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The Aztecs Control Central Mexico. Chapter 16 Section 3. Key Terms. Obsidian Quetzacoatl Triple Alliance Montezuma II. The Valley of Mexico. 7,500 feet above sea level Where Mexico City is now Aztecs the greatest empire is Mesoamerica Accessible resources Fertile land.

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key terms
Key Terms
  • Obsidian
  • Quetzacoatl
  • Triple Alliance
  • Montezuma II
the valley of mexico
The Valley of Mexico
  • 7,500 feet above sea level
  • Where Mexico City is now
  • Aztecs the greatest empire is Mesoamerica
  • Accessible resources
  • Fertile land
an early city state
An Early City-State
  • Teotihuacan-first major civilization
  • First century AD
  • 6th century 150,000 to 200,000 people
  • Avenue lined with 20 pyramids dedicated to various gods
  • Pyramid of the sun the largest
an early city state1
An Early City-State
  • People lived in apartment style buildings
  • Thriving center of trade
  • Obsidian-most valuable item
    • Green or black volcanic glass
  • Did not conquer neighbors or create an empire
an early city state2
An Early City-State
  • Their art, style and religion found all over Central America
  • City abruptly declined
  • Virtually abandoned by 750
  • Name means city of the gods
toltecs take over
Toltecs Take Over
  • 900 new people take over
  • Capitol is Tula
  • Built pyramids and temples
  • Carved pillars like warriors
  • Warlike, based on conquest.
toltecs take over1
Toltecs Take Over
  • Worshipped a fierce war god
  • Demanded blood and human sacrifice
  • Topiltzin- tried to change religion
  • Encouraged them to worship Quetzalcoatl (feathered serpent)
toltecs take over2
Toltecs Take Over
  • Uprising forces exile
  • Tolpiltzin and followers go to Yucatan Peninsula
  • Influences later Mayan culture
  • Power Declines
  • 1200 end of their reign
aztec empire
Aztec Empire
  • Mexico Valley 1200
  • Aztecs called Mexica
    • Poor nomadic people
    • Came from harsh deserts
    • Fierce and ambitious
  • Soldiers for hire
  • God of sun and god or warfare told to find city of their own
aztec empire1
Aztec Empire
  • Look for a place where the eagle perched on a cactus holding a serpent
  • Small island in Lake Texcoco
  • 1325 found the city of Tenochtitlan
aztecs grow stronger
Aztecs Grow Stronger
  • 1428 joined with two other city-states
  • Triple alliance- Aztecs, Texcoco, Tiacopan
  • 1500’s controlled a vast empire
    • 80,000 square miles
    • 38 provinces
    • 5-15 million people
  • Central Mexico from Atlantic to Pacific
aztecs grow stronger1
Aztecs Grow Stronger
  • Power based on military conquest and tribute from conquered lands
  • Let local rulers govern their area
  • Tribute
    • Gold, maize, jade, Cacao, beans or cotton
  • Refusal meant death and destruction of their village
noble rule aztec society
Noble Rule Aztec Society
  • Military rulers led
  • Made up the noble class
  • Vast estates, life of luxury
  • Two other classes
    • Commoners-merchants, artisans, soldiers, farmers (owned land)
    • Enslaved persons-captives
noble rule aztec society1
Noble Rule Aztec Society
  • Emperor atop the social pyramid
  • Absolute power
  • Magnificent palace
  • Entered in bare feet and looked down
tenochtitlan a planned city
Tenochtitlan: A Planned City
  • 1500’s became an urban center
  • 200,000 to 400,000 people
  • Large than any European city of that time
  • Aztec engineers made raised road
tenochtitlan a planned city1
Tenochtitlan a Planned City
  • Streets and broad avenues connected the city
  • Canals let canoes come into center city
  • Tlatelolco- huge market
  • Most items grown on chinampas (floating gardens)
tenochtitlan a planned city2
Tenochtitlan a Planned City
  • Center of city massive walled complex
    • Palaces
    • Temples
    • Government buildings
  • Great Temple- giant pyramid with twin temples on top
    • One to sun god
    • One to rain god
religion rules aztec life
Religion Rules Aztec Life
  • Tenochtitlan contained hundreds of temples
  • 1000 gods
  • Aztecs worshipped Toltec gods
  • Quetzalcoatl- not only pictured as a feathered serpent but also pale skinned man with a beard
religious practices
Religious Practices
  • Public ceremonies
  • Communicate and win their favor
  • Priest made offerings
  • Ritual drams, songs, and dances
  • Aztec calendar full of religious festivals
sacrifices for the sun god
Sacrifices for the Sun God
  • Huitzilopochtli- made the sun rise every day
  • Battled evil to get to next day
  • Needed human blood for nourishment
  • If no blood the god would be too weak to rise
  • World will be plunged into darkness
sacrifices for the sun god1
Sacrifices for the Sun God
  • Human sacrifice on a massive scale
  • Thousands led to temple
  • Hearts carved out with obsidian knives
  • Usually enslaved persons, criminals, people offered as tribute from their community
  • Aztecs made new conquests to get more victims
problems in the aztec empire
Problems in the Aztec Empire
  • 1502 Montezuma II crowned emperor
  • Empire began to weaken
  • Montezuma wanted more tribute and sacrifices
  • Provinces rose up
  • Period of unrest and rebellion
problems in the aztec empire1
Problems in the Aztec Empire
  • Aztecs predicted bad things would happen
  • Saw omens in everything
  • Most worrying event was the arrival of the Spanish
  • Fair skinned bearded strangers brought back thoughts of Quetzalcoatl