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Mary Stathos
Inca Aztec Comparative Essay
Although the Aztecs and the Incas were both isolated groups with a powerful
elite middle class in South America that existed around the same time, the
developed different means of trade and agriculture due to location
differences however,
both empires had a strong connection with and belief of many gods.
Aztecs were more developed trade wise than the Incas. The Aztecs had large
markets to sell their crops, livestock, crops and pottery. They traded and
sold goods with
nearby civilizations. The Aztecs also traveled far from their empire to
trade. They traded
and exchanged goods with small clans and tribes in the area. The Incas on the
other hand
were more interested in having complete dominance over people than trading
with them
so their market developed much less. The leader would redistribute the crops
and supplies
grown and made by the citizens and give them out depending on the class they
were in.
This does not mean the Incas did not trade at all. Actually, they, like the
Aztecs, traded
with nearby tribes, their system for trading was just less developed.
Both the Incas and the Aztecs were mainly agricultural empires. Neither of
empires had direct contact with another large nor developing empire, which
slowed down
the development of technology. Without that, they stuck to farming, something
they had
been able to do for centuries. Both societies relied on the gods to give them
a good
farming season. The Aztecs even sacrificed people in hopes to please the gods
to reassure
they would be able to eat that year. The Aztecs also created more developed
means of
agriculture, like chinampas, which were small, rectangular areas of very
fertile soil that
made growing crops easier.
Both the Incas and the Aztecs were very religious. They had huge ceremonies
the gods and prayed to them for everything. They believed the gods controlled
everything, from weather and crops to health and sickness. Both empires had
pyramid like structures that were used to get closer to the gods. The sun was
the most
important god for the Incas and it was one of the two most important gods for
the Aztecs.
Although they both practiced human sacrifice for the gods, the Incas used it
much more
sparingly. Not only did the Aztecs sacrifice someone when they conquered new
land, but
also so they could have a better crop season. The Aztecs also sacrificed
different animals
depending on what they were asking the gods for.
The social mobility of the Aztecs was much more lenient than that of the
Although the upper class was elite, the Aztecs allowed its citizens to move
around in the
classes by selling and trading goods and earning money. This did not happen
in with the
Incas. Movement from class to class was completely restricted. The government
had huge
control over everything they did, including just their day to day lifestyle.
officials made sure that members of a certain class stayed in that class.
However different
these may be, both upper classes were usually made up the same: of one ruling
and their officials who usually had a strong connection with them. If you
didn’t know
people, you weren’t in the upper class.
1. History
2. World History
Incas vs. Aztecs.doc
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