Chapter 11: Peoples and Civilizations of the Americas, 600-1500 AP World History
I. Classic-Era Culture and Society in Mesoamerica, 200-900 • A. Teotihuacan • 1. Large Mesoamerican city with population of about 150,000. • 2. Had pyramids and temples where human sacrifice was carried out.. • 3. Collapsed around 650 C.E. probably by mismanagement of resources and conflict within the elite or invasion. • 4. Bureaucracy collected taxes and had agricultural innovation like irrigation systems and chinampas
B. The Maya • 1. Never formed a unified kingdom. • 2. Increased agricultural productivity by draining swamps, building elevated fields, terraced fields, and managed forest resources. • 3. Large city-states. • 4. Believed cosmos consisted of three layers, the heavens, human world, and the underworld. • 5. Rulers and elites communicated with the other worlds. • 6. Fought for captives, not for territory. Elite captives were sacrificed and commoners were enslaved. • 8. Calendar, Mathematics, and the Maya writing system (glyphs). • 9. Reasons for fall include disruption of trade, overpopulation and increased warfare around 800-900 C.E.
II. The Postclassic Period in Mesoamerica, 900-1500 • A. The Toltecs • 1. Central Mexico and built civilization based on Teotihuacan. • 2. Capital at Tula was ruled by dual kings but were destroyed by invaders around 1156 C.E.
The Aztecs • 1. Migrated to lake Texcoco area and established the cities of Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco. • 2. Females maintained control of household and market. • 3. Established irrigation and chinampas, but also received food from tribute. • 4. Goods were exchanged through barter. • 5. Worshipped a large number of gods, but the most important was Huitzilopochtli, the Sun god and he was appeased by sacrifice with human hearts.
III. The Northern Peoples • A. Southwestern Desert Cultures • 1. The Hohokam established extensive irrigation systems in the Salt and Gila valleys around 1000 c.e. • 2. The Anasazi constructed Kivas in the American southwest. • 3. The Chaco Canyon community engaged in trade, hunting and irrigated agriculture and exerted some political and religious dominance over the area but declined due to drought, overpopulation, and warfare.
B. Mound Builders: The Mississippian Cultures • 1. The Hopewell culture came out of the Adena culture and was based in the Ohio Valley. • 2. The major Hopewell centers were ruled by chiefs and they served as priests and managed secular affairs such as long distance trade. • 3. The Hopewell built large mounds both as burial sites and as platforms upon which temples and residences of chiefs were constructed. • 4. The Hopewell sites were abandoned around 400 C.E., but the mound building was continued by the Mississippian culture(700-1500 c.e.). • 5. The Mississippian chiefdoms were made possible by increased agricultural productivity, the bow and arrow, and expanded trade networks. • 6. The largest center was Cahokia but was abandoned around 1250 because of climate changes and population pressure.
IV. Andean Civilizations 600-1500 • A. Cultural Response to Environmental Challenge • 1. Andes, dry coastal plain, and Amazon forced inhabitants to organize labor effectively. • 2. The clan (ayllu) held land collectively, and assisted each other in production and to supply goods and labor to the clan chief. • 3. The mit’a was introduced around 1000 and required each ayllu to provide a set number of workers each year for religious establishments, royal court, or the aristocracy. • 4. Work was divided along gender lines. • 5. The Andean region is divided into four different ecological zones; the coast, mountain valleys, higher elevations, and the Amazonian region.
B. Moche • 1. North coastal region of Peru in about 200-700 C.E. • 2. Moche society was stratified and theocratic. • 3. Commoners supplied mit’a labor to the elite while the elite military leaders and priests lived atop large platforms and decorated themselves in magnificent clothing. • 4. Moche artisans were skilled in the production of textiles, portrait vases, and metallurgy. • 5. Decline can be attributed to a series of natural disasters and pressure from the warlike Wari people.
C. Tiwanaku and Wari • 1. Civilization of Tiwanku was located in Bolivia. • 2. Urban construction consisted of large terraced pyramid, walled enclosures, and a reservoir. • 3. Ruled by a hereditary elite. • 4. The Wari had contact with Tiwanaku, but was a separate culture, was built without central planning, with different techniques, and on a much smaller scale than Tiwanaku.
The Inca 1. Inca empire grew out of the small chiefdom of Cuzco. • 2. Key to wealth was its strong military and used it to expand the traditional exchange system that linked the Andes together. • 3. Inca left local rulers in place and took their heirs to Cuzco. This created an imperial bureaucracy. • 4. Cuzco laid out in the shape of a puma and its palaces were the scene of rituals, feasts, and sacrifices of textiles, animals, tribute goods, and the occasional human. • 5. Did not introduce new technologies, but made more efficient use of existing technology to increase the profits gained by trade. Technology included astronomy, weaving, copper and bronze metallurgy, and gold and silver working. • 6. When the elite fell into civil war in 1525, Inca control over its vast territories weakened.
V. Comparative Perspectives • A. Political and Economic Comparisons • 1. The Aztec and Inca Empires shared similarities in the use of powerful armies, strong economies based on large workforces, and their dependence on organized government and religious practices that connected secular rulers to the gods. • 2. Distinctions were in their systems of distributing goods and in their management of the empire. • 3. Aztecs used local leaders, while the Inca created a strong central government administered by trained bureaucrats.
B. Imperial Comparisons • 1. Both the Aztec and the Inca were the last in a line of successive indigenous populations organized into strong empires from former collapsed civilizations. • 2. The arrival of Europeans ended the cycle of crises and adjustment in both regions.