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Transcript
Aztecs Control Central
Mexico
Vocab : Triple Alliance, Montezuma II
The Valley of Mexico
7000 feet above sea level.
Large shallow lakes.
1st major civilization of central Mexico was Teotihuacan.
At its peak, 125,000 people lived there.
At the center of Teotihuacan stood a 200ft tall pyramid that
was at its base larger than the Great Pyramid in Egypt.
Valley of Mexico
Teotihuacan
Become a large thriving
trading center that
stretched to Central
America.
Obsidian was its most
valuable trade item.
Obsidian was used to
make weapons.
By 750 Teotihuacan was
gone.
Toltecs
900 rose to power.
Next 300 years ruled
central Mexico.
Their capital was at Tula.
They also built pyramids
and temples.
Extremely warlike people.
Like the Mayans they did
human and blood
sacrifice(s).
Toltecs
Through trade and power
the Toltecs spread to the
Yucatan.
By 1200 Toltec rule was
over.
Quetzalcoatl (god of peace)
merged with an early Toltec
king named Topiltzin.
People did not like this and
Quetzalcoatl was exiled.
Legend was that he would
return one day and bring in
a kingdom of peace and
light.
Aztecs build an Empire
Arrived in the Valley of
Mexico around 1200.
Aztecs were called Mexica
at the time.
They were a poor nomadic
people from North Mexico.
Became soldiers for hire by
the local rulers.
Legend has it that the Aztec
sun god Huitzilopochtli
told them to build their own
city.
Aztecs Build An Empire
Found a place to build at Lake Texcoco
Built Tenochtitlan in 1325.
1428 joined two other city –states Texcoco & Tlacopan to
form the Triple Alliance.
Became the leading power in the region and Mexico.
1500’s , the empire was from central Mexico to the Atlantic
& Pacific coasts to Oaxaca.
Aztec Empire
Based on tribute and
military conquest.
Let local rulers govern
their own regions.
Tribute was paid in gold,
maize, cacao, cotton and
jade.
If the tribute was not paid
then the villages were
destroyed & the villagers
were killed.
Nobles Rule Aztec
Military leaders held great power in the Aztec Empire.
Govt officials & priests made up the rest of the nobility.
Commoners and slaves made up the rest of the society.
Commoners were merchants, artisans,soldiers & farmers.
Trade
Center of the Aztec trade was the capital of Tenochtitlan.
The market of Tlatelcoco was the main market.
Most of the products were grown on farm plots called
chinampas.
Tenochtitlan
1500 ‘s was a city of
200,000 people.
Located on an island. To get
to the island causeways were
built over the water and
marshlands.
Palaces, temples, markets
and residential districts were
connected by streets and
avenues.
Center of the city was a
walled complex . The Great
Temple
Religion
Major role in Aztec society.
Many temples related to the
gods.
Adapted many of their beliefs
from the Toltecs.
Most important ritual was for
the sun god Huitzilopochtli.
Required blood sacrifices.
Human sacrifices were
carried out daily.
Carved out the hearts of their
enemies.
Huitzilopochtli
Aztec priests used
Obsidian to cut out the
hearts of the prisoners.
Aztec battle tactics were
not just to defeat the
enemy but to have a
steady amount of
prisoners for the human
sacrifices.
Problems
1502 Montezuma II became ruler.
The empire became weaker. The empire was growing and
demanding more tribute and sacrifices.
Many provinces began to rebel against the Aztecs.
Montezuma reduced the number of officials and sacrifices.
Problems
Enemies of the Aztec
banded together with the
Spanish to fight the
Aztecs.
Religious beliefs led to
more war and need for
human sacrifices which
led to open rebellion.
Smallpox from the
Spanish killed many
Aztecs.