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Chapter 16: The Early Americas
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Chapter 16: The Early Americas

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  1. Chapter 16:The Early Americas Section 1: The Maya Section 2: The Aztecs Section 3: The Incas

  2. Section 1The Maya • The Maya was located in an area known as Mesoamerica. • The Maya settled in present-day Guatemala. • Thick Tropical Forrest on the Yucatan Peninsula. • Begin living in small isolated villages, then began building large cities in Mesoamerica • Crops: beans, squash, avocados, and MAIZE

  3. Height of the Maya was AD 250-900 Trading Exports: cotton and cacao beans Imports: obsidian, jade, colorful bird feathers Built pyramids, palaces, and plazas King Pacal’s Temple in Palenque Special Ball Game: tlachtli Mayan Classical Age

  4. Social structure and religion were major aspects Religion: Polytheistic Gods could be helpful or harmful Gods needed blood to prevent disasters or the end of the world Structure: king, priests merchants noble warriors (higher class) farming families (lower class) Mayan Culture

  5. Built observatories Made 2 Calendars 365 day (harvest) 260 day (religious) Number system with symbol for zero Writing like hieroglyphics Amazing Art and architecture Mayan jade and gold jewelry Mayan Achievements

  6. Mayan Decline • People stopped building • Moved from cities to the countryside • Fall of Mayan: Historians aren’t really sure, but could have been a combination of factors: • Burden of working for the king • Warfare between the cities • Food shortages • Climate Changes and Droughts

  7. Section 2The Aztecs • Farmers migrated to Central Mexico in the middle of Lake Texcoco • Capital city was Tenochtitlan (200,000 people) • Built causeways to overcome geographic challenges • Canals • chinampas • War, trade, and tribute were key factors in the Aztec Civilization. • Cotton, gold and food • spies • Conquered nearby towns • Controlled trade network • Large markets

  8. Aztec Complex Structure • Aztec king • Most important in society • Trusted Nobles • Collected taxes, judges, government officials • Warriors and Priests • Religious ceremonies • Highly respected • Kept calendars • Merchants and Artisans • Farmers and Laborers • Made up majority of the population • Paid the most tribute • Found it hard to survive; only slaves struggled more • Slaves

  9. Worshipped many gods Gods controlled nature and human activities Priest made as many as 100,000 human sacrifices a year Victims came from frequent battles with neighboring peoples Stone pyramids and statues Jewelry and Mask made of gold gems, and bright feathers Women embroidered colorful designs on clothes Astronomy and School Calendar like the Mayans Kept detailed records Strong oral tradition (riddles and speeches) Religion and WarfareCultural Achievements

  10. Conquistadors reached Mexico in 1519 led by Hernan Cortes Cortes was looking for gold, land, and to convert natives Moctezuma II (Aztec Emperor) believed Cortes to be Quetzalcoatl (ket-suhl-jyg-WAH-tuhl) legend Moctezuma II gave the Spaniards gifts, but Cortez captured Moctezuma. The Aztecs attacked the Spanish and managed to drive them out. Moctezuma was killed in battle. The Spanish returned within a year and conquered the Aztec. Help from natives Better weapons Natives scared of horses Small pox killed thousands of natives Cortes Conquers the Aztecs

  11. Section 3The Incas • While the Aztecs were ruling Mexico, the Inca Empire arose in South America (near the Andes). • Capital was Cuzco (KOO-skoh), now Peru • Pachacuti (pah-chah-KOO-tee) expanded the Inca territory • By 1500s, the Inca territory stretched from Ecuador to central Chile • To rule effectively, they set up a central government

  12. Removed leaders of the people he conquered and replaced them Made conquered children go to school in Cuzco to learn Inca way of life. Language unified the empire Quechua (KE-chuh-wuh) Today many people in Peru speak Quechua Government controlled the economy Told families how to work Labor tax system called Mita No merchants or markets; government officials distributed goods through mita Leftover food was stored in capital for an emergency Government and Economy

  13. Well-Organized Economy • Farmers • Tended to government land, in addition to their own • Villagers • Made cloth and other good for the army • Soldiers • Worked mines, built roads and bridges

  14. Common people had little personal freedom, but government protected empire Upperclass vs. Lower class Rulers relax in luxury at royal retreats like Machu Picchu No slaves Warmer valleys Maize and peanuts Cooler Mountains potatoes Raised llama (South American animal related to camels) for meat and wool Thought their rulers were related to the sun god and never really died Mummies Animal sacrifices Magical powers Inca Life and Religion

  15. Inca Achievements • Inca temples • Master Builders • Masonry • Network of Roads/Two Major Highways • Artwork • Pottery, gold/silver jewelry • Weavers • No writing system, but used quipus (KEE-pooz) to keep records • Also had an oral tradition (oral memorizers)

  16. Conquistadors arrive in South America Civil Wars begin in South America Atahualpa (ah-tah-WAHL-pah) won the war, but had weakened the army Francisco Pizarro led in an army, the Spanish attacked the Inca by surprise. The Spanish quickly conquered Atahualpa. The natives gave the Spanish gold, silver, and precious metals worth millions of dollars today. Despite the huge payment, the Spanish kill Atahualpa. The Incas fight back, but the Spanish eventually defeated the Incas and took over the empire. Pizarro Conquers the Incas