Native Americans: Aztecs and Incas

Topics: Mesoamerica, Mexico City, Inca Empire, Mexico, Spanish colonization of the Americas, Aztec / Pages: 5 (1105 words) / Published: Jan 24th, 2000
Two of the biggest and greatest civilization in the Americas were the Aztecs and Incas. These two civilization were both said to be conquered by the Spanish, but it wasn't just the Spanish who conquered them. These two civilizations both fell from a combination of a weak government, lack of technology, new disease introduced by the invaders, and not being prepared for the invaders. For many centuries the Aztec civilization revolved around a ideological, social, and political system in which expansion was the cornerstone. Expansion was the cornerstone of their whole civilization, because their religion requested that a large number of human sacrifices where to be made to the gods. To get the sacrifices the Aztec went to war with other tribes in Mexico to get these human sacrifices (Conrad & Demmest 47-49) . With each conquest more sacrifices and more land was added to the Aztec kingdom. The Aztec were a strong civilization who were familiar with organized large scale war, had specialized war chiefs, and a well organized system of territorial levy in which large armies could be amassed in a short time (Age of Reconnaissance 124-125). They may have been well organized for war, but they were not prepared for internal changes in there civilization. When expansion was no longer an option there system crumbled. Without expansion they could no longer give human sacrifices in the same amount in which they use too. Upon the arrival of the Spanish the Aztec government was falling apart, and "Moctezuma II programs of internal military consolidation and administrative and social stabilization had failed" (Conrad & Demmest). When the Aztec's first met the Spanish they were amazed by them. The Spanish used the Aztec's own legends to take advantage of them and gain the upper hand. Other disadvantages that the Aztecs had was the need to take prisoner to sacrifice, they were not untied with other tribes (Spanish were able to unite with other tribes

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