Empires in the Americas The Aztecs Political Aztecs were not indigenous to central Mexico Became sedentary once on the island Not an Empire in the European sense, rather it was a tributary overlordship where adjacent city-states were bound to Mexico by treaty. Formed the “Triple Alliance” of the Aztecs of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan, Religion Human sacrifice was paramount in the Aztec religion- the blood shedding of was necessary to postpone the inevitable death of the “fifth sun”- the sun of the Mexicans. When it died, the world would end. All connected cultures must contribute and there was little if any tolerance for local gods. Protein- “Cannibal Kingdom” A self-terminating religion OMENS observed by the Aztecs- end of 1st decade of 16thc Appearance of a comet Fire that destroyed the Temple of Huitzilopochtli Destruction of the 2nd temple by lightning Flood of Lake Texcoco during calm weather Wailing of a (la llorona)woman “O my beloved sons, now we are at the point of going My beloved sons, whither shall I take you”? Visions of armed men riding on animals like deer Economics Agriculture Chinampas- 20,000 acres Lands of conquered peoples seized Food from conquered lands demanded as tribute Clan apportionment of land Landed aristocracy Coercive Tribute Empire Extent of tribute depended on initial resistance Generated a great deal of resentment Trade Use of roads Barter Gold & cacao Heavily regulated The Inca Much different in geography and climate than the Aztec Incan Empire stretched along the length of western South America. The Empire was interconnected by ~12,000 miles of roads- more extensive than the Roman Empire. Like the Aztec, origins are not clear. Their name for their land was “Tawantinsuyu”, Four corners of the world” History is divided into three major periods: Cuzco Period 1200AD-1438AD The Imperial Period 1438AD-1533AD Post-Spanish conquest period Religion and Conquest Ancestor worship was key to expansion Inca=king Split inheritance Political power went to political successor necessitated expansion wealth went to family Temple of the Sun in Cuzco was the center of the religion The Cult of the Sun was spread throughout the empire but the Inca allowed worship of local gods Polytheistic/animist Political/Economic Twantinsuyu was divided into provinces Governor subdivided Language Spread to force integration Colonists (mitmaq) Garrisoned newly conquered areas Relocation Conquered peoples Highway network Tambos Redistribution Seizure and redistribution Labor mita Comparing Aztecs and Incas Trade/Redistribution Intensely agricultural Innovative/traditional Kinship structures were eclipsed by nobility over time Local leaders were recognized but tribute was paid in goods or labor Direct tribute vs. mita Homework: Please read Chapter 11 + KP QNT Aztec Wrap-Up Rise, Expansion and Control-What stands out?