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Stearns Chapter 11 – The Americas on the Eve of the Invasion
Pages 239-260
I. Postclassical Mesoamerica, 1000-1500 C.E.
a. The Toltec Heritage
i. Where did the Toltec empire extend to?
b. The Aztec Rise to Power
i. What was the relationship of the Aztecs to the Toltecs?
c. The Aztec Social Contract
i. What was the social organization of the Aztec Empire?
ii. What role in Aztec life did sacrifices play?
d. Religion and the Ideology of Conquest
i. Describe the Aztec deities.
ii. What three major divisions of gods were there?
iii. What was the Aztecs view of history and the world?
e. Tenochtitlan: The Foundation of Heaven
i. Why was this capital considered so amazing?
ii. How were city wards organized and who controlled them?
f. Feeding the People: The Economy of the Empire
i. What was the economic organization of the Aztec Empire?
ii. Describe a typical daily market.
II. Aztec Society in Transition
a. Widening Social Gulf
i. How did feuding capulli lead to a division of the Aztec empire?
ii. Describe the new social class that was created.
b. Overcoming Technological Constraints
i. What roles did women play?
ii. What restraints did the lack of technology put on Aztec society?
c. A Tribute Empire
i. Who was the Great Speaker?
ii. Describe the internal weakness that contributed to the Aztec’s Empire’s collapse.
III. Twantinsuyu: World of the Incas
a. The Inca Rise to Power
i. Describe the Incan rise to power.
ii. How vast was the Incan Empire and what was its estimated population?
b. Conquest and Religion
i. What motivated Incans to expand their empire?
ii. What effect did the sun cult have on the empire and what was the Temple of the
c. The Techniques of Inca Imperial Rule
i. Describe the political organization of the Incan people.
ii. What was the role of women in society? How was gender cooperation viewed?
d. Inca Cultural Achievements
i. What were some of the major achievements of the Incans?
e. Comparing Incas and Aztecs
i. Were the Inca and Aztec Empires more similar or more different and why?
IV. The Other Indians
a. How Many Indians?
i. What are current estimates of the population of the Americas?
b. American Indian Diversity in World Context
i. Who were American societies different from European societies?
V. Vocabulary – Define the following terms in complete sentences.
a. Indian
b. Toltec
c. Aztec
d. Huitzilopochtli
e. Calpulli
f. Pipiltin
g. Chinampas
h. Pochteca
i. Inca socialism
j. Inca
k. Split inheritance
l. Curacas
m. Mita
n. Tambos
o. Quipu