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The Americas: The Aztec & the Inca. Mr. Fenlon AP World History NHSS. The Aztecs. Rise of the Aztecs. Aztecs (Mexica) migrate to Lake Texcoco in central Mexico c. 1325 Founded city of Tenochtitlan in 1325 Empire started in 1434

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The Americas: The Aztec & the Inca

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The Americas: The Aztec & the Inca

Mr. Fenlon

AP World History

NHSS


The Aztecs


Rise of the Aztecs

  • Aztecs (Mexica) migrate to Lake Texcoco in central Mexico c. 1325

  • Founded city of Tenochtitlan in 1325

  • Empire started in 1434

  • Aztec kings represented civil power and served as a representative of the gods on Earth


Aztec Government

  • City-states ruled by a speaker chosen from the nobility

  • The Great Speaker, ruler of Tenochtitlan, was in effect an emperor

    • Increasingly considered a living god

  • Conquered peoples maintained some autonomy if they paid tribute


Aztec Religion

  • Aztec maintained traditional deities of Mesoamerica

    • 128 major deities

  • Huitzilopochtli (right) was the Aztec tribal patron and patron deity of the cult of warfare and sacrifice


Human Sacrifice

  • Human sacrifice was a typical part of Mesoamerican religion

    • Aztec expand practice into a cult where military supplied war captives for sacrifice

  • Why?

    • Political purposes

    • Population control

    • Cannibal kingdom


Human Sacrifice


Tenochtitlan

  • On an island in Lake Texcoco

  • Aztecs called it the “foundation of Heaven”

  • By 1519 had a population of 150,000

  • Connected by causeways and canals


Tenochtitlan “The Venice of the Americas


Aztec Economy

  • Agriculture

    • Food often provided as tribute

    • Built chinampas

  • Pochteca was a special merchant class which specialized in long-distance luxury trade

  • Cacao beans and gold dust were used as currency; bartering was most common


Chinampas

Chinampas were man-made floating islands 17’ long x 100’ to 300’ feet wide. Aztecs built over 20,000 acres of chinampas.


Chinampas


Aztec Society

  • Originally divided into seven clans called calpulli

    • Calpulli redistributed land, organized labor gangs & military units, maintained temples & schools

  • Eventually a class of nobility emerged

    • Nobility controlled the priesthood & military


Aztec Society

  • Women’s primary role was the household

    • Women spent six hours a day grinding corn; restricted women’s rights

  • Marriages were arranged

  • Polygamy existed amongst the nobility

  • Women could inherit property


The Inca


Rise of Inca

  • Founded by Quechua-speaking clans, ayllus, living near Cuzco c. 1350

  • Inca (ruler) Pachacuti expanded the empire from 1438-1471

    • Built Machu Picchu

  • Expansion continued after Pachacuti’s death


Machu Picchu


Machu Picchu


Conquest & Religion

  • Expansion motivated by split inheritance

  • Polytheistic

    • Sun God was the primary god

  • Influenced by animism

    • Mountains, rivers, etc. were considered holy shrines

Temple of the Sun in Machu Picchu


Inca Government

  • Inca was considered almost a god

  • Divided empire into four provinces

  • Developed a bureaucracy run by nobles

    • Nobility drawn from the ten ayllus

  • Local rulers maintained their positions

  • Colonized conquered areas

    • Relocated some conquered peoples


Inca Economy

  • Unlike Aztecs, not a lot of trade

    • Tried to be self-sufficient

  • Primarily agricultural

    • Terrace farming & complex irrigation

    • Over 200 types of potatoes

  • Inca Socialism

  • Used forced labor for massive projects

    • Mita


Terrace Farming


Inca Society

  • Inca emphasis on military reinforced gender inequality

  • Women worked in the fields, wove cloth, and cared for the household

    • Women worshipped fertility deities

  • Recognize parallel descent

    • Women passed rights and property to their daughters


Inca Technology

  • Built a complex system of roads and bridges

    • 2500 miles of roads

    • Used a system of runners to carry messages throughout the empire

  • Beautiful pottery, cloth, and metalworking

  • Quipu

  • Masonry


Bridges and Roads


Quipu


Inca Metalworking


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