Incas, Aztecs and Mayas (History Essay Sample)
First, overpopulation and overexploitation of land triggered the occurrence of ecological disasters leading to abandonment of cities McKillop, 7. Secondly endemic warfare among competing states precipitated establishment of military and trading alliances as well as intermarriages among lowland city states and by attacking and overpowering of neighbors by lowland city states. This is breakdown of dynastic powers causing urban centers to collapse McKillop, 7.
Other theories attempt to implicate the collapse to catastrophic environmental change McKillop, Aztec civilization represents one of the most extraordinary civilizations in the recorded history. The Aztec pattern of urban life depicted high levels of advancement featuring impressive roads, canals, aqueducts, temples as well as extensive commerce and a middle class of professional traders who ensured supply of goods to the society.
In addition, they had improved buildings and a finer taste in arts Cremin, The true rise of a unique civilization in the central valley of Mexico became evident in the last years. In , three previously warring city states Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan formed an alliance which became the stronghold of Aztec Cremin, The merger was successful to such extent that by the time of Spanish arrival in , the Aztecs had the highest populations in most cities than any other group in America Cremin, The mode of governance in the Aztec community was indirect.
The Aztec emperor reigned supreme over all his conquered lands but in practice, the central mode of governance was intensely weak and the subjects were governed mostly through threats and intimidations Cremin, Through imperial e expansion, Aztec empire accommodated smaller state empires in order to establish collective security; however, they were unable to subdue their neighboring powerful allies.
The Aztec was aggressive and was constantly involved in warfare with neighbors making them enemies with the adjacent groups. The Aztec population was nomadic hunters. They lacked a written alphabet consequently using pictures to transmit their stories. They wrote in codices made from bark and animal skin as well as recording information on stone monuments Kubesh et al, The central government was ruled by one leader and closely related extended families had a leader who represented the interests of the groups.
These leaders made up the city councils that were responsible for electing the ruler Kubesh et al, Religion was also very important among the Aztec. They erected temples and pyramids which were the venues from where the priests performed the religious duties Kubesh et al, They further believed in heaven and an underworld and that where a person went after death depended on his earthly life Kubesh et al, The Aztecs, just like the Incas were also agriculturally advanced in that they developed irrigation methods. The farmers rendered a portion of their crop to the leader who stored them until occurrences of famine Kubesh et al, Their accomplishment included; high levels of advancements in science and Mathematics whereby they developed a number system that was more advanced than any cultures at the time.
The society also invented medicinal treatments such as drinks and salves which were advanced for the time.
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They also had an established trading network compared to other groups as well as great accomplishments achieved in farming. Further, fine artistic work was demonstrated through design of beautiful jewels which were made using gold, feathers etc Kubesh et al, The Aztecs had well established markets where buyers and sellers met for purposes of exchanging goods.
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All products generated in the Aztec economy were found in the Tlatelolco market which was organized in guilds and comprised of hereditary membership. Cremin, This led to emergence of two social groups, The Aztec commoners who had the lowest status in the community, the merchants who fell in the middle class and nobility class.
However most merchants enriched themselves through enterprising making them more financially endowed than the nobility class Cremin, The Aztec collapsed after the Spanish took prisoner the Emperor Montezuma 2 and conquered the city with guns cannons and horses which the Aztec army had not seen before and between and the Spanish won and destroyed much of Aztec city and enslaved members of Aztec society to build their own Mexico city. Further, millions of Aztec solders wee killed and died of European diseases that the Spanish carried with them Kubesh et al, However, it may be evident that the Spanish had better technology in terms of weapons but this does not fully explain the reason as to why the Aztecs were successfully conquered by the Spanish despite the voluminous numbers of solders in comparison to Spanish.
From the beginning, Cortez was aware of the numerous enemies that the Aztec had as well as the community had started demonstrating signs of weakness even before his arrival. The imperialisms was negatively impacting on the community as the previously conquered people were beginning to show discontent towards the Aztec rule. Further, devastating droughts spread through the region spreading dissention across the empire.
The Aztec was deeply religious and they appeased their gods through human sacrifices Cremin, Since the gods demand for human sacrifice exceeded the internal supply, the Aztecs terrorized their neighbors and this hostility provoked by the raids led to their downfall in The Incas ruled the largest empire to develop before the arrival of Europeans. Their realm was referred to as Tawantisuyu which was a region of great environmental endowment as well as cultural diversity. The provinces featured the coastal deserts, tropical rainforests, high mountain valleys and grassland rising up towards Andes Mountains Cremin, The empire traces its roots from a region adjacent to the city of Cuzco in Peru.
By the Incas had developed their unique system of centralized governments and had continued to extend the system of governance to neighboring groups Cremin, And by , through numerous alliances and military conquest, the empire had taken control over the entire region of Cuzco and was further expanding its conquest to distant regions. At the regions of pacific coast where the Incas Empire had conquered they often left the local rulers in charge of the regions while they administered their own administration at areas that proved to be of more importance Cremin, The rule of Inca monarchs was also highly advanced and contained high elements of civilization Spense, n d: The Incas lacks documented evidence of a written language and archeologists suggest that they used symbols and diagrams.
The official language was quecha which is still prevalent among the present Andean people of Peru and Bolivia Kubesh et al, They also made clothing which was used as a symbol of status in the society.
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In the Cuzco region, the royal Inca families controlled most of the productive lands and the society utilized religion to justify their rights to rule over the region of Andes as well as convincing other groups to become integrated in their empire Cremin, They subscribed to the sun as their supreme deity which was also important in food production in addition they also believed in other forces that were associated with supernatural powers such as the moon and thunder and lightning.
The royalty made special sacrifices to the sun while the locals made simple sacrifices to the local earth mother to appease him to provide fertility for their lands in order for them to grow crops Cremin, Human sacrifices were rarely made unless under certain specified ritual contexts. In some cases, boys and girls were purified and then buried alive or left ft the mountain top to die. This however was common in the southern parts of the empire Cremin, The members of Incas community made their living out of farming and herding farm animals.
Returning to administrative system of the civilization, it should be said that Incas created the most capital centered empire that was governed from one center Cuzco, or Cusco. So, if to range the civilizations from the most centralized to the least centralized the list would be headed by Incas, followed by Aztecs and ended by Mayas. Naturally, such administrative systems were the result of political structure of Aztecs, Mayas and Incas.
Actually only Aztecs and Incas are considered to be empires while Mayas, as it has been already mentioned, had their own city-states, which were relatively independent from each other and were governed separately. As for inner policy of Mayas, Incas and Aztecs, it should be said that Incas was probably the most authoritarian civilization because the administrative methods used in the empire in order to achieve obedience from subjects ruled were extremely strict and severe.
A very interesting point for the discussion is writing systems that existed in the civilizations discussed. If Aztecs and Mayas had a relatively well developed system of writing then Incas did not have any system of writing at all. Instead they used a so-called khipu system, i.https://navbipali.tk
Essay about Mayan, Inca, and Aztec Civilizations
Furthermore, speaking about the differences between the countries, it should be pointed out that despite the fact that all of them were conquered by Spaniards at the moment of their fall they had different level of development. The Mayas civilization was already in decline under the influence of different natural factors that reduced the crops and consequently, productivity of Mayas economy, the attacks of other Indian tribes, etc.
Aztecs and Incas, as it has already been mentioned was practically at the top of their development. Finally, it also is quite noteworthy that both Aztecs and Mayas had well developed trade and commerce, they had a class of merchants where as Incas completely lacked such a class and they were quite far from trade and commerce affairs.
Thus, taking into consideration all above mentioned, it is possible to say that the civilizations of Aztecs, Mayas and Incas had both similarities and differences.
Aztecs vs Incas essays
Probably, Aztecs and Mayas were more alike that could be explained by geographical positions of the states, which were in fact quite close to one another and consequently could be mutually influenced despite the fact that Aztecs were a younger civilization compared to Mayas, in a way they could be perceived as descendants of the Mayas civilization in Central America.
At the same time, Incas, being quite distant from the civilizations of Aztecs and Incas also had common features. Probably it was the result of a natural process of development of all civilizations as well as there is a possibility of some links between the civilizations that could influence them. At the same time, each civilization had its own particular features.
The Incas called their empire Tahuantinsuyu. It stretched for more than 2, miles from the west coast along the Andes Mountains to the Cuzco Valley The Inca Empire began to expand about and occupied a vast region that centered on the capital, Cusco, in southern Peru.
The Empire extended more than 2, miles 4, kilometers along the western coast of South America. The Inca Empire was conquered by Spanish Forces soon after their arrival in Free Essays words 5. The Aztecs had one of the most advanced civilizations in the Americas and built cities as large as any in Europe at that time.
They also practiced a remarkable religion that affected every part of their lives and featured human sacrifice. The Aztecs built towering temples, created huge sculptures, and held impressive ceremonies all for the purpose of worshipping their gods. The Spaniards destroyed their magnificent empire in the year , but the Aztecs left a lasting mark on Mexican life and culture Powerful Essays words 9.
Huizilopochtli, the god of war, told the Aztecs to leave Azatlan and wander until they saw an eagle perched on a cactus growing out of a rock and eating a snake Los Aztecas. The Aztecs traveled many years to find the legend and finally found it while at Lake Texcoco. Lake Texcoco was ruled by the Toltecs between the 10th and 11th centuries Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia. Since many other tribes also migrated to Lake Texcoco at the same time, the Aztecs were pushed out to the westside of the lake to a swampy area Essay Preview. Read Full Essay Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper.