DBQ 9: Civilizations of the Americas
The Mayan, Aztec and Incan civilizations each contributed major accomplishments to the world today. These accomplishments established them as advanced societies during their time. The Incans built a large road system, devised a complex irrigation system and developed their own language. The Mayans constructed the largest structure known until modern times, made drastic accomplishments in mathematics, studied astronomy and formed a calendar. The Aztecs built well-organized cities and developed a writing system based on pictures.
The Incas, in particular, were uniquely impressive. Just as any empire, the Incas needed to standardize the necessities, such as language and trade. Accomplishing this could have been a tedious task, for the Incan Empire stretched over 12,000 miles in the Andes Mountains. To enhance transportation speed, of both items and ideas, the Incas created roads and rope bridges subsequently creating an ease of access to the rest of the empire. (Doc. 5) This road system went through mountains and deserts, and also enabled armies to travel rapidly throughout the empire. The road also allowed news to travel faster than before and was used to send news to soldiers stationed up and down the road to put down the (more than frequent) rebellions throughout the empire.
The Incas were also capable of creating a government that followed a strict socialism concept. Laziness was extremely frowned upon and, in some cases, was punishable by death or torture. Maybe their austere nature was the cause of their many innovative developments. Evidence of this advancement can be found in the ruins of Machu Picchu. The Incans built these buildings without the use of a cement or mortar. (Doc. 6) Even after centuries of erosion and other natural occurrences (such as earthquakes), it remains in astonishing condition. The need for more food led the Incans to build complex irrigation systems which enabled corn to grow in places...
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