Americas 1000 1500
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Americas 1000 1500






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Americas 1000 1500 Americas 1000 1500 Presentation Transcript

  • America: The Post-Classical Era 1000-1500 B.C. collapse of Teotihuacan collapse of classical Mayan civilization
  • New Cultures appearance of new peoples in central America Toltecs Aztecs
  • The Toltecs adopted sedentary agricultural practices added a strong military and imperial culture – conquest of neighboring peoples ritual wars – war....capture...sacrifice “givers of civilization”
  • Toltec empire central Mexico expansion into former Mayan territories northern Mexico – trade with the American Southwest – Chaco Canyon ???
  • Contacts with North America Hopewell culture ?? Mississippi culture maize, beans, squash ritual sacrifices and executions??? Cahokia
  • Quetzalcoatl The Feathered Serpent Topiltzin: a priest – religious reformer – opposed to human and animal sacrifice exiled to the east, with a promise to return on a specific date same year as Cortez and the Conquistadors
  • The Aztecs collapse of the Toltecs: 1150 A.D. influx of nomadic invaders form the north shift of power to central Mexico – large lakes – fertile agricultural areas contests for control
  • The Aztecs: Origins obscure background claimed to have live in the area originally exiled to the north to Aztlan actually, nomads from the North took advantage of the Toltec collapse wrote history to suit their purposes
  • Origins group who settled near Lake Texcoco 1325 A.D. competed with other Chichimec immigrants small states – claiming connections to the Toltecs – speaking Nahuatl
  • Lake Texcoco several tribes small city-state Azcapotzalco, Culhuacan Culhuacan: control by diplomatic marriage complex alliances, constantly shifting
  • Aztecs new group used as mercenaries and occasional allies constant movement around the lake shore – driven by stronger powers reputation: good warriors and religious fanatics
  • Aztec Settlement the legend: an eagle on a cactus, holding a rattlesnake an island in Lake Texcoco Tenochtitlan – 1325 A.D. – Tlateloco: a second settlement
  • Aztec expansion more active role in regional politics rebelled against Azcapotzalco emerged as an independent power political merge: 1434 – Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, Tlacopan – Aztecs dominated the alliance
  • Social and Political Change imperial expansion subject peoples paid tribute, surrender land, and do military service stratified society – under the authority of a supreme ruler – Tlacaelel: advised rulers and rewrote histories – the Aztecs had been chosen to serve the gods human sacrifice greatly expanded
  • Human sacrifice role of the military role of expansion flower wars means of political terrorism cult of sacrifice united with the political state
  • Religion and Conquest little distinction between the natural and supernatural traditional gods and goddesses 128 major deities
  • Gods male/female dualism different manifestations five aspects – four directions – the center gods as patrons complex ceremonial year
  • Gods, con’t gods of fertility and agriculture gods of creation – cosmology and philosophical thought gods of warfare Huitzilopochtli: their tribal deity – identified with the Sun God
  • The Sun God and Sacrifice a warrior in the daytime sky fighting to give life to the world enemy of the forces of night the sun needs strength 52 year cycle of the world – required blood to avert destruction
  • The Sun God, con’t sacrifice for sacrifice the gods need nourishment – human blood and hearts adoption of longstanding human sacrifice expansion to “industrial” proportions – 10,000 people on one occasion
  • The Empire: the Economy high population density combination of tradition and innovation – chinampas – 20,000 acres – four crops a year food as tribute
  • The Fall 20 million people large cities appearance of the Spanish disease and European military technology
  • South America: the Incas Cuzco: original home – 1350 A.D. expansion by 1438 Incan empire – ruled 10-13 million people
  • Religion and expansion cult of ancestors “split inheritance” – position to successor – land and wealth to descendants to care for the dead new land necessary for each ruler
  • Religion animism sun worship
  • The Empire four provinces decimal organizations Ouechua: the official language colonists
  • The Empire con’t infrastructure: roads and bridges communications by runners – 10,000 purpose: land and labor little actual tribute
  • Inca “socialism” empire claimed all resources redistributed them evenly to all peoples local independence access to new goods and services
  • Weakness top-heavy with royal and noble families low level of technology easy prey for the Spanish