaucracy.• Let some regional leaders remain in power as long as they continued to send tribute! Aztec city of Tenochtitlan at the time of the Spanish invasion.
Incas Overview•The Inca Empire extended for some3,000 miles making it as long as thelower 48 states of the US.•The Incas incorporated ideas andculture from many different peoplesand fused them into a truly uniquesociety.•Unlike the Aztecs, the Incas had a verysophisticated and effectivebureaucracy.•Between 9 and 13 million people livedunder Incan rule. Truly remarkablewhen you consider the geography andlimited technology of the empire.
Aztec Geography Incas s •Lived in central valley of Mexico • Lived in Andes Mountains in modern•Capital City: Tenochtitlan – in Lake day Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Texcoco by 1345 • Capital City: Cuzco- by Lake Titcaca •Swampy marsh land, islands • Controlled coastline, highlands, parts •Contained some rivers of rainforest.
Aztec Political Systems Incas s Montezuma II • Led by “Sapa Inca”- Supreme Ruler, seen as a god• Aztec Emperors were thought to be gods. •Authoritarian ruler who controlled• Absolute power - held both political and marriage, movement, produce religious power. •Created centralized bureaucracy –• They had a strict law code educated elites, Priests were officials• Religion was a key element in keeping •Used Military force and resettlement control of conquered peoples – especially to control people with the sacrifice system.
Rise of the Incas•Developed independently from Mayans and Aztecs in the Andes (Peru and Bolivia)•Cuzco: capital city•Similar to ancient Egypt•Sun God. “People of the Sun”•Centralized State•Divine ruler
Aztec Social Structure Incas s Emperor Emperor Nobles, High Priests and Warriors Nobles, High Priests Merchants and Warriors and Artisans officials Farmers Merchants, Artisans, Farmers Slaves, Prisoners Slaves, Prisoners• Dominated by Kings, warriors • Emperor expanded control over and priests regional neighbors• Depended on warfare to • Relocated conquered people to acquire slaves live in cities dominated by loyal•Subordinate groups forced to citizens. pay tax and tribute •Spoke Quechua• Spoke Nahuatl
Aztec Economy Incas s • No money - Collected taxes in form of• Importance of Maize, beans, squash goods, food, services•Markets in the cities – Regional trade • Very rich in gold and silver • Relied on extensive slave labor, • Stressed self-sufficient communal tributes farming•Wealth based on strength of military • Used system of roads for trade and and ability to control others communication.
The Aztec Economy• Lands of conquered peoples were used to feed the capital city and other important centers.• Food was sent as a form of tribute by conquered peoples.• Market days were held every 5 to 13 days to buy, sell and trade goods.• Cacao beans and gold dust was used for currency.• The state controlled the markets and redistributed wealth to needy areas. So there was more government involvement than in Europe.• Chinampas Agriculture was used to supplement the food supply.
Incan Economy•ROADS: 10,000 miles throughout mountains•Facilitated communication, trade, troop movements, travel•Record keeping: “Quipu” System of colored ropes and knots.•No written language•Advances in metalworking – especially gold and silver. Also usedcopper and bronze for tools and weapons.
The Incan Road System• A complex system of roads was builtthrough out the empire with bridges andcauseways.•Along these roads, way stations wereplaced about a day’s walk apart to serveas inns, storehouses and supply centersfor the Inca armies.•They also served as relay points for thesystem of runners who carried messagesthroughout the empire. A message fromthe extreme south would reach theextreme north in about 9 days.•The Inca probably had around 10,000way stations throughout the empire.
Incan Agriculture and Architecture
Aztec Religion 1) Polytheistic 2) Similar to other regional religions • Pyramids, art, ceremonies, sacrifice. • Sacrifice: Up to 20,000 at a time! • Sun was created as a result of gods being sacrificed. • Needed human blood as nourishment • required constant warfare•There were at least 128 major deities in the Aztec religion with many moreminor deities as well.• Each god had a female consort – recognizing duality in all things.• The gods had different forms or manifestations – like Hindu avatars.• Asked the really big and important questions in life just like all great religions.
Incan Religion• Less brutal than Aztecs• Tolerant of local beliefs• Royal family descended from sun god.• Mummification• Like the Aztecs, the Incas held the sun to be the highest deity.• As the empire spread, so did the cult of the sun, however, locals were not prohibited from worshiping their local gods as well.• Viracocha (seen to the right) was a creator god that was a favorite throughout the empire.• Popular belief was primarily animistic. Mountains, stones, rivers, caves were considered to be ‘huacas’ or holy shrines.
Cultural Achievements IncasAztec s •
Incan Rope Bridge Stone Steps
Technology/ Trade•Markets in cities•Relied on extensive slave labor, tributes.•Wealth was based on strength of military and their ability to exploit theresources of surrounding people ExpansionMilitaristic EmpireDominated by warriors, kings, and priestsSubordinate groups (i.e. Mayans) forced to pay tribute in gold and slaves butcould run own internal affairs.Depended on warfare as a means to acquire slaves (POWs) for labor andsacrificial purposes
Quetzalcoatl. The creator god ofhumanity represented duality bynature. Half air and half earth, thefeathered serpent was one of themost important pre-Hispanic deities,the main protagonist of many of themajor Mesoamerican myths and hiscult was very ancient. Quetzalcoatlhad different avocations: Venus as themorning star, calledTlahuizcalpantecuhtli; Xolotl, the"Precious Twin," Venus as theafternoon star; and Ehecatl, god ofWind. The cult of Quetzalcoatlreached the Maya zone, where he isknown as Kukulkan. Among his mostimportant attributes are the cut shellornament, whether used as apectoral, earplugs or adornment insome other part of his accouterments.As the wind god, he wears a beak-shaped mask, with which he producesthe wind.
Tezcatlipoca is Aztec the god of the nightsky and the night wind. His name means"Smoking Mirror," the Nahuatl term for theblack obsidian mirrors the Mesoamericansused for divination. Tezcatlipoca also hadseveral titles, for He was considered afearsome god whom the people werecareful to call upon by name.As the Lord ofthe Near and Nigh, Tezcatlipoca governsthe fate of mortals, seeing into their mindsand hearts with His obsidian mirror. Hegives both reward and punishment as Hesees fit; having the power to both bestowriches and take them away. As the nightwind, Tezcatlipoca would rush through thestreets in the night, giving terror or luck toany He came across in accordance with Hiswhims and their worth. He carries fivearrows which He uses to punish thewicked.
HUITZILOPOCHTLI - (from huitzilin,"hummingbird," and opochtli, "left") was the Aztecsun and war god ... what a name ! Blue HummingBird on the left.The Aztecs believed that deadwarriors came back to life as hummingbirds andthat the south was the left side of the world.Huitzilopochtlis name, therefore, meant theWarrior of the South brought back from the dead.His animal disguise, was the eagle.Huitzilopochtlis image, in the form of ahummingbird, was carried upon the shoulders ofthe priests when the Aztecs invaded, and at nighthis voice was heard giving orders.Thus, according to Huitzilopochtlis command,Tenochtitlan the Aztec capital, was founded in AD1325 on a small rocky island in the lake of theValley of Mexico.The gods first shrine was built on a spot wherepriests found an eagle poised upon a rock anddevouring a snake. Successive Aztec rulersenlarged the shrine until the year "Eight Reed"(1487), when an impressive temple was dedicatedby the emperor Ahuitzotl.
Aztec s Decline•No loyalty from subordinategroups. Resisted wheneverpossible.•Spanish - Hernando Cortes, ElConquistador. OverpoweredAztecs with superior weaponsand horses.•Convinced Aztecs the Spanishwere gods.•European disease. Small pox,measles. Americans had nonatural immunity. Destroyedpop.
Decline•1400s. Overextension of territory. Unable to keep subordinate groupscooperative.•Weakened at the arrival of Spanish in 1500s.•Francisco Pizzaro. Defeated Inca army of over 20,000 with a force of severalhundred conquistadors.
Conquest of the Incas
Comparing Inca and Aztec• Both were successful with imperial and military organization.• Both had intensive agriculture organized by the state that created a food surplus.• Both redistributed resources to all classes.• Both used nobles to run state machinery.• Both recognized local ethnic groups – although the Inca did spread their culture and language.• Both developed systems of roads and advanced engineering techniques• Both were polytheistic and made human sacrifices to the Gods• Both were defeated by the Spanish
Political•“Sapa Inca” (Only Inca):supreme ruler•Despot: Authoritarian rulerwho controlled marriage,movement, produce.•Communal system/self-sufficiency emphasized•Education of elitesregulated by state•Protests and uprisings dealtwith through military forceand resettlement. The Inca (king) was considered to be a near god by the people.
Expansion Citadel at Machu Picchu•Exerted control over regional neighbors•Late 1400s. Empire spanned fromEcuador to Chile.•Largest governmental unit in theAmericas
Why they built an empire.• The usual motivations for economic gain and political power did play a role in the building of empire for the Incas.• However, the cult of the ancestors was extremely important to the Incas.• Deceased rulers were mummified and treated as intermediaries with the gods. From the Chimor kingdom the Incas adopted the practice of royal ‘split inheritance’ whereby political power and titles of the ruler went to the successor, but palaces, wealth, land and possessions remained under the control of the dead leader.• To ensure that he would have a place for eternity each new ruler needed to expand the empire to gain lands and wealth for the afterlife.
Incan Sun Priest and his Family
The Techniques of Inca Imperial Rule• The Inca (king) was considered almost a god. He ruled from his court at Cuzco which was also the site for the temple of the Sun God.• The empire was divided into four districts each with a local governor and then divided again into smaller regional districts.• The state bureaucracy was run by the nobles. Each of the four large districts had bureaucracies based on decimal units of 10,000, 1,000, 100 and smaller for collecting taxes and mobilizing labor for public works.• Local rulers were allowed to keep their positions as long as they remained faithful to the Inca and sent their sons to Cuzco for their education.• The Incas intentionally spread the Quechua language as a way to integrate the empire.• They would also send Quechua speakers to live in other parts of the empire to speed up integration.
• Conquered peoples were enlisted in the Inca armies under Inca officers.• Subject peoples received access to Conquered Peoples goods not previously available to them and the Inca state undertook large building and irrigation projects that formerly would have been impossible. Loyalty and tribute were the only requirements.• The state claimed all resources and redistributed them.• The Incas divided conquered areas into lands for the people, lands for the state and lands for the sun – that is for religion and to support the priests.• The kind of tribute exacted by the Incas was labor through the mita system.• Women were required to produce cloth and some women were taken as concubines for the rulers.• Other women were selected as servants at the temples called “Virgins of the Sun”.
Gender Roles in Inca Society“Inca Princess” Barbie•Women worked in the fields,wove cloth and cared for thehousehold.•Property rights among noblespassed in both men and women: •Father’s wealth to sons •Mother’s wealth to daughters• Emphasis on military virtuesreinforced gender inequality.•Both gods and goddesses wereworshipped but women felt aparticular affinity with the MoonGoddess.
Aztec or Inca?•Trade and markets were more developed.•Developed more metal working skills.•Developed a writing system.•Had a more efficient bureaucracy•Sacrificed more humans – reason for conquests•Controlled more land – reason for conquests
Incan Road and Settlement
Inca terrace farming
The Inca Ullo temple of fertility, Chucuito, Lake Titicaca
• Trade and markets were more developed in the Aztecregions.•Incas developed more metal working skills than theAztecs.•Aztecs developed a writing system and the Incas did not.•Incas had a more efficient bureaucracy•Aztecs sacrificed more humans – reason for conquests•Incas controlled more land – reason for conquests