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The Aztecs. The Aztecs… W ere the last to appear in Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest W ere the last to appear in Mesoamerica before the Spanish.

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Presentation on theme: "The Aztecs. The Aztecs… W ere the last to appear in Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest W ere the last to appear in Mesoamerica before the Spanish."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Aztecs

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4 The Aztecs… W ere the last to appear in Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest W ere the last to appear in Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest Had to search for land because most land was taken Had to search for land because most land was taken Scavengers; hated and rejected Scavengers; hated and rejected

5 Believed they were the people of the sun Believed they were the people of the sun Huitzilopochtli, war god, was their protector Huitzilopochtli, war god, was their protector

6 Tenoch ( ) – chief told to go to Lake Texcoco, look for an eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus with a snake in its beak Tenoch ( ) – chief told to go to Lake Texcoco, look for an eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus with a snake in its beak Build the capital; make sacrifices Build the capital; make sacrifices Legend: Huitzilopochtli and “The promised Land”

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8 Mexico’s Flag

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10 Tenochtitlan Settled on small island on the edge of Lake Texcoco – A.D Settled on small island on the edge of Lake Texcoco – A.D Became the capital Became the capital Tenochtitlan – Place Tenochtitlan – Place of the Prickly Pear of the Prickly Pear Cactus on a rock Cactus on a rock

11 Geography 3 Lakes: Texcoco (largest), Chalco, Xaltocan 3 Lakes: Texcoco (largest), Chalco, Xaltocan Marshy – created farmland Marshy – created farmland

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13 City Construction Linked to mainland by causeways Built aqueducts (water channels) to bring fresh water to city’s reservoirs and waste away Population grew Built chinampas

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15 “floating gardens” “floating gardens” -Series of rafts anchored to river bed to river bed -filled with mud “floating islands” “floating islands” - piled up mud and reeds -connected the “gardens” 25,000 acres of chinampas 25,000 acres of chinampas Chinampas

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19 Result… Population grew dramatically!

20 Tlatelolco – Aztec Market Main crossroads of empire – every five days Main crossroads of empire – every five days Barter- the exchange of items without the use of currency Barter- the exchange of items without the use of currency Cocoa beans were most common form of currency Cocoa beans were most common form of currency Main crossroads of empire – every five days Main crossroads of empire – every five days Barter- the exchange of items without the use of currency Barter- the exchange of items without the use of currency Cocoa beans were most common form of currency Cocoa beans were most common form of currency

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23 Aztec Culture Organized and united by its beliefs Organized and united by its beliefs Daily religious rituals Daily religious rituals Beliefs influenced economy, government, and ways of war Beliefs influenced economy, government, and ways of war Organized and united by its beliefs Organized and united by its beliefs Daily religious rituals Daily religious rituals Beliefs influenced economy, government, and ways of war Beliefs influenced economy, government, and ways of war

24 ClassesClasses Strict class system Strict class system Birth determined class Birth determined class All went to school (3 different schools) All went to school (3 different schools) Schools were tough Schools were tough Strict class system Strict class system Birth determined class Birth determined class All went to school (3 different schools) All went to school (3 different schools) Schools were tough Schools were tough

25 Ruler: owned land Ruler: owned land Commoners: worked the land Commoners: worked the land Merchants: owned shared land Merchants: owned shared land Slaves; no land; no rights Slaves; no land; no rights Ruler: owned land Ruler: owned land Commoners: worked the land Commoners: worked the land Merchants: owned shared land Merchants: owned shared land Slaves; no land; no rights Slaves; no land; no rights 4 Social Classes

26 Divine king/ruler Divine king/ruler Each city ruled by “king” Each city ruled by “king” Dual leadership: military/religious Dual leadership: military/religious Judicial Branch Judicial Branch Divine king/ruler Divine king/ruler Each city ruled by “king” Each city ruled by “king” Dual leadership: military/religious Dual leadership: military/religious Judicial Branch Judicial Branch GovernmentGovernment

27 Rulers – high court Rulers – high court Commoners – low court Commoners – low court Prisoners – treated harshly Prisoners – treated harshly Sentences: death, mutilation, slavery Sentences: death, mutilation, slavery Rulers – high court Rulers – high court Commoners – low court Commoners – low court Prisoners – treated harshly Prisoners – treated harshly Sentences: death, mutilation, slavery Sentences: death, mutilation, slavery Judicial Branch

28 Polytheistic – Hundreds of gods Polytheistic – Hundreds of gods Believed fate influenced entire life Naming child, planting, crowning - fate Believed in omens – signs of the future No fear of death or sacrifice because of belief in fate Polytheistic – Hundreds of gods Polytheistic – Hundreds of gods Believed fate influenced entire life Naming child, planting, crowning - fate Believed in omens – signs of the future No fear of death or sacrifice because of belief in fate Religious Beliefs

29 Gods required human sacrifice to stay strong Gods required human sacrifice to stay strong Some blood letting Some blood letting Cannibalism Cannibalism Human sacrifices were usually prisoners of war Honor to be chosen as a sacrifice thousand people sacrificed each year Gods required human sacrifice to stay strong Gods required human sacrifice to stay strong Some blood letting Some blood letting Cannibalism Cannibalism Human sacrifices were usually prisoners of war Honor to be chosen as a sacrifice thousand people sacrificed each year Human Sacrifices

30 Sun and war god Sun and war god Battled forces of darkness each night and was re-born each morning Battled forces of darkness each night and was re-born each morning Human sacrifices insured sun’s victory thus rise Human sacrifices insured sun’s victory thus rise Sun and war god Sun and war god Battled forces of darkness each night and was re-born each morning Battled forces of darkness each night and was re-born each morning Human sacrifices insured sun’s victory thus rise Human sacrifices insured sun’s victory thus rise Huitzlopochtli

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33 Former white-skinned bearded priest Former white-skinned bearded priest Came from the east – promised to return Came from the east – promised to return God of civilization, priesthood, and learning God of civilization, priesthood, and learning Former white-skinned bearded priest Former white-skinned bearded priest Came from the east – promised to return Came from the east – promised to return God of civilization, priesthood, and learning God of civilization, priesthood, and learning Quetzelcoatl

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36 The Rain God The Rain God Children were drowned as sacrifices to him Children were drowned as sacrifices to him Main agricultural god Main agricultural god The Rain God The Rain God Children were drowned as sacrifices to him Children were drowned as sacrifices to him Main agricultural god Main agricultural god TlalocTlaloc

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39 God of night and all material things God of night and all material things TezcatlipocaTezcatlipoca

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42 AccomplishmentsAccomplishments

43 MedicineMedicine Superstitions Superstitions Herbs Herbs Splints Splints Superstitions Superstitions Herbs Herbs Splints Splints

44 Heiroglyphics Heiroglyphics Language – Nahuati – living language today Language – Nahuati – living language today Heiroglyphics Heiroglyphics Language – Nahuati – living language today Language – Nahuati – living language today Language

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47 Codex Mendoza Codex Mendoza Florentine Codex Florentine Codex Codex Borbonicus Codex Borbonicus Codex Mendoza Codex Mendoza Florentine Codex Florentine Codex Codex Borbonicus Codex Borbonicus Codices – “books”

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49 360 days, 18 months, (5 days for sacrifice) 360 days, 18 months, (5 days for sacrifice) Each day controlled by 2 gods Each day controlled by 2 gods Lunar and solar Lunar and solar Calendars would synchronize every 52 years Calendars would synchronize every 52 years Believed the world would end every 52 years Believed the world would end every 52 years 360 days, 18 months, (5 days for sacrifice) 360 days, 18 months, (5 days for sacrifice) Each day controlled by 2 gods Each day controlled by 2 gods Lunar and solar Lunar and solar Calendars would synchronize every 52 years Calendars would synchronize every 52 years Believed the world would end every 52 years Believed the world would end every 52 years Calendar

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51 Stone carvings Stone carvings Figures of gods Figures of gods Calendar stone Calendar stone Stone carvings Stone carvings Figures of gods Figures of gods Calendar stone Calendar stone Art

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53 Jewelry

54 MasksMasks

55 Chocolate

56 Mayans and Aztecs Mayans and Aztecs “xocoatl” bitter, spicy chocolate drink “xocoatl” bitter, spicy chocolate drink Played role in social and religious life Played role in social and religious life Symbolized life and fertility Symbolized life and fertility Medicine Medicine Wealthy Wealthy Cortez returned to Spain with cocoa beans and “recipe” Cortez returned to Spain with cocoa beans and “recipe” Mayans and Aztecs Mayans and Aztecs “xocoatl” bitter, spicy chocolate drink “xocoatl” bitter, spicy chocolate drink Played role in social and religious life Played role in social and religious life Symbolized life and fertility Symbolized life and fertility Medicine Medicine Wealthy Wealthy Cortez returned to Spain with cocoa beans and “recipe” Cortez returned to Spain with cocoa beans and “recipe”

57 Emperor Emperor Trained as a priest Trained as a priest Aztec power reached its height under Aztec power reached its height under One goal of conquest was to gain sacrifices One goal of conquest was to gain sacrifices Also sought wealth Also sought wealth Emperor Emperor Trained as a priest Trained as a priest Aztec power reached its height under Aztec power reached its height under One goal of conquest was to gain sacrifices One goal of conquest was to gain sacrifices Also sought wealth Also sought wealth Montezuma II

58 Grew to small states – 15 million people Grew to small states – 15 million people Aztecs collected tribute – payment in the form of goods, services, or currency Aztecs collected tribute – payment in the form of goods, services, or currency Held empire together by force Held empire together by force

59 Fall of the Aztecs

60 Failed to win loyalty of conquered people because of resentment and anger Failed to win loyalty of conquered people because of resentment and anger Conquered people were eager to join Spaniards in defeating Aztec empire Conquered people were eager to join Spaniards in defeating Aztec empire Failed to win loyalty of conquered people because of resentment and anger Failed to win loyalty of conquered people because of resentment and anger Conquered people were eager to join Spaniards in defeating Aztec empire Conquered people were eager to join Spaniards in defeating Aztec empire #1

61 #2 Montezuma’s training led to fall of Aztecs Montezuma’s training led to fall of Aztecs Believed Cortes to be incarnate of Quetzalcoatl Believed Cortes to be incarnate of Quetzalcoatl Killed by one of his Killed by one of his former subjects former subjects

62 Spaniards were armed with guns, iron weapons, and had horses #3

63 Smallpox Smallpox Natives had no immunity to this European disease Natives had no immunity to this European disease Smallpox Smallpox Natives had no immunity to this European disease Natives had no immunity to this European disease #4


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