Mapping the Americas. What was going on in the Americas during 600-1450?. Geographic Challenges. South America too….
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The growth of Teotihuacan was made possible by forced relocation of farm families to the city and by agricultural innovations, including irrigation works and chinampas (“floating gardens”) that increased production and thus supported a larger population.
The elite lived in residential compounds separate from the commoners, and controlled the state bureaucracy, tax collection, and commerce.
Teotihuacan appears to have been ruled by alliances of wealthy families rather than by kings
Elites controlled land, farming, taxation in Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan collapse: ~750 c.e.
Mismanagement of resources and conflict within the elite, or as a result of invasion?
The Aztecs increased agricultural production in the capital area by undertaking land reclamation projects and constructing irrigated fields and chinampas. Nonetheless, grain and other food tribute met nearly one-quarter of the capital’s food requirements.
Merchants who were distinct from and subordinate to the political elite controlled long-distance trade. The technology of trade was simple: no wheeled vehicles, draft animals, or money was used. Goods were carried by human porters and exchanged through barter.