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Aztec Empire. Geography. Founded capital Tenochititlan -an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco (modern day Mexico city) Moderate climate, interconnecting lakes, forest and wild game Mesoamerica (includes the southern part of Mexico and parts of northern Central America).

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  • Founded capital Tenochititlan -an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco (modern day Mexico city)
  • Moderate climate, interconnecting lakes, forest and wild game
  • Mesoamerica (includes the southern part of Mexico and parts of northern Central America)
geography and adaptation
Geography and Adaptation
  • Built raised roads across water or wet ground
  • Used floating gardens called chinampas to produce food in swampy conditions
  • They created canals for irrigation and transportation of goods and people
tenochtitlan interesting facts
Tenochtitlan Interesting Facts
  • City contained 80,000 to 250,000 people
  • Canals served as roads for trade and travel between villages
  • Markets- 60,000 people visited daily
  • Huge pyramids, some lined with thousands of skulls
rise to power warriors
Rise to Power: Warriors
  • Aztecs called themselves Mexica (meh-hee-ka)
  • They were skilled warriors
  • One ruler ruled over the Aztec Empire
  • under the leader Moctezuma they expanded to 1/3 of southern Mexico
  • Population of 25 million at peak
  • Grew stronger through war, tribute, and trade
religion polytheism many gods
Religion: Polytheism (many gods)
  • Worshiped gods of sun, rain, moon etc.
  • KEY POINT: The Aztecs predicted that Quetzalcoatl (serpent god of creation) would return in early 1500s
religion sacrifice
Religion: Sacrifice
  • Attempted to please gods, by human sacrifices
  • Military Deterrent: Sacrifices used as intimidation to the people and other tribes
  • Typical sacrifices would take place on top of a high temple
  • Aztec sacrificed about

10,000 people

famine and sacrifice
Famine and Sacrifice
  • In 1450, a famine occurred due to poor weather bad farming conditions
  • the Aztec priests began to make many sacrifices to the gods
  • They work. Why?
  • Not enough food = More sacrifices = Less people to feed…Maybe? Who knows for sure….
aztec social structure
Aztec Social Structure
  • Royal family One Ruler Ruled, wives held high positions and respect
  • Nobles- priest, military officers, and government leaders
  • Merchants- imported the goods
  • Commoners/Serfs- worked in the fields
  • Slaves- people could be sold into slavery
hernan cortez
Hernan Cortez
  • Spanish Conquistador
  • Learned about the Aztecs and their riches
  • Knew he would have to conquer them to rule Mexico
hernan cortez and the spanish
Hernan Cortez and the Spanish
  • Other native tribes were tired of paying tribute to the Aztecs and joined Cortez
  • When he arrives Moctezuma II thinks that he is Quezalcoatl
  • They invite him to the capital Tenochititlan
  • Cortez jails Monteczuma
hernan cortez and the spanish15
Hernan Cortez and the Spanish
  • The Aztecs fight the off, but the Spaniards leave behind small pox:
  • Cortez returns and defeats them: only 2 million Aztecs survive
  • In 1521 the Aztecs finally surrender
small pox
Small Pox
  • fever, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting and severe muscle aches
  • A rash follows that spreads and progresses to raised bumps that crust, scab, and fall off after about three weeks, leaving a pitted scar.
  • 30-50% fatality rate
Different Perspective:Slide 1: 1.List 6 things you see in this picture2. Who do you think painted this an Aztec or a Spaniard? Why?

Slide 2: 1) Why do you think that the man on the horse is light while everyone else is dark? 2) Who do you think that this person on the horse is?

Slide 4: 1) Describe 5 things that you see in this photo. 2) How is the story in this painting different than slide 1 and 2?