Chapter 15 – The Aztec and Inca Empires. Section Notes. Video. The Aztec Empire Aztec Life and Society The Inca Empire Inca Life and Society. Mesoamerican Achievements in Science and Math. Maps. The Aztec Empire, 1519 The Inca Empire, 1530 Inca Roads Lake Texcoco Assessment Map.
The Aztec Empire
Aztec Life and Society
The Inca Empire
Inca Life and Society
Mesoamerican Achievements in Science and Math
The Aztec Empire, 1519
The Inca Empire, 1530
People in Aztec Society
Chapter 15 Visual Summary
Linking to Today: Preserving Food
The Aztecs built alliances, or partnerships, to build their empire.
The Aztecs made the people they conquered pay tribute, 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.The Aztecs’ Rise to Power
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
Moctezuma II, the Aztec leader, 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
Weapons The Spanish had better weapons than the Aztecs. They had cannons, armor, swords, and horses that the Aztecs did not have.
Geography The Spanish were able to cut off the capital city. The people had no food or water, so many Aztecs died of starvation.
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.Causes of the Defeat of the Aztecs
The Aztecs developed complex social, religious, artistic, and scientific systems in their empire.
Aztec society was divided by roles and by class.
The Aztec religion required human sacrifice to keep the gods happy.
The Aztecs had many achievements in science, art, and language.Aztec Life and Society
Kings and nobles
Priests and warriors
Merchants and artisans
Farmers and slavesMain Idea 1:Aztec society was divided by social roles and by class.
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 as well as other jobs. They passed their titles down from father to son.Classes of Aztec Society:Kings and Nobles
The priests had many duties, including keeping calendars to decide when to plant crops and hold 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
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 important to the Aztecs. They made gold jewelry and elaborate headdresses.Classes of Aztec Society:Merchants and Artisans
Most of the people who lived in the empire were farmers who grew maize, beans, and a few other crops.
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
The greatest number of sacrifices were made to the war god Huitzilopochtli and the rain god Tlaloc.
Priests led the sacrificial rituals, which took place on top of the temples that had been built.
Humans were sacrificed because it was believed that the human hearts and blood would “feed” the gods and keep them strong.
Aztec priests sacrificed as many as 10,000 victims a year in religious sacrifices.Aztec Sacrifices
The Aztecs also knew many different uses for plants. They knew of 100 different plants that could be used for medicine.Scientific Achievements
The Aztecs also had a very strong oral tradition.
They considered fine speeches very important and also enjoyed riddles.
Stories about ancestors and gods were also a part of the oral tradition. The Aztecs told these stories to their children and passed them down from generation to generation.
After the Spanish conquered the Aztecs, many of these stories were written down.Writing and Literature
The early 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 Inca rulers continued to expand their territory. By the 1500s the Incan Empire was huge and had 12 million people.Foundations for the Incan Empire
They made the conquered leaders move out of their villages and move in with leaders who were loyal to the Inca 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
A group of conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro arrived in the empire. They demanded that Atahualpa convert to Christianity.
When Atahualpa refused to convert, the conquistadors attacked the Inca, and thousands were killed.
The Incas tried to free Atahualpa with a roomful of gold and silver, but the Spanish killed him anyway.
The Spanish defeated the last of the Inca, and the empire fell in 1537.
The Spanish had superior weapons and horses.
They brought diseases that weakened the native peoples.The Fall of the Incas
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 also built a system of roads that connected all parts of the empire.
The Inca 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.Inca Contributions to Culture