Gaines Bundy and Will Jacobs

10-4-11

Militello

The Aztecs

The Aztecs were very important because they were one of the greatest civilizations of all time and one of the biggest. The Aztecs were so great because they had a lot of useful resources and precious items like gold. At one time Tenochtitlan (the capital) was one of the biggest cities in the world!

(GB)

Aztecs is a collective name given to the seven Chicimic tribes of northern Mexico. These tribes controlled the valley of Mexico and a large portion of Central America which lasted from their capital to the late Post-classic period, 1200, until the fifteenth century AD, when the Spanish invaded. The Triple Alliance was the main political alliance in the creation of the Aztec empire. Mexica of Tenochtitlan was one of the other empires in this alliance, along with Acolhua of Texcoco, and Tepaneca of Tlacopan. Together, these three empires controlled most of Mexico from 1430 to 1521. There were about 15 million people in the Aztec civilization, but the population decreased overtime because of illness and disease. In the late 1500's the Spanish took over the Aztecs because the illness had weakened them and they had a lot of resources and precious items like gold.

(GB and WJ)

external image 300px-Aztec_Empire_1519_map-fr.svg.png

The Aztecs ruled near present day Mexico City. Their heartland was The Valley Of Mexico, surrounded by volcano's. Tenochtitlan was the capital of the civilization and in the 14th-16th centuries it was considered one of the biggest cities in the world at the time. In 1519, the Aztec Empire was the most powerful Mesoamerican society in all of time. Their borders stretched for eighty thousand miles, which is now known as central and southern Mexico, and it also stretched all the way to Guatemala. Wealthy people lived in sun-dried brick houses, and extremely wealthy people lived in stone houses. All homes were whitewashed to look like they were shiny and clean, and they had a separate room for steam baths. Bathing was thought to clean not only the body, but the soul as well. Poor people lived in huts, with thatched roofs, along with an occasional mat, and they all owned farms to make money. For common people it was against the law to wear feathers, and it was against the law for them to carry fans. If commoners broke these laws, they were killed. A man, at 20 years old would marry a 14-15 year old woman. The birth of a baby was a really big deal. The Aztecs welcomed all life. The birth of a boy or a girl was celebrated.This was true for nobles and commoners. They played games similar to the Mayans. Kids went to school, even girls and slaves. They believed that they would need educated children to succeed in the world. (GB and WJ)

The Aztecs believed in human sacrifice in connection with large festivals. These festivals were held in patterns with the Aztec calender. The Aztecs would often adopt a Deity of other region into their own practice. The moon, sun and Venus were very important to the Aztec culture which held different symbols and connected Deity's to different geographical places.(WJ)

Music and poetry was very popular to the people in the Aztec civilization because at the Aztec festivals they had presentations and shows that included acrobats and musicians. The Spanish collected a lot of the poetry from the Aztecs when they divided them and they still have some records today! (GB)

During the war, once Spanish forces entered the city almost every building was occupied by Aztec soldiers and warriors. Street by street the Spanish advanced, and were slowed, but not stopped by the Aztec forces. During the fighting, 70 Spanish prisoners had their hearts cut out. Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes sent out emissary's to negotiate withe the Tlatlectos, but they remained loyal to the Aztecs. In 1521, he and his army killed the Aztecs. There were many

File:The Conquest of Tenochtitlan.jpg
File:The Conquest of Tenochtitlan.jpg

battles fought between the Spanish and the Aztecs but the Spanish eventually beat them. The casualties during the war were great, with Tlaxcallan losing 100k civilians, and the Spanish lost 100,000 warriors, Out of 300,000.(WJ)

The Aztecs were very important because they were one of the greatest civilizations of all time as well as one of the biggest. Because of the large amount of gold, they were a very rich nation... but also a very targeted one, especially to the Spanish, which is how the Aztecs fell.They were powerful, but had no guns to defend thems
elves against the Spanish. Had the Aztecs had the technology that the Spanish had, they might still be around today. (WJ)