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The World of the 15th Century Part 4

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The World of the 15th Century Part 4

  1. 1. The World of the 15th Century Strayer Chapter 13 Part IV: The Americas
  2. 2. The Aztec Empire • Established on Lake Texcoco in Mexico in 1325 • Developed a large military • Population 5 to 6 million people • Capital city: Tenochtitlan
  3. 3. • Conquered neighboring people and created a Tributary Empire collecting – Textiles – Military materials – Animal products – food stuffs – Building materials – Rubber – Paper • Suffered frequent rebellions
  4. 4. • Innovated floating gardens called Chinampas to grow food for a large urban population
  5. 5. • Tenochtitlan contained numerous public works: canals, dikes, causeways, and bridges • A Spanish soldier described the city by saying “Gazing on such wonderful sights, we did not know what to say, or whether what appeared before us was real, for on one side, on the land there were great many cities, and in the lake ever so many more, and the lake was crowded with canoes, and in the causeways were many bridges ay intervals, and in front of us stood the great city of Mexico.”
  6. 6. Aztec Economic Activity • Traded locally and over long distance • Markets like Tlatelolco grew to support ever growing urban populations • Professional merchants (pochteca ) dominated trade and used wealth to move up in society • Pochteca exchanged goods, and provided slaves for ritual sacrifices
  7. 7. Aztec Beliefs • Human sacrifices were carried out to keep the gods content • Cyclical understanding of the world, focused on sun, moon, seasons, planets, etc • Belief that the world hovered on the brink of disaster and that human blood would help the gods prevent it • Therefore, the most important job of the state was to provide blood for the gods
  8. 8. More Aztec Culture • Philosophy and poetry that examined the fragility of human life. • Poem by Nezahualcoyotl (1402-1472) poet and king. Truly do we live on Earth? Not forever on earth; only a little while here Be it jade, it shatters. Be it gold, it breaks. Be it a Quetzal feather, it tears apart. Not forever on earth; only here a little while.
  9. 9. The Inca Empire • Located in the Andes Mountains; modern day Chile and Peru • Drew inspiration from earlier Andean people like the Chavin, Moche, Nazca, and Chimu • Controlled 25 thousand miles • Ruled over 10 million subjects
  10. 10. Inca and Aztec Compared AZTECS • Aztec collected tribute from conquered people • Believed the Emperor could communicate with the gods INCAS • Inca created a complex bureaucracy to govern and assimilate conquered people • Believed their emperor was a god, ruled with divine right. He was the son of the Sun • Both carried out human sacrifice, though it was far less frequent in the Inca Empire
  11. 11. How the Inca Ruled • That state owned all land and resources • Empire divided into 80 provinces, each with their own governor • Subjects were grouped into units and ruled by local officials • Inspectors kept track of births, deaths, marriages, taxes, military service and labor using Quipus
  12. 12. • Conquered people were taught to speak Quecha  assimilation • Their sons were moved to the capital, Cuzco, for education • Conquered people could keep their gods, but were also expected to worship major Incan gods.
  13. 13. • Every household was expected to give service, physical labor called a mita instead of tribute • In return the state provided elaborate feasts and protection • The government had much more control over the Incan society and economy than the Aztec government did
  14. 14. Aztec and Inca Similarities • Both had “gender parallelism” separate male and female spheres that were equally valued • Men women participated in public religious rituals • However, men held top government offices • Women lost status in both as the role of the military grew
  15. 15. Questions and Review 1. What distinguished the Aztec and Inca empires from each other? 2. How did Aztec religious thinking support the state? 3. In what ways did Inca authorities seek to integrate their vast domains?

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