TKC Week-14 _ Aztecs

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Aztec Overview An American Indian people who spoke Nahuatl language Migrated from the north to settle in the Valley of Mexico in the 1200s Initially were subjects of local tribes Founded their own city Tenochtitlan in 1325 Ruled a mighty empire in Mexico between 1325 & 1521 Conquered by Spanish in 1521

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Aztec Empire Center of civilization was the Valley of Mexico (highlands) Basin at elevation ~7,500’ Contained Lake Texcoco Island capital of Tenochtitlan (pop. 250k) Causeways linked cities Lowlands – warm & humid Lake was eventually drained to become part of present day Mexico City

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Aztec Society Five main classes: Emperor, heuy tlatoani (great speaker) – selected by the noble high council from royal family members Nobles Military commanders Governmental positions (mostly hereditary) Lived & managed land in extended family groups Commoners Lived & worked land in extended family groups Serfs Worked the land for the nobles Slaves Considered property, but children born free

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Aztec Society Kids – homeschooled to about age 10, then boys to school Marriage – girls about age 16, boys about age 20 Food – tortillas, tacos, dogs & turkey, chocolate, spicy stuff Clothing; Men – cloth around hips, cloak in cool weather Women – loose sleeveless blouse & wrap around skirt Shelter; Highlands – adobe houses Lowlands – thatched roof houses Economy and Agriculture (used bartering - no money); Highlands – commerce centers, terrace & mud farm plots Lowlands – slash & burn plots

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Aztec Religon Contained hundreds of gods of various group types ○ Cultural ○ Nature ○ Creation Excess ○ Fertility ○ Death Absorbed gods from conquered peoples Human (slave) sacrifice played a vital role in major ceremonies. Priests removed beating hearts to please the gods. Worshipers sometimes ate body parts to gain strength.

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Aztec Religon “Apocalypto” the movie

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Aztec Religon Tlaloc Tonatiuh Huitzilopochtlli rain god sun god war god

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Aztec Religon

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Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Hernando Cortes (1485 – 1547) Born in Medellin, Spain to a family of lesser nobility Age 14 -16, attended University of Salamanca 1504 – moved to Santo Domingo, West Indies 1511 – fought under Gov. Diego Velazquez in Cuban expedition 1518 – Velazquez selected, and de-selected him for Yucatan expedition 1549 – Cortes disobeyed and set sail with 500+ men and 11 ships Conquered Mexico in 2+ years

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Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Made friends with the coastal Indians Accepted young Aztec slave woman, Malintzin, as interpreter. She became his advisor and latter bore him a son. Sailed north and founded the first Spanish settlement in Mexico, La Villa de Vera Cruz (modern day Veracruz) Set up town council which authorized him to conquer Mexico

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Spanish Conquest of the Aztec

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Spanish Conquest of the Aztec August 1519 – Cortes and many Indians marched toward Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan Aztec emperor, Montezuma II, first refused, then allowed Cortes to enter Tenochtitlan. Cortes took him hostage and tried to rule the empire through him.

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Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Six months later, Cortes left the city to challenge Spanish expedition led by Panfilo de Narvaez, who was sent by Velazquez to arrest him. Cortes dissolved the situation. Meanwhile, the people of Tenochtitlan rebelled. Cortes returns, Montezuma is wounded and dies, Spanish fee city Dec. 1520 – Cortes begins attack Tenochtitlan and new leader Aug. 1521 – Cortes defeats city, subdues Aztec empire, kills leader 1528 – Cortez appointed governor Promotes Christianity in region

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