Anya Rahman
Duvall 7G3 10/4/2011

The Aztec Atlantic World

The Aztecs shaped the Atlantic World by conquering neighboring land. They first appeared in Mexico, where they settled in a valley. In their everyday life style, they believed that everyone should be educated, poor of rich. The Aztec social structure had only three levels. Their religion had many deities, but they mainly worshiped the sun god. The Aztec’s made art for worshiping the gods, and built houses and cities. The Aztecs developed a strong empire and it helped to shape the Atlantic World.

The Aztecs didn’t travel from place to place because they didn’t need to.The Aztecs were feared by everyone so they got to stay in Mexico and had many city states. The Aztecs settled in a valley in central Mexico because they believed there sun god gave them advice. Their sun god, Huitzilopotchli, told the Aztecs that if they see an eagle eating a snake on a cactus, that they should settle there. Aztecs grew strong and conquered many neighboring tribes, and became a strong empire. They named their city Tenochtitlan. As the empire grew, they were in need of more land for their growing population. They built more cities and a noble family controlled each one while the emperor stayed in the capital city, Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs had a strong empire and had many city states for its growing population.

The Aztecs everyday life was different for poor people and the rich people. The homes for the Aztecs where different from poor and rich. The commoners lived at the edge of the city, and had huts with small amount of furniture. The craftsmen lived near the center of the city and usually had brick or stone houses, white washed to look clean. The nobles lived next to the city square, and had giant palaces with more than a hundred rooms. Both the rich and poor had gardens; the poor had small ones while the rich had larger ones. Clothing for the rich was very fancy. They had feather clothing and embroidery signs to show their wealthy status. Commoners wore simple clothing. It was against the law for the poor to be decorative. Marriage was the same for poor and the rich. Men married at the age of 20 to women at the age of 14-15. It was always an arranged marriage. They had great celebrations and at their wedding day, the bride was brought to her new home. Both rich and poor had to go to school as a law. The Aztecs where smart and knew that if they wanted good running city states they needed engineers, builders, and traders. They put their children in school to learn about these jobs. The Aztecs daily life differenced between the poor and rich but when it came to building more city states they knew what to do.

In the Aztecs social structure, there wasn’t a great difference between their classes. There were three classes nobility, commoners, and slaves. The nobility consisted of the warriors, priests, and nobles. They were rich in resources and had access in better education
This is a Noble at a religious ceremony where the Noble is carried in.
. Each noble family ruled a city state. Great political speakers were also in this group. One political speaker was Tlatoani. He talked to the gods and was the head of law courts, priesthood, and the army. The commoners are next part in the structure. They consisted of peasants, merchants, and artists. The Aztec peasants did farming. Merchants brought many beautiful jewels and resources from other region. They had dangerous lives, and had to travel to foreign countries. When it came to living, they stayed in their own place aside from the government, following their own laws. The last class was the slaves. Slaves helped the Aztecs in their daily life. Aztecs who didn’t pay their debt went into slavery. The Aztecs had three simple social classes.

In Aztec religion, they had many gods but there main focus was the sun god. The Aztecs believed in over a thousand deities, but they mainly worshiped the sun god, in fear that the sun wouldn’t rise the next day. The artists built many beautiful temples for the gods and drew story telling art. They had many religious ceremonies in temples. The most common way they worshiped was by sacrificing human captives to the gods. The priest would cut the victims heart out and hold it to the sky. Then he would put the heart on a sacred dish, rolling the bodies down the steps of a temple. Some victims were happy to die because they believed they would go straight to heaven. The Aztecs also strongly believed in the afterlife. It was the way the Aztecs died rather than the way they lived that determined if they would go to the sun god or down to the underworld. If you died a normal death you would go to the underworld, but if you died in war you would go to the sun god. The Aztecs worshiped many gods, but worshiped mostly to the sun god.

Aztec art and technology was very impressive. Aztec architecture had enormous temples set upon high pyramids. They built many city states and houses. They also produced jewelry in gold, jade, and turquoise. The Aztec art tied in with their religion. They built beautiful temples and drew pictograms, telling them about religious ceremonies. They had stone workers, scribes, potters and feather workers. Stone workers created statues of rock, green jade, black obsidian and transparent crystals. Stone workers where taught how to work at an early age. They used simple tools made from wood, rock and bone. Scribes would draw pictograms that recorded religious events. The scribes drew in colors using vegetables, insects, shells, minerals, and oil. The potters didn’t have a spinning wheel; instead they shaped clay with their hands and carved it. Many pots where used for decorations about their gods. The feather workers made beautiful head dresses from tropical birds. The designed the clothing for the wealthy. Aztec arts and technology where very remarkable, that they are still looked upon today.

This is a painting of Aztecs dancing at a religious ceremony

This is an example of Aztec art, a 2 headed snake representing a god.

A beutiful stone work statue of an Aztec god.