Early american empires
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Early American Empires. Types of Government. Democracy = a system of government in which the power is shared by all the people Authoritarianism = a system of government in which power is highly centralized and maintained by political repression

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Early American Empires

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Early American Empires


Types of Government

  • Democracy = a system of government in which the power is shared by all the people

  • Authoritarianism = a system of government in which power is highly centralized and maintained by political repression

  • Monarchy = a system of government in which all or most of the power is in the hands of one individual, the monarch, whose authority is hereditary.


  • Yucatan Peninsula

  • Valley of Mexico

  • Andes Mountains

Now that’s a nice looking map!


Maya Empire (250 - 900 CE)

  • Each city had its own ruling chief (usually men, but sometimes women governed)

  • Nobles served as both military rulers, officials who collected taxes, and law enforcers

  • Since most Mayas were farmers, men cultivated the crops and women turned them into food

  • Most of the wealth of Maya cities, like Tikal, came from trade (honey, cocoa, and feathers) along roads of packed earth across Middle America.


Aztec Empire (1400s – 1521)

  • A single ruler, or Emperor, was chosen by council of nobles & priests and led the Aztecs from the capital

  • Tenochtitlan was a city (with temples, palaces, zoos and floating gardens) and the center of a well-ordered empire

  • Nobles served as officials, judges, and governors

  • Warriors might rise to nobles by killing/capturing enemies

  • Majority of people were farmers; some built chinampas

  • The lowest class were slaves, mostly prisoners of war


Inca Empire (1400s – 1535)

  • The emperor, known as Sapa Inca, exercised absolute power over the empire because he claimed divine right

  • Incan god-kings owned all land, herds, mines, and people

  • Gold, the “sweat of the sun,” was the emperor’s symbol

  • From their mountain capital at Cuzco, the Incas had an efficient chain of command that reached into every village

  • Nobles ran the local provinces and villages

  • Officialsenforced laws and collected taxes with quipus

  • The government divided up harvests among the farmers


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