The Aztec empire thrived in central Mexico from the 13th to the 16th centuries. In the early 16th century, the Spanish conquistadors overtook the Aztecs as part of the "Age of Exploration." Since then, historians have struggled to define how history should remember the Aztecs. Although the Aztecs were supporters of human sacrifice, they should be remembered as a sophisticated civilization because of their elaborate flourishing economy, social customs, and their advances in society.
The Aztec economy should be remembered as sophisticated as demonstrated through their prosperous marketplace and their practice of requiring tributes from conquered territories. The marketplace of the Aztecs was so full of people that, “They could be heard more than a league off,” says Bernal Diaz del Castillo in History of the Conquest of Spain (Doc N). Because the Aztecs were such a large and powerful society, they conquered many territories. Document M shows that, after they had conquered a territory in war, they often required the territories to pay them with tributes. These tributes usually consisted of tools, clothing, and services. These examples show that the Aztecs had a strong and flourishing economy and were smart enough to trade goods instead of money.
The elaborate social customs of the Aztecs made them both an organized and advanced society. For example, Aztec parents gave their children responsibilities very early in life, such as small household tasks. There was a very firm social order that oversaw the upbringing of a child in the Aztec culture. This social order was strict in the areas of marriage and punishments (Doc O). Document Q lists the ceremonies that women observed when visiting a new mother. As soon as the news spread, all of her relatives, neighbors, women, and friends would all visit the new baby. They would spread ashes on their joints before entering and keep a fire burning continuously for four days, which brought luck to the newborn. The