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Paper Topic:


The Aztecs

Some historians portray the Aztecs as a bloodthirsty , ruthless savage . Images of human sacrifices and fierce warriors permeate the textbooks and cause us to associate these ideals with the Aztec people This is not a complete and accurate representation of the Aztec people

True , the Aztecs were fearless warriors , but this was not the peak of their accomplishments . They were also great architects , traders and agriculturalists . During the 15th century , at the height of their prosperity , they were surpassed in size only by the Incas of Peru

The Aztec

culture dominated the Valley of Mexico during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries . They were divided into two separate groups , the Tenochcas , or craftsman , and the Chichimec , or wild people

The two groups became bitter rivals after the Tenochcas sacrificed the daughter of a Chichimec king . The Chichimecs , in turn , drove the Tenochcas from the mainland to the island . The Tenochcas taught the islanders urban culture and architecture and began to build the city of Tenochtitlan

The Aztecs had two social classes : At the bottom were the macehualles , or "commoners " and at the top the pilli , or nobility These were not clearly differentiated by birth , for one could rise into the pilli by virtue of great skill and bravery in war (Hooker

It was also a male dominated society with women as inferior to men Women were expected to behave with high moral standards and chastity They could not hold government or religious offices and were not usually educated "Within commoner families women contributed to services and tribute payments by grinding maize , preparing tortillas , spinning , and weaving (Prem 36

The males , on the other hand , were sent to school from the age of 15 and taught the history and religion of the Aztecs , the art of war and fighting , the trade or craft specific to his calpulli , and the religious and civic duties of everyday citizenship . The children of nobility also attended another school , a school of nobility or calmecac , if he was a member of one of the top six calpulli . There the child learned the religious duties of priests and its secret knowledge for the distinction between government and religious duties was practically non-existent (Hooker

One of the major achievements of the Aztecs was their waterway system . Although the lakes of Mexico had five names , they were actually a continuous body of water . Since there was no outlet , the water was mostly saline except in the southern parts (lakes Chako and Xochimilco which received fresh streams of water from the snow-topped volcanoes The system of dikes and causeways was later developed by the Aztec so as to control the salinity of the lakes . HYPERLINK "http /www .questia .com /PM .qst ?a o d (Von Hagen 39

Aztecs had a homogeneous culture . Aztec tribe was developed from family animal diet was supplemented by crude agriculture--plots of ground were burned and seeds inserted in holes made by a fire-hardened stick . Agriculture revolved around corn as the staple , and society was...

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