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The Aztec Empire Great Empires.

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Presentation on theme: "The Aztec Empire Great Empires."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Aztec Empire Great Empires

2 The Valley of Mexico a mountain basin 7,000 feet above sea level
several large, shallow lakes at its center, accessible resources, and fertile soil supported a population between 5 and 15 million people





7 Aztecs Build an Empire arrived 1200 A.D.
the Mexica - a poor, nomadic people from the harsh deserts of northern Mexico

8 Aztecs Build an Empire arrived 1200 A.D.
the Mexica - a poor, nomadic people from the harsh deserts of northern Mexico the sun god, Huitzilopochtli, told them to found a city of their own

9 Aztecs Build an Empire “look for a place where an eagle perched on a cactus, holding a snake in its mouth”

10 Aztecs Build an Empire

11 Lake Texcoco 1325 – founded Tenochtitlan on a small island in Lake Texcoco, at the center of the valley

12 Tenochtitlan: A Planned City
by early 1500s a large urban center population of 200,000 people larger than London or any other European capital of the time island connected to mainland by three raised roads (causeways) over the water and marshland




16 A Voice from the Past “When we saw all those cities and villages built in the water, and other great towns on dry land, and that straight and level causeway leading to Mexico, we were astounded. These great towns and pyramids and buildings rising from the water, all made of stone, seemed like an enchanted vision. Indeed, some of our soldiers asked whether it was not all a dream.” BERNAL DÍAZ, The Conquest of New Spain





21 7 Steps to Controlling an Empire
3. demand tribute from conquered people in the form of gold, maize, labor 2. base power on military conquest 1. divide the empire into provinces the early 1500s, the Aztecs controlled a vast Mesoamerican empire, which stretched from central Mexico to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. 4. Exercise loose control over much of the empire 7. Destroy villages, capture or slaughter the inhabitants if they don’t pay 5. let local rulers govern their own regions as long as they pay tribute 6. respond brutally to local rulers who fail to pay tribute

22 Problems in the Aztec Empire
1502 – Montezuma II, crowned emperor demands for tribute and sacrificial victims from the provinces created unrest and rebellion Montezuma attempted reforms with little success

23 Problems in the Aztec Empire
as domestic problems worsened, the Spanish arrived many believed the strangers from across the sea to be the return of the god Quetzalcoatl this legend foretold the destruction of the Aztecs

24 The Arrival of Cortez

25 The Arrival of Cortez

26 The Arrival of Cortez

27 The Arrival of Cortez

28 Aztec Power and Decline

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