The Maya • The Big Idea • The Maya developed an advanced civilization that thrived in Mesoamerica from about 250 until the 900s. • Main Ideas • Geography helped shape the lives of the early Maya in Mesoamerica. • During the Classic Age, the Maya built great cities linked by trade. • Maya culture was influenced by social structure, religion, and achievements in science and the arts. • The decline of Maya civilization began in the 900s, for reasons that are still unclear.
The Maya civilization developed in Mesoamerica. *Thick forests covered the area, so people had to clear the land for farming. *The Maya grew a variety of crops, including beans, squash, and maize, or corn. The forests also brought valuable resources, such as animals to use for food and trees for building materials. The Maya lived in small villages that traded with each other. As trade grew, villages grew. Main Idea 1: Geography helped shape the lives of the early Maya in Mesoamerica.
The Maya civilization reached its height in a period called the Classic Age. During this period, the civilization spread to the Yucatan Peninsula. It included more than 40 cities of 5,000 to 50,000 people each. Cities were really city-states, each with its own government and king. No single ruler ever united the many cities into one empire. Main Idea 2: During the Classic Age, the Maya built great cities linked by trade.
Maya Classic Age • Trade • *The Maya cities in the highlands traded obsidian and jade with those in the lowlands. • People could get things they did not have nearby. • *People traded items like cacao beans, obsidian, jade, bird feathers, and supplies for construction. • Cities • *The Maya built grand buildings without modern tools, some of which honored Maya kings such as Pacal. • They also built structures such as canals, ball courts, and large plazas. • *cities included large stone pyramids and temples • Mayan ball game
Social structure and religion heavily influenced the everyday lives of the Maya. Maya worshipped many gods who controlled a different part of daily life. Gods could be helpful or harmful, so the Maya tried to please the gods. The Maya believed the gods needed blood to prevent disasters, so they offered their blood from piercings or sometimes used human sacrifices. Maya achievements included advances in astronomy and writing. Main Idea 3: Maya culture was influenced by social structure, religion, and achievements in science and the arts.
Maya Social Structure *Held the highest position in Maya society. He was believed to be related to the gods. King Priests, merchants, and noble warriors. Together with the king, they held all the power in Maya society. Upper Class Most Maya fell into this group, made up of farming families who lived outside the cities. They also had to “pay” rulers with crops or goods and helped construct buildings. Lower Class *Usually men captured in battle or those who worked for farmers and the upper class. Slaves
Maya Achievements • Science • Built observatories, buildings from which people could study the sky • Created a 365-day calendar for planting and a 260-day one for religious events • Created a number system that included zero • Writing • Had a writing system similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics • Wrote on stone tablets, bark paper books, and passed down stories orally • Art • Created excep-tional jade and gold jewelry • *Architecture included huge temple-pyramids. • The Maya often decorated their buildings with paintings.
Historians are not sure why Maya civilization collapsed. *One theory is that increased warfare over food may have destroyed the Maya. Another theory is that people may have rebelled against the kings, who demanded too much of them. *A long period of droughts may have played a role because it would have been difficult to grow crops. Most scientists agree that it was a combination of causes. Main Idea 4: The decline of Maya civilization began in the 900s, for reasons that are still unclear.
The Big Idea The strong Aztec Empire, founded in central Mexico in 1325, lasted until the Spanish conquest in 1521. Main Ideas The Aztecs built a rich and powerful empire in central Mexico. Life in the empire was shaped by social structure, religion, and warfare. Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztec Empire in 1521. The Aztec
*The first Aztecs were farmers from what is now northern Mexico, but when they arrived in Central America, all the good farmland was taken. *They settled on a swampy island in the middle of Lake Texcoco, built a capital, and started to conquer nearby towns. Main Idea 1:The Aztecs built a rich and powerful empire in central Mexico.
*War was the key factor in the Aztecs’ rise to power. The Aztecs built alliances, or partnerships, to build their empire. *The Aztecs made the people they conquered pay tribute (payment to a more powerful ruler or country), or give them cotton, gold, or food. *The Aztecs controlled a huge trade network. Markets drew buyers and sellers from all over the Aztec Empire. By the early 1500s the Aztecs had the most powerful state in Mesoamerica. *war, trade and tribute were the key factors in the Aztecs’ rise to power The Aztecs’ Rise to Power
*Tenochtitlán was the capital of the Aztec Empire. It was built on an island in the middle of a lake. *The Aztecs built causeways, or raised roads across water or wet ground, so people could access the city. The Aztecs built stone canals to bring water to the city and floating gardens to raise food and flowers. The city had huge temples, a busy market, clean streets, and magnificent palaces. It was the greatest city in the Americas during the time of the Aztecs. Tenochtitlán
The Aztecs had a complex social structure, a demanding religion, and a rich culture. The Aztecs worshipped many gods and regularly made human sacrifices to please the gods. Sacrifices were often battle captives. Aztec warriors waged frequent battles with neighboring people to supply enough victims. Aztecs valued art and architecture. They studied astronomy and devised a calendar like the Maya did. Main Idea 2:Life in the empire was shaped by social structure, religion, and warfare.
The king was the most powerful person in Aztec society. The king was in charge of law, trade and tribute, and warfare. The king had nobles to help him manage the kingdom. *The nobles were tax collectors and judges and performed other jobs as well. They passed their titles down from father to son. Jobs like government officials, military leaders, or priests Classes of Aztec Society:*Kings and Nobles
The priests had a great deal of influence over the lives of the Aztecs. The priests had many duties, including keeping calendars to decide when to plant crops and holding religious ceremonies. Aztec warriors also had many duties. They fought to capture victims for religious sacrifices. They also brought great wealth to the empire. The warriors were very well respected by the Aztecs. Classes of Aztec Society:*Warriors and Priests
Merchants gathered goods from all over the empire and sold them in the main market. *Merchants were spies who alerted the emperors to possible trouble in other regions Many merchants were very wealthy and used their money to build large houses and send their sons to private schools. Artisans were also rich and were important to the Aztecs. They made gold jewelry and elaborate headdresses. Classes of Aztec Society:Merchants and Artisans
Farmers and slaves made up the lowest class of Aztec society. Most of the people who lived in the empire were farmers who grew maize, beans, and a few other crops. Aztec Historical Masterchef Farmers were very poor and did not own their own land. Slaves were people who had been captured in battle or who could not pay their debts. They were laborers, and if they did not obey, they were sacrificed to the gods. Classes of Aztec Society:Farmers and Slaves
In the late 1400s Spanish explorers and soldiers arrived in the Americas. *The Spanish conquerors, or conquistadors, came to explore new lands, search for gold, and spread the Catholic religion. Main Idea 3: Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztec Empire in 1521.
A small group of conquistadors led by Cortés reached Mexico in 1519. *Moctezuma II, the leader of the Aztec, believed that Cortés was a god. Moctezuma sent Cortés gifts, including gold. Cortés wanted more gold, so he went to Moctezuma. Cortés took Moctezuma prisoner. The other Aztecs attacked Cortés and his men. The Spanish were driven out, but Moctezuma was killed. Cortés returned with many Indian allies, and in 1521 they defeated the Aztecs and ended their empire. Cortés and Moctezuma
Ferdinando Cortez Montezuma II
*Alliances The Spanish had help from other Indians in the region who resented the Aztecs’ harsh rule and did not like paying tribute to Aztecs. *Weapons The Spanish had better weapons than the Aztecs. They had cannons, armor, swords, and horses that the Aztecs did not have. Horses were large and powerful and Aztecs were terrified of them *Disease The Spanish had unknowingly brought deadly diseases such as smallpox to the Americas. These diseases killed the Aztecs, who had never been exposed to such diseases. Aztec warrior Causes of the Defeat of the Aztecs
The Big Idea The Incas controlled a huge empire in South America, but it was conquered by the Spanish. Main Ideas The Incas created an empire with a strong central government in South America. Life in the Inca Empire was influenced by social structure, religion, and the Incas’ cultural achievements. *Francisco Pizarro conquered the Incas and took control of the region in 1537. The Incas
In South America, a great empire arose. The Inca Empire began as a small tribe in the Andes, but it later stretched from modern Ecuador to central Chile. Main Idea 1:The Incas created an empire with a strong central government in South America.
Pre-Incan civilization began to develop in what is now Peru. Four major cultures developed and built some of South America’s first cities. *The first Incas began as a small tribe in the Andes Mountains. A ruler named Pachacuti led the Incas to expand their territory through agreements with, or conquests of, other tribes. Later Incan rulers continued to expand their territory. By the 1500s the Inca Empire was huge and had 12 million people. Foundations for the Inca Empire
As the Incas conquered more people, they had to devise a way to control them. They made the conquered leaders move out of their villages and move in with leaders who were loyal to the Incan government. The Inca made the children of the conquered leaders come to the Incan capital to learn about Incan ways. The Incas established an official language, Quechua. They controlled the economy by having the Inca pay a tax with their labor. There were no markets or merchants. Instead, the government would distribute goods. Leftover goods were stored in the capital for emergencies. The Incan Government
Rulers controlled Incan society very closely but protected the general welfare of all the empire. Common people had little freedom, and not everyone was treated equally. Main Idea 2:Life in the Inca Empire was influenced by social structure, religion, and the Incas’ cultural achievements.
Society and Daily Life • Upper Class • Kings, priests, and government officials made up the Incan upper class. • Men worked for the government, and women had household duties. • Sons went to school. • Upper-class families had many privileges, such as private schools, stone houses, and the best clothes. • *Lower Class • The lower class was made up of farmers, artisans, and servants. There were no slaves in Incan society. • They worked on government farms, served in the army, worked in mines, or built roads. • *Most children did not go to school but instead learned to farm. • *Inca laws forced them to wear plain clothes • *parents taught their children how to work
The Inca Empire had an official religion. When they conquered new regions, they taught this religion to the conquered people. They allowed the conquered people to worship their own gods as well. The god of the sun was the most important god to the Incas. They believed their kings were related to the sun god. The Incas rarely sacrificed humans. Instead, they sacrificed llamas, cloth, or food. Religion in the Inca Empire
*The Inca were known for their massive buildings and forts made of huge stone blocks. Blocks were cut so precisely that even today it is nearly impossible to fit a knife blade between the stones. *Inca are known for expert masonry (stonework) *Inca biuldings were used for religious purposes and to store food The Inca also built a system of roads that connected all parts of the empire. The Incan artisans made jewelry of silver and gold. Oral literature was made up of storytelling and songs. The Inca also passed down their songs, dances, and religious practices. Incan Contributions to Culture
*A civil war began in the Inca Empire between the two sons of the king, Atahualpa and Huáscar. Atahualpa eventually won the war, but he was captured by the Spanish soon after. Main Idea 3:*Francisco Pizarro conquered the Incas and took control of the region in 1537.
Although Atahualpa had won the war, the infighting had weakened the empire. A group of conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro arrived in the empire. When Atahualpa came to meet the Spanish, they attacked and captured him. The Incas tried to free Atahualpa by offering the Spanish a roomful of gold and silver, but the Spanish killed Atahualpa anyway. *The Spanish led by Pizzaro defeated the last of the Incas, and the empire fell in 1537. Pizzaro Ancient Americas The Fall of the Incas