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  1. Chapter 8 How Did the Aztec and Spanish Ways of Life Reflect Their Worldviews?

  2. How did the Social Systems of the Aztec Reflect their Worldview • Aztec society was highly structured, based on agriculture and trade, and guided by a religion that was part of every aspect of life. • They had a hierarchical system of authority that was divided into three social classes: upper, middle and lower.

  3. Nobility • Pipiltin were the upper, ruling class (government, army & priests) • Emperor- huey tlatoani (high priest too) • Land ownership based on social class • Pipiltin had to follow strict behavior code (role models) • Nobility kept all records and gained honor .

  4. Commoners • Macehualtin were the middle class (military, priests, merchants, artisans, or long-distance traders) • Warriors were next to nobility – very important, exemplary leaders and judges of petty crimes • Macehualtins became very wealthy usually through trading • Mayeques(peasants) worked for nobles and received land and payed taxes. • Tlacotin another name for slaves and they could buy their freedom • Not born into slavery – choice/punishment

  5. Division of Social Class • UPPER • Huey Tlatoni (Emperor) • Pipiltin (Ruling class) • MIDDLE • Macehualtin(Warriors, Priests, Pochteca, Toltecah) • LOWER • Mayeques (Peasants) • Tlacotin (Slaves)

  6. Priests • Boys from all classes could study to become priests • Did not get married • Top rank reserved for pipiltin • They would advise the emperor and oversee important religious functions • Their most important job was to offer human sacrifices • Women could also serve as priestess for the goddesses

  7. Roles of Men and Women • Women cared for the household and family; some did become artisans. • Men did all other physical work; forced to join the army when soldiers were needed. • Children worked beside parents as early as age 5. • Girls marry by early teens; boys marry by late teens/early twenties. • In case of break-up, wife gets automatic custody of kids • Women enjoyed legal protections, along with a high degree of freedom.

  8. Education • Free for girls and boys • Taught religious rituals and structured classes • Singing, dancing, music • Pass on traditions by dancing and singing • Long poems, stories, songs, histories were important to memorize • Oral Tradition • Separate schools for upper and lower class • Calmecac; Telpochcalli • Went to school until marriage • Boys and girls taught separately • Boys taught occupational skills, history, religions & good citizenship • Girls taught how to manage the house, spinning & weaving

  9. How did the Political and Economic Systems Reflect the Aztec Worldview? Aztec Political System • The emperor, huey tlatoani, was elected by the council of wise men • The council men were elected by their calpullis(clans) • made up of the greatest warriors and the wisest priests • The huey tlatoani was the representative of Huitzilopochtli, no one could disobey him. • The council of wise men could dismiss the huey tlatoani if they disagreed with him • his title/place was not heriditary.

  10. Role of Priests in the Government • Held highest position in royal court – members of nobility. • Emperor consulted them on dreams and omens • Priests decided the days that were lucky to go to war and hold sacrificial ceremonies. • Responsible for providing music and directing religious ceremonies


  12. Aztec Economy • Tribute was an important factor – payment to the Aztec emperor. • Ensured a steady flow of goods for the Aztec and encouraged the development of new businesses and improved the economy. • Forms of tribute – • FOOD: cacao beans • NATURAL RESOURCES: cotton \LUXURY ITEMS: precious metals • MILITARY SERVICE • Rulers benefited because many items were redistributed as payment for their allegiance to the emperor • Development of new businesses and improved the economy. • Tribute system continued under Spanish rule

  13. FARMING – backbone of the Aztec economy • Used for tribute or to pay taxes or trade • Technological innovations such as irrigation and dike systems led to faster & more efficient farming. • Farming was done on floating gardenscalled chiampas

  14. Marshland farmers worked full time but inland farmers had to have other jobs such as producing goods made from raw materials or mining salt or stone. • Cottage industries supplied other object such as ceramic pottery, blades, obsidian tools and paper made from the inside of bark • In the cities, there were services such asbarbers and herbalists and individuals who sold “fast food” (prepared good and drinks) • Some people became artisans and made jewellery from precious stones, gold and silver • The most valued artisans were the feather workers who crafted vibrantly coloured capes, garments, and ceremonial • itemsmade from tropical bird feathers.

  15. Good that weren’t used for tribute or taxes were sent to the MARKETPLACE • Market trade was based on barter or trade • Markets were divided into streets and each type of merchandise was sold its own street • Trade outside the marketplace wasforbidden

  16. Hernan Cortes says: … twice as big as [a Spanish city] with arcades all around, where more than sixty thousand people buy and sell, and where every kind of merchandise produced in these lands is found; provisions, as well as ornaments of gold and silver, lead, brass, copper, tin, stones, shells, bones and feathers. They also sell lime, hewn and unhewn stone, adobe bricks, tiles and cut and uncut woods of various kinds. There is a street where they sell game and birds of every species found in this land...They sell rabbits and hares and small gelded dogs which they breed for eating. There are streets for herbalists where all the medicinal herbs and roots foundinthe land are sold... There are shops like barbers where they have their hair washed and shaved and shops where they sell food and drink. There are also men like porters to carry loads.

  17. Since the Aztec did not have oxen or horses to transport goods, they transported goods by canoe along the waterways that ran down the Valley of Mexico. • Porters worked for the Pochteca(long-distance merchants) and traded finished goods and raw materials to make clothing and jewellery for the nobility. • Were also called spying merchants because they travelled to enemy territory & reported back to theEmperor • The pochteca held a high position of status in the empire.

  18. How did the Culture of the Aztecs Reflect their Worldview? Aztec Religious Beliefs and Practices Rituals and sacrifices • Thought warrior hearts were the best nourishment and that sacrifice kept the world together. • Believed that human blood was above all else • Sacrifices were large public events that were performed at the top of temples.

  19. Medicine Bundles • Sacred objects of the Aztecs were bundles containing blessed corn, feathers, rubber and precious stones. • Each altepetl (city) has its own bundle that was the centre of the city • Huitzilopochtli’s bundle was kept in the main temple of Tenochtitlan.

  20. Medicine • Religion – certain gods were thought to send illness or to heal • Magic – some diseases were thought to be sent by magic. Anyone thought to be casting spells would be condemned. • Medicine – they knew a lot about the healing properties of plants and minerals.

  21. The Arts Books and Codices • Used picture writing • Had no alphabet • Scribes and priests recorded poetry, history, moral lessons, rituals, tribute lists, governmental and business records. • Only the elite (pipiltin) were taught to read • Often wrote on deerskin, cloth or ornate paper • Painted on both sides of long paper strips • The few codices that were not destroyed were about animals and guides for living

  22. Sculpture • Religious in nature • Stone sculpture were of Gods • Were often placed in and under temples • In recognition of the three levels of the universe • In recognition of gods, earth and the underworld • Smaller statues were of animals • usually jaguars and snakes • maintaining balance with the natural world • Craftsmen taught their talents to their sons

  23. Architecture • Temples were the largest building in any city • The most magnificent was in Tenochtitlan • Architecture was borrowed from the Teotihuacan or Toltec • They developed the idea to divide the pyramid at the top to represent the sacred mountains • It was called Templo Mayor

  24. Featherworks & Luxury Items • Aztecs prized feathers more than gold • Feathers were rare, delicate and brightly coloured • Many luxury items such as jewels and ornaments had no religious importance and were created to satisfy the desires of the wealthy • Artisans createdjewellery, ceramics and mosaics using precious stones and jewels

  25. The importance of time Life was coordinated by two calendars • The main calendar was calledXiuhtlapohually • made up of 18 months, 20 days plus 5 extra days • Each month named for a god and incorporated a religious festival dedicated to that god • Regulated agricultural activities such as planting and harvesting and determined market days • The second important calendar was the ritual calendar called Tonalpohually • 260 days • People were name based on the day they were born on • Eacd day associated with a specific fate that was good, bad or indifferent. • They believed that the day on which they were born would - • Used to determine when their religious rituals and sacrifices should be performed

  26. How did the Spanish Social Systems Reflect the Spanish Worldview? • Spanish society used the feudal system until 1486 and then switched to the seigneurial system. • Peasants were given sections of land by the lord of an estate to cultivate in return for money, goods, or services. They essesntial worked for the landlord but had more freedom. • The nobility was the smallest class and owned the most land. • There were many more peasants than business owners, but the merchant class was growing.

  27. Nobility • Were powerful and ruled their estates almost like monarchs. • King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella took back much of the land owned by nobility. • Large tracts of land were passed on to the eldest son of nobles. • Sons studied to enter clergy or tried to gain honour (Conquistadors) • Classes of minor nobles = hidalgo • Spanish nobility very much hated manual labour and commerce, and judged an individual’s worth by social position rather than by achievement.

  28. Commoners • Made up 90% of Spain’s population. • Feudal peasants had the lowest status. • Most lived and worked on nobles’ estates. • Only small percentage owned land • Couldn’t save money • Under Ferndinand & Isabella, the middle class began to grow. • Many of the wealthy merchant class were educated and owned land.

  29. Priests • Roman Catholic priests became the religious leaders in local parishes or joined formal religious orders. • Parish priests often would have to look for other work to earn money to support themselves. • Priests from religious orders (Franciscan, Domincan, Salesians) were better educated and came from wealthier families • Religious orders were well organized & independent • Religious orders operated many schools for commoners • The priests who made it to upper clergy had great status and rank.

  30. Roles of Men and Women • Similar to the roles of men and women during the Renaissance. • Women were expected to marry well and take care of the household. • Divorce was strictly forbidden in the church • Some became fine writers and artisans • Men were expected to do the hard labour. • Some peasant women would cultivate land when needed • Only men could hold government positions and be involved in running a business.

  31. Education • Under Moorish control, Spain used to be more tolerant of religion than anywhere else • Before Spain evicted them, the Jews and Muslims provided a highly respected education. • There were several universities • The Spanish benefited very much from the universities and libraries left behind by the Jews and Muslims. • Education became tightly linked with the Roman Catholic Church. • Spanish scholars began to focus on religious studies rather than humanist pursuits

  32. Education continued… • In towns and cities there was education for most children. • Children of nobility, especially sons, were mostly tutored at home and then went on to university. • Some daughters went to school, but most received private lessons at home • Religious education was present at all levels of educaation • Some rural areas provided basic formal education to children of peasants. • Boys learned carpentry and how to farm. • Girls learned how to cook and sew.

  33. How did the Political and Economic Systems of the Spanish Reflect their Worldview? Spanish Political System • Believed only God could give someone the right to rule. • Since God appointed the monarch, no king or queen could be removed • The King & Queen had near absolute power. • Although there was a central authority, each kingdom maintained a separate parliament

  34. Spanish Political Systems • Spanish parliament was called the Cortes • Legislations were approved by the Cortes. • King and queen could dismiss the Cortes whenever they wished but the Cortes still controlled the treasury. • Nobles were given high ranking but had fewer oppurtunities to be involved

  35. Role of the Church in the Government • Roman Catholic Church was often closely linked to the monarchy. • People who did not accept the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church were disloyal to the monarchy. • King and Queen reduced the power of the church. • Wanted the power to make their own decisions

  36. Spanish Economy • Barcelona and Valencia were major seaports for importing and exporting goods. • The decrease in population due to the Black Death, resulted in a decline in both agricultural and manufacturing output. • Under Moorish rule between the 8th and 13thcenturies agriculture flourished. • Olives, grapes, wheat, rice and fruit were the main products • Sheep farmers formed a guild – a powerful organization called amesta.

  37. Economic Problems • Nobility saw farming and businesses as the lower class • Nobility would buy land and the land would remain uncultivated. • Small businesses would purchase land with extra money instead of creating more business • Spain’s economy suffered because of little investment in agriculture & commerical efforts • When Fernindand & Isabella took over, Spanish economy improved, especially with the wool trade in Castile • However, during wars, Spain’s economy suffered again because they needed guns & weapons, not wool

  38. Economic Problems • Nobilitles began overseas trading when Spain colonies • Spain wasn’t able to produce for both, so its colonies increased their manufacturing • Over time, Spain became one of the richest and most powerful countries. • Gold and silver eventually caused massive inflation in parts of Spain and Europe

  39. How did the Culture of the Spanish Reflect their Worldviews? Spanish Religious Beliefs and Practices • Believed they would go to heaven or hell based on how well they followed the religious teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. • Included following the Bible & confession • Cathedrals were the grandest buildings in any cities and built as places to worship God. • Religion united Roman Catholics to conquer the Moors.

  40. By the end of the Reconquista, Catholicism was the only religion allowed in Spain. • Focused on the suffering of Jesus Christ and admired both the courage and willingness of individuals to withstand suffering and sacrifice. • Conquistadors who exhibited these traits were held in high esteem • Special religious ceremonies were held to try people during the Inquisition usually ending in the execution of the person charged. • usually burned at the stake.

  41. The Arts Literature • Latin was the language used by theClergy and by Spanish scholars. • Castilian was made the official language when Ferdinand and Isabelle married. • later known as Spanish • Having one language united the country and developed a sense of nationalism. • Troubadours spread Spanish when they traveled and performed for the common people and for the royalty. • Told tales of love, bravery, romance, poetry & quiet life of the country

  42. Architecture and Sculpture • Spanish architecture was strongly influenced by Muslim culture • Many Spanish homes had beautiful mosaic decorations and inside courtyards modeled after Muslim buildings • The grandest structures in Spain were Churches and Mosques • The most talented sculptors lived in Catalonia and Aragon

  43. Painting • Spanish artist absorbed influences from different cultures, traditions & religion • Spanish artists were greatly influenced by Flemish & Italians • Spanish art was comprised of beautiful murals & frescoes most often found on the walls of churhces • FerrerBassawas one of the first identifiable Spanish artists • Spanish art was influenced by Moors and the King and Queen were patrons of the arts

  44. Measurement of Time • The Spanish used the Gregorian calendar system like today's that started in 46 BCE, and had 365 ¼ days in one year. • The problem was that the summer and winter solstices were planed to be on the 25th of their respected months. • By the 1500’s they were on the 11th. • To fix this problem Pope Gregory XIII decreed that the day after • Thurs. Oct. 4th 1582  Fri. Oct. 15th 1582