Aztec Success Essay Research Paper Aztec SuccessThe

8 August 2017

Aztec Success Essay, Research Paper

Aztec Success

The Triple Alliance was a bond formed in 1482 between the metropoliss of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tacuba. We know the imperium they created as the Aztec Empire. Their reign included the conquest of many adjacent communities. The huge sum of land and people they reigned over caused many jobs because of the tremendous distances and fundamental agencies of communicating. This led to a particular sort of regulation where the distant metropoliss received discriminatory intervention to vouch their trueness. The testimonial system the Ternary Alliance set up was the anchor of their Empire, and it financed the of import spiritual festivals and the luxuries of the opinion category. The testimonial was collected from conquered lands and consisted of everything Mexico could bring forth and devour. The system was rather flexible and adaptable to the jobs of conveyance and the deficiency of an alphabetical authorship system which made rapid communicating troublesome. The ever-expanding conquerings created & # 8220 ; a bureaucratic and economic machine of tremendous complexness that fed on a diet of testimonial, trade, and a changeless supply of sacrificial victims from near and distant lands & # 8221 ; ( Fagan, 95 ) . The success of the Triple Alliance, in such a short period, came from the alone authorities it created, which incorporated a testimonial system capable of uniting the spiritual, political, and societal values of the clip.

The development of the Aztec Empire occurred in an surprisingly short period. The Mexica were the last group to migrate to the vale of Mexico toward the beginning of the 13th century ( van Zantwijk, 40 ) . Their late migration left them moo on the societal graduated table coercing the Mexica to roll for many old ages seeking to happen a lasting colony ( Duran, 13 ) . They lived off the western shore of Lake Texcoco, at Chapultepec for a short clip, but this land belonged to the Tepanec people. In 1299 the Tepanec forced the Mexica to take safety to the South of the lake, on the outskirts of Culhuacan ( Leon-Portilla, 88 ) . The Tepanec sent them there trusting the toxicant serpents of the country would kill them. Alternatively, the Mexica ate the serpents. The Tepanec once more chased the Mexica out in 1323 and so the Mexica founded the site of Tenochtitlan, which was to go a great capital. Meanwhile, the Tepanec were constructing a great imperium in nearby Azcapotzalco. The Mexica strived to go privileged members of the Tepanec imperium. Although Tepanec confined them to secondary functions, they managed to take advantage of this clip to develop themselves ( Gruzinski, 26 ) . In 1426, Tezozmoc the leader of the Tepanec imperium was succeeded by his boy Maxtla, who hated the Mexica. Soon war broke out between the two groups ( Duran, 61 ) . Texcoco, a adjacent metropolis, besides was at odds with the Tepanec, and so the Mexica, the Tecocan and Tlacopan formed the Ternary Alliance against the Tepanec. The Ternary Alliance formed what is today known as the Aztec imperium. The power of these three metropoliss defeated the Tepanec and took control of their land after a besieging enduring 114 yearss. Tenochtitlan, the Mexica capital, controlled the armed forces and tribute payments while Texcoco held authorization over juridical and cultural personal businesss. Tlacopan became a subordinate to Tenochtitlan and cover largely with external dealingss, like showing official declarations of war for the imperium ( Van Zantwijk, 111 ) .

After merely a little more than one hundred old ages in the Valley of Mexico, the Mexica became great leaders. In 1440 the emperor Moctezuma I came in to power. He was to be known as the male parent of the Aztec Empire ( Gruzinski, 31 ) . Moctezuma knew the importance of suppressing neighbouring lands to spread out the power of the Aztecs. The ageless conflicts that Moctezuma I began puting the basis for the success of the imperium. The conquest of neighbours & # 8217 ; land was really of import to the endurance of both the Aztec Empire and the universe ( Davies, 42 ) . The testimonial payments gained by suppressing supported the authorities economically and provided the victims for the forfeits which the Aztecs & # 8217 ; believed fueled the universe. The conquering of new lands was of import to Aztec faith and society because of the turning demand for worlds to give. The Aztecs believed that someday this universe or Sun would hold to stop. The lone manner to avoid the decease of the Sun was by giving it critical energy enclosed in the chalchiuhatl or & # 8220 ; the cherished liquid & # 8221 ; which keeps humanity alive, blood. This called for a uninterrupted supply of sacrificial victims, whose Black Marias and blood would be offered up to the Sun, giving the Sun the nutriment necessary to protract its life indefinitely ( Leon-Portilla, 101 ) .

To do this possible, the Aztecs started a pattern known as the & # 8220 ; flower wars, & # 8221 ; periodic conflicts whose intent was to capture possible sacrificial victims. The Aztecs fought these pseudo wars with the people of Texcoco, Tlacopan, Tlaxcala, and Huexotzinco. Soldiers did their best non to kill oppositions but instead to take them alive for forfeit ( Duran, 348 ) . The Aztecs believed the continued being of the existence depended on them, if they did non feed the Sun the dark forces of the dark would destruct it. This gave the Aztecs a justification for all their conquerings. By repressing other people and cut downing them to feeders, they were recognizing a supreme mission ( Leon-Portilla, 102 ) . The Aztec province was therefore devoted to the impression of ageless war ( Davies, 51 ) . Due to the importance of war the Aztec Empire finally expanded to great lengths, stretching from the seashore of the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and from Northern Mexico to Guatemala ( Fagan, 95 ) . The spiritual, political and societal demands of the community led to this enlargement.

The Aztecs & # 8217 ; conquerings were besides honoring because the testimonial system required the payment of goods in add-on to prisoners. The Aztecs required any conquered community to pay testimonial or revenue enhancements to the chief imperium in Tenochtitlan. The metropolis of Texcoco received an equal portion of this testimonial, but the control was in the custodies of Tenochtitlan ( Davies, 45 ) . The beginnings province that they distributed the testimonial in a 2:2:1 ratio. Tenochtitlan and Texcoco got two-fifths each and Tlacopan one fifth ( Coe, 171 ) . Tribute could dwell of many things, such as cherished rocks, plumes, chocolate tree, cotton, apparels, unrecorded animate beings, shells, corn, beans, fruit and much more. Gruzinski notes that & # 8220 ; Several 10s of 1000s of dozenss of nutrient, more than 100,000 cotton garments, and an impressive 30,000 packages of plumes, and an impressive measure of cherished objects and rare animate beings constituted the testimonial paid in a twelvemonth & # 8221 ; ( 44 ) . States that lacked groceries and apparels used people as testimonial, and their services were used for military or public work undertakings ( Fagan, 148 ) .

Imperial governments supported local dynasties if they delivered their testimonial payments on clip ( Smith, 76 ) . The local dynasties included land granted to Lords and land controlled by calpullis, a group of households that controlled a territorial unit moving as a channel of goods and services to the province ( Fagan, 146 ) . The authorities imposed and linked societal position to the testimonial gross ( Brumfiel, 679 ) . At the underside were the common mans whose tribute payments supported all the Lords and calpulli ( Smith, 76 ) . Those who worked to supply testimonial received small benefit other so obscure promises of aid in times of dearth and war. Merely a few extremely privileged swayers and Lords enjoyed the full fruits of the trade and testimonial system ( Fagan, 125 ) . The construction of the testimonial system besides allowed the imperium to enroll big nu

mbers of people in a short sum of clip. These recruits came from the calpulli and the people controlled by the Lords. This was a major factor in the success of the Aztec Empire. In most of the runs capable neighbours furnished big contingents to organize forces that a individual city state could non conceivably muster ( Davies, 42 ) . The Aztecs could penalize any community that did non pay testimonial about instantly because of the empire’s ability to mobilise military personnels from other feeders in a short clip. The Aztec Empire presided over a assortment of vassal provinces and tense political confederations which kept their ground forcess in the field every twelvemonth ( Fagan, 113 ) .

The societal construction of the Aztec community complemented the authorities & # 8217 ; s aims. Aztec life existed non for the person but for the group ; each member conformed to societal norms and contributed to the saving of the community and province through revenue enhancement, labour and, in war times, through military service ( Fagan, 138 ) . The authorities imposed the definition of an single & # 8217 ; s societal position ( Brumfiel, 679 ) . Authority and testimonial flowed up and down a societal pyramid built on a solid base of close household ties, ancient line of descent connexions and communal ownership of land among the common mans ( Davies, 120 ) . The Aztec Lords consisted of two degrees: the secular bureaucratism of Judgess, functionaries and soldiers and the organisation of priests ( Fagan, 95 ) .

Another of import factor that led to the success of the Aztec imperium was their alone construction of the authorities. The communities that they conquered merely felt the repression of the authorities through testimonial payments ( Davies, 41 ) . After suppressing lands the Aztecs left no fort behind, merely a revenue enhancement aggregator. Apart from the revenue enhancement aggregator the Aztecs respected local governments, establishments and traditions ( Gruzinski, 40 ) . The autochthonal swayers and Lords were left in topographic point, but were demoted to the position of center and lower rank functionaries ( Coe, 167 ) . The thought of transition was foreign to the peoples of Mexico. Sometimes the Mexica stressed the cult of their Sun God Huitizilopochtli, but they did non necessitate the conquered people to idolize him. The Aztecs maintained a comparatively peaceable relationship with the conquered by allowing them spiritual freedom. The Aztecs did non hold a regular ground forces to function as an busying force ( Gruzinski, 40 ) . Their lone communicating from the conquered towns came through the testimonial payments and merchandisers. The merchandisers sometimes acted as undercover agents for the Aztec authorities, and were compensated for any information refering rebellions in the conquered lands. The Aztecs were more interested in testimonial so appropriation ( Fagan, 130-131 ) .

The construction of the authorities caused the different societal groups to experience of import so that there was small opportunity for rebellion. The dominant groups kept subservient groups under control by doing them responsible for some portion of the authorities. Each group had a defined topographic point and got satisfaction by overstating the importance of their function in the system ( van Zantwijk, 26 ) . The Aztecs divided the authorities operations among different cultural groups so that the province could work merely through their cooperation. The societal hierarchy relied on a web of societal and economic dependance that bound Lords and common mans to one another through duty of service ( Fagan, 179 ) . The supreme power ballad in Tenochtitlan and the emperor, nevertheless. The emperor & # 8217 ; s place was based on familial sequence by election ( van Zantwijk, 25 ) . Rule depended non merely on force and panic but on personal qualities and model life styles. The maps of the hierarchies and their common relationships changed overtime harmonizing to the administrative, societal, economic and spiritual development of the society ( 74 ) . At first the people acquired rank through accomplishments but finally birth became the overruling factor ( Fagan, 137 ) . This progressively stratified society needed to keep the high degrees of testimonial to feed of all time more non-farmers ( 179 ) .

The Aztec imperium faced two major jobs that blocked complete control: tremendous distances and fundamental signifiers of communicating. The imperium at its tallness consisted of Northern Mexico to Guatemala and from the seashore of the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico. Not merely was this a huge sum of land, but it besides contained a assortment of clime and topography. To add to this problem, the Aztecs had no animals of load, so everything had to be carried on the human back. Messages could take hebdomads to make their finishs, doing communicating really hard. Besides, the Aztecs did non hold an alphabetized authorship system but relied on glyphs, ideographic representations ( Leon Portilla, 44 ) . These failings frequently led to revolts in conquered lands. However, these rebellions were few and easy put down. Since the Aztecs could bring forth a force from any of their tributary communities in a short clip, they could maintain their imperium in line ( Fagan, 148 ) . After such rebellions the Rebels were crushed and so forced to pay even higher testimonials, non so much of measure, but value and trouble of supply ( 114 ) .

The Aztec success at authorities can be attributed to their ability to command such a big district and population through testimonial and fright. The Ternary Alliance knew how to take attention of the populations of the Valley of Mexico. In exchange for warriors the Aztecs, granted the feeders portions of the war loot. Distant metropoliss received discriminatory intervention to vouch their trueness. The Aztecs entrusted others with guarding the frontiers, which exempted them from testimonial payments. The imperium & # 8220 ; resembled an huge spider web, with the Ternary Alliance at its centre and a thousand webs linked through matrimony confederations, exchange of services, mutuality and extortion & # 8221 ; ( Gruzinski, 42 ) . The whole construction was flexible and adaptable to the imperium & # 8217 ; s altering demands. The Aztecs could non trust on efficient agencies of conveyance or an alphabetical authorship system, but they found ways around these troubles. The Aztec Empire was nil like a extremely centralized and totalitarian power, and this is what made it so successful. We can outdo depict it as a & # 8220 ; sophisticated tribute-gathering machine & # 8221 ; ( Fagan, 113 ) . Every facet of the Aztec imperial authorities was focused on two ultimate terminals: the eating of t-he Sun with the blood of sacrificial victims and the care of the power and prestigiousness of the emperor and the Lords ( 113 ) . Both terminals rested on the complex testimonial system of the Aztec authorities.

Lynn Opulski


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Davies, Nigel. The Aztec imperium: the Toltec revival. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987.

Duran, Diego. Aztecs: the history of the Indies of New Spain. New York: Orion Press, 1964.

Fagan, Brian M. The Aztecs. New York: W.H. Freeman and Co. , 1984.

Gruzinski, Serge. The Aztecs ; Rise and Fall of an Empire. New York ; Discoveries harry N. Abrams, Inc, Publishers, 1992.

Leon- Portilla, Miguel. The Aztec image of ego and society: an debut to Nahua civilization. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1992.

Smith, Michal E. & # 8220 ; Life in the States of the Aztec Empire. & # 8221 ; Scientific American Sept. 1997 v277 n3: 76-78.

Van Zantwijk, Rudolf. The Aztec Arrangement.

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