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Chapter 12 - Peoples and Civilizations of the Americas
Topics: Aztec, Maya civilization, Mesoamerican chronology, Mexico City, Mesoamerica / Pages: 4 (989 words) / Published: Nov 12th, 2012

Name: John Kindley | Class: GH AP Y (Even) | Date: November 3rd, 2012 | Chapter 12, Peoples and Civilizations of the Americas, 200 - 1500 | Pages 306 - 331 | | Classic-Era Culture and Society in Mesoamerica, 200 - 900: | | * Remarkable civilization created | | * Different language + politics, but unified by material culture, religious beliefs + practices, and social structure | Classic Period | * Classic period (built upon Olmec and other civilizations) | | * Social classes with distinct roles | | * Hereditary politics + religious elites controlled towns + villages | | Teotihuacan: | | * Powerful city-state in central Mexico (100 B.C.E. – 750 C.E.) | Religion | * Religion = worshipped many gods + lesser spirits, Sun + Moon | | * Human sacrifice = viewed as sacred duty to the gods and essential | | to the well-being of society | Farming | * Chinampas = raised fields along lakeshores to increase agriculture | Politics | * No evidence for single ruler; alliances between elite families | | The Maya: | Location | * Maya = civilization concentrated in the Yucatan Peninsula, | | Guatemala, and Honduras, but never unified | | * Contributed mainly in math, astronomy, and the calendar | | * High pyramids + palaces = meant to awe the masses that came | Decoration | * Maya = loved decoration | | * Infused warfare with religious meaning | | * Society = patrilineal | Contributions | * Devised elaborate calendar system, concept of 0, and writing | End of Classic Era | * Maya cities declined due to struggle for resources, which lead to | | class conflict and warfare | | | | | | | | | | | * Connection with the Mesoamerican societies due to learning about the Aztecs in grade 8 | * Have visited Mayan cities in Mexico, and have seen temples in real life | * Question: didn’t the Arabs develop the concept of 0? | | | | The Postclassic Period in Mesoamerica, 900 – 1500: | | * No single explanation for fall of Teotihuacan and Mayan centers | | The Toltecs: | | * Powerful postclassic empire in central Mexico (900 – 1175 C.E.) | Origins | * Origins = unknown (either satellite or migrant populations) | | * Used military conquest to create powerful empire | Reason for decline | * Fell by internal power struggles and military threat from the north | | The Aztecs: | | * Altepetl = ethnic state in ancient Mesoamerica that was the | | common political building block of that region | Society + Politics | * Calpolli = group of up to hundred families that served as a building | | block of an altepetl (controlled land allocation + taxes + local religious life) | | * Tenochtitlan = capital of Aztec Empire; in an island in lake Texcoco | | Mexico City created on ruins of Tenochtitlan | | * Aztecs = AKA Mexica, created empire (1325 – 1521 C.E.) | | * Aztecs forced defeated peoples to provide goods + labor as tax | Aztec Women | * Women = held lots of power; held in high esteem; held positions | | like teachers and priestesses; seen as founders of lineages, including | | the royal line | | * Merchants become rich, but cannot become high nobility | Economic systems | * Tribute system = system in which defeated peoples were forced to | | pay tax in forms of goods and labor; help development of large cities | | * Did not use money; used barter instead | | * Aztec religion = demanded increasing numbers of human sacrifice | * Connection to Aztecs as I learned about them in grade 8 | * Noted the familiarities between the Mesoamerican societies, which also had distinct | differences as well | | |

| Northern Peoples: | | * Classic period ends around 900 C.E. | | * Transfer of irrigation and corn agriculture -> stimulated development in Hohokam and Anasazi society | | Southwestern Desert Cultures: | | * Anasazi = important culture in southwest US (700 – 1300 C.E.) | | * Anasazi built multistory residences, and worshipped in | | subterranean buildings (called kivas) | Anasazi women | * Women = shared agricultural tasks, specialists in many crafts, | | responsible for food preparation and childcare | Anasazi region | * Anasazi = concentrate in Four Corners region | | Mound Builders: The Hopewell and Mississippian Cultures: | Political structure | * Chiefdom = form of political organization; ruled by hereditary leader | (Chiefdom) | who had control over collection of villages + towns; based on gift giving | | and commercial links | | * Political organization + trade + mound building continued by the | | Mississippian culture (largest city = Cahokia) | Ansazi + | * Environmental changes caused destruction of Anasazi + | Mississippian | Mississippian cultures | Decline | | | | | Andean Civilizations, 200 – 1500 | | * Environment = sucks for creating civilization | | * Amerindian peoples of Andean = produced some of the most | | socially complex + politically advanced societies in Western Hemisphere | | Cultural Response to Environmental Challenge | How they adapted | * Domestication of llamas and alpacas | | * Farmed at different altitudes to reduce risks from frosts | Social + political | * Ayllu = Andean lineage group or kin-based community | groups | * Ayllu = foundation for Andean achievement; members = obligated | | to help fellow members (thought as brothers and sisters) | | * Mit’a = Andean labor system based on shared obligations to help | | kinsmen and work on behalf of the ruler and religious organizations | Gender distinction | * Men = hunting, military service, government | | * Women = textile production, agriculture, home | * Harsh climates of Andean civilizations = similar to harsh environment of North American | settlers | * Anasazi + Mississippian culture = one of few civilizations that did not fall due to outside | pressures | |

| Moche: | | * Moche = civilization of north coast of Peru (200 – 700 C.E.) | | * Built extensive irrigation networks + impressive urban centers | | dominated by brick temples | Political + social | * Did not establish formal empire nor unified political structure | structure | * Moche society = theocratic + stratified; priests + military leaders | | had concentrated wealth + power | Decline of Moche | * Moche centers declined due to long-term climate changes | | * Wari = new military power, culturally linked to Tiwanaku | | * Wari contributed to the disappearance of the Moche | | Tiwanaku and Wari: | | * Tiwanaku = name of capital city and empire centered on the region | | near Lake Titicaca in modern Bolivia (375 – 1000 C.E.) | | * Llamas = crucial for maintenance of long-distance trade relations | | * High quality of stone masonry | | * Stratified society ruled by a hereditary elite | | * Used military to extend their power over large religions | | The Inca: | | * Largest and most powerful Andean empire (Cuzco = capital) | | * Initially a chiefdom -> turned in to military expansion in 1430s | | * Inca prosperity depended on vast herds of llamas + alpacas | | * Hereditary chiefs of ayllus included women | | * Had hostage taking system for politics | | * Each new ruler began his reign with conquest (legitimize authority) | | * Khipus = system of knotted colored cords used by preliterate | | Andean peoples to transmit information | | * Did not produce new technologies; increased economic output | | * Civil war weakened the Inca on the eve of European arrival | | | | | | | | | | | | | * Noticed that primary gods for many societies were Sun gods and agricultural gods | * Pressures from inside took out the Inca society; similar to other societies | * Khipus = similar to the one that Aztecs used | | |

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