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Contributing to Society. Government Mottos “Peace, order and good government” “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”

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Presentation on theme: "Contributing to Society. Government Mottos “Peace, order and good government” “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Contributing to Society

2 Government Mottos “Peace, order and good government” “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” Can you guess which country each motto is from? What do they tell us about each country's worldview? Which one do you prefer?

3 Aztec Citizenship Aztec society was focused on producing citizens who would contribute to the community Lessons on how to be a good citizen were part of their education The following is from a lesson on religion and good behaviour taught to students Revere and greet your elders. Console the poor and the afflicted with good works and words... Do not mock the old, the sick, the maimed, or one who has sinned. Do not set a bad example, or speak indiscreetly, or interrupt the speech of another. - Alonso de Zorita, Q: What does this tell us about Aztec values?

4 Ideal Citizen Courage Self- sacrifice Modesty Clean Living Obedience Aztecs were expected to show courage and deal with hardships without complaining because it made the army strong. The group was considered more important than the individual. Every Aztec had to be willing to sacrifice possessions, comfort, and even life itself, for the good of society. No one, not even the greatest warrior, was supposed to boast about personal achievements or do anything else to stand out from the crowd. People had to keep themselves healthy and avoid over- indulging in food and drink. The Aztecs harshly punished what they considered evil behaviour. Everyone had to obey superiors without question, because this helped preserve the social order. Compare and contrast these values to the values we have today in Canada. Do you see any similarities? Any differences? How does this compare to the humanist idea of the ideal citizen? Are there any values that you highly agree or disagree with? Why?

5 Laws and Lawmaking Rights were protected by a system of written laws The legal system was an important part of maintaing order It was there to remind people of their responsibilities to be honest and obedient Everyone had to obey the laws, even nobles Nobles were often judged more harshly than commoners if they broke the law  Why do you think this is?

6 Legal System There were two courts in the Aztec system The Lower Court and the High Court One could appeal to the High Court and then the Emperor if they did not like the verdict in the Lower Court Judges based their verdict on the evidence that was presented to them Once the judges had reached their decision, they handed down a sentence Lesser crimes = fined or sentenced to slavery Serious crimes = often death

7 Primary Sources There were the judges and noblemen. Every day the common folk laid complaints before them. Calmly and prudently they heard the complaints; in the picture writing that recorded the case, they studied the complaints. And when they tested their truth, they sought out and inquired of informers and witnesses who could size up the plaintiffs, [who knew] what had been stolen and what was charged. - Florentine Codex Before the reign of Montezuma [sic] the administration of public affairs had not been done systematically until he, being a prudent and able ruler, drew up a code of common law; those who disobeyed were severely punished. This did not interfere with the restricted liberty which his subjects had, on condition that they minded their own business. - Codex Mendoza Laws, at their most basic, “restrict the liberty” of people. Why do we agree to this as citizens? Why was he called “prudent and able” for doing this?

8 Restorative vs. Retributive Justice Retributive justice deals with those that break the law by punishing them Fined, jail time, or put to death Based on three key values  Committing a crime is against society, so society has the right to punish you  If you treat others badly, you deserve to be treated badly  If you are punished, you will not do so again because you won't want to get punished again Restorative justice is less about punishment, and more about repair Used mostly with dealing with youth Based on three values  When you commit a crime, you need to repair the damage you have caused  A crime is against a whole community, so everyone should be involved in the process of repairing the harm  If you understand how your crime affects others, you will be less likely to commit a crime again

9 Slave Laws Slaves performed much necessary work for the Aztecs They had laws to protect their rights If a slave was beaten to death, the perpetrator could be executed If a slave could escape from the marketplace (where they were sold) and reach the Emperor's palace (1.5 km away) they would automatically be given their freedom What does this remind you of? Aztec view of slavery: They did not think it was shameful to be a slave, more like bad luck They did not consider slavery a permanent condition  Slaves could keep their property (even their own slaves) until they paid off their debt and rejoined society  Children born to slaves were free How is this view different than other views of slavery?

10 Homework Assignment /20 On the handout provided, create your own Aztec Motto Think back to our initial discussion of mottos and how they represent a nation What would a good one be for the Aztecs? After you have created your motto, write a paragraph to explain why you think it accurately represents the Aztecs Feel free to use examples from lessons to enhance your explanation


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