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The Spanish and the Aztecs
How Did the History of the Aztec Affect
Their Worldview?
 Aztecs believed they were following the orders of
their patron god
 They followed his orders and migrated from
northern Mexico to central Mexico and further south
 They believed their god would lead them to the land
of their destiny
 As the Aztecs moved, they had to adapt and change
to the other cultures around them and this forced
them to grow stronger
So Aztec history has affected their worldview in the
following ways:
Religion and their gods have always played
an important part in how they view the world.
Their migration made them stronger as a
culture and this gave them confidence and strength
in how they viewed the world around them.
How Did Aztec Social Systems Reflect Their
 Because religion and a sense of strength played a strong
role in their daily lives, priests, nobles and warriors
occupied the upper level of Aztec society.
 The only ways commoners could move up in class is if
they joined the military or became priests.
 Education was important for all, as it was a means of
passing on traditions and religious beliefs to all people.
How Did the Aztec Political System Reflect
Their Worldview
 Because of the importance of religion, the emperor
held the most powerful position in Aztec politics...he
was the representative of their most important god.
 No one could disobey him. If they did, they were
disobeying the gods themselves.
How Did the Aztec Economic System Reflect
Their Worldview
 An important aspect of their economic system was
based on paying tribute to the emperor. This was
based on the importance of religion as the emperor
was considered a representative of the gods.
 Tribute was made in the form of agricultural goods.
 Therefore the backbone of the Aztec economy was
How Did the Aztecs worldview influence their
choices, decisions and customs?
 All choices, decisions and customs of the Aztecs was
based on religion and the gods.
 All decisions were based on the omens and the power
of the gods.
How Did the Spanish Worldview lead to their
desire to expand their empire?
The Spanish believed that the world was theirs to take
for the glory of Spain. They believed that Spanish
imperialism was their right.
• They wanted new colonies to gain more wealth.
• They felt it was their duty to convert non-Christians
to Roman Catholicism.
• They felt they needed a large empire to compete with
How did things like technology and disease
contribute to the Spanish dominating the Aztecs
The Spanish had much better technology in the form
of weapons than the Aztecs did.
• Spanish had muskets, cannons as well as armour to
use while fighting. The Aztecs simply had bows and
• Although not a technology, the Spanish also had
horses that they rode in on. The Aztecs had never
seen horses before.
Along with new technology, the Spanish also brought
diseases with them that decimated the Aztec.
• The Aztecs had no immunity for the new diseases as
they had never been exposed.
• The diseases that the Spanish brought ended up
killing thousands of Aztecs.
The Spanish also had a psychological advantage over
the Aztecs.
• The Aztecs thought that the Spanish were gods or
demons and were also scared of them.
• The Aztecs knew that their gods had vast powers and
that they surely couldn’t defeat the Spanish whom
they thought were gods.
How were different Worldviews factors in
conflict between the Spanish and the Aztecs
Conflict of Religion
The Aztecs respected and feared the gods, and thought that
the Spanish leader was a god himself. Therefore they
treated him with respect and open arms.
The Spanish were on a mission to convert non-Christians to
Christianity. They saw the non-Christian Aztecs as
barbarians who needed change.
Conflict of Expanding Empires
The Aztecs were just starting to expand their empire in the
only world they knew.
The Spanish were out to expand their empire worldwide and
would let nobody stand in their way.
Conflict of War Tactics
The Aztecs viewed war differently. They would rather
negotiate first. If war was to follow, there were
specific rules that they followed. Enemies were not to
be killed, rather they were to be captured.
The Spanish believed in killing anyone that opposed
them in their pursuit of land and money.