The Aztecs Control Central Mexico

by AFrancuz18121
Last updated 4 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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The Aztecs Control Central Mexico

The Aztecs Control Central Mexico

Valley of Mexico:This was a mountain basin 7,500 feet above sea level and served as the home base of powerful cultures. Fertile soil, large shallow lakes, and accessible resources made advantages for the Teotihuacán and the Toltecs. Teotihuacán was the first major civilization of central Mexico. This was planned to be larger than Monte Albán. At its peak, Teotihuacán had a population between 150,000 and 200,000 people, one of the largest cities in the world at the time. The heart of the city is a central avenue lined with 20 pyramids dedicated to various gods, such as the Pyramid of the Sun, which stood 200 ft tall and 3000 ft around its base. The people lived in apartment-block buildings around the central avenue. They became the center of a thriving trade network far into Central America, with obsidian being the most valuable trade item (a green or black volcanic gas used to make razor sharp weapons found in the Valley of Mexico). There is no evidence that they conquered their neighbors or tried to create an empire, but there is evidence of art styles and religious culture that might lead to concluding that. Their decline was believed to have been caused by invasions or conflict among the ruling classes, and completely abandoned by 750. Teotihuacán means "City of the Gods."

The Aztec Empire:Aztecs arrived in the Valley of Mexico around A.D. 1200. It contained city-states that survived the collapse of Toltec rule. The Aztecs were called the Mexica and were poor nomadic people from the deserts of northern Mexico. Huitzilopochtli, the god of Sun and warfare, told them to find a city of their own. They found a place like the god told them in a small island in Lake Texococo, and they named it Tenochtitlán. Over years they gradually increased in strength and population. They joined Texcoco and Tlacopan to form the Tripple Alliance, which became the leading power in the Valley of Mexico. By 1500s they controlled a huge empire that covered 80,000 square miles from central Mexico to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and south into Oaxaca. It was divided into 38 provinces and the estimated population was from 5 to 15 million people. They based their power on military conquest and tribute they gained from conquered subjects. They demanded tribute in gold, maize, cacao beans, cotton, jade, and other products. They destroyed rebellious villages and captured or slaughtered inhabitants if local rulers refused to pay tribute.


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