It was a highly structured society with a strict caste system; at the top were nobles, while at the bottom were serfs, indentured servants and slaves. Their military power grew as well, and they began to conquer peoples in the surrounding areas.
In Tlaxcala and the Puebla valley, the altepetl was organized into teccalli units headed by a lord Nahuatl tecutliwho would hold sway over a territory and distribute rights to land among the commoners. Women in Aztec civilization Folio from the Codex Mendoza showing the rearing and education of Aztec boys and girls, how they were instructed in different types of labor, and how they were punished for misbehavior The Aztec family pattern was bilateral, counting relatives on the fathers and mothers side of the family equally, and inheritance was also passed both to sons and daughters.
At this point the power balance had shifted towards the Spaniards who now held Motecuzoma as a prisoner in his own palace. This situation has led some scholars to describe Aztec gender ideology as an ideology not of a gender hierarchy, but of gender complementarity, with gender roles being separate but equal.
By the time Ferdinand I died, it was already "known" that there were tribes in the Americas that had wealth beyond imagining in gold and other precious metals. Some sellers in the markets were petty vendors; farmers might sell some of their produce, potters sold their vessels, and so on.
Motecuzoma therefore initiated a state of low-intensity warfare against these three cities, staging minor skirmishes called "Flower Wars" Nahuatl xochiyaoyotl against them, perhaps as a strategy of exhaustion.
This military dominance of Tenochtitlan gradually led to this city becoming the dominant power in the alliance. Smith argues that the altepetl was primarily a political unit, made up of the population with allegiance to a lord, rather than as a territorial unit.
Altepetl were also the main source of ethnic identity for the inhabitants, even though Altepetl were frequently composed of groups speaking different languages. In this way Nahuatl speaking Aztecs of one Altepetl would be solidary with speakers of other languages belonging to the same altepetl, but enemies of Nahuatl speakers belonging to other competing altepetl states.
In this way, the political standing and economy of Tenochtitlan gradually grew. The hegemonic nature of the Aztec empire can be seen in the fact that generally local rulers were restored to their positions once their city-state was conquered, and the Aztecs did not generally interfere in local affairs as long as the tribute payments were made and the local elites participated willingly.
The Tlaxcalans became his closest allies. He returned to Tenochtitlan and laid siege to the city. On the positive side, the empire promoted commerce and trade, and exotic goods from obsidian to bronze managed to reach the houses of both commoners and nobles. A second campaign to the gulf coast was also highly successful.
Cortes and some soldiers then marched into Mexico, aided by a native woman known as Malinche, who served as a translator.
Apart from taking care of domestic food production women weaved textiles from agave fibers and cotton. Their relatively sophisticated system of agriculture including intensive cultivation of land and irrigation methods and a powerful military tradition would enable the Aztecs to build a successful state, and later an empire.
The Aztecs, apparently, saw this vision on the small island where Tenochtitlan was founded. In the major campaign against the Tarascans Nahua Michhuahqueh in —79 the Aztec forces were repelled by a well organized defense. There were different grades of quachtli, ranging in value from 65 to cacao beans.
Such strategic provinces were often exempt from tributary demands. He succeeded to the rulership after the death of Ahuitzotl. Class in Aztec societyAztec societyand Aztec slavery Folio from the Codex Mendoza showing a commoner advancing through the ranks by taking captives in war.
What was ancient Aztec art and culture like? Of a total of 11 ships, he contributed 3. The lake was also a rich source of proteins in the form of aquatic animals such as fish, amphibians, shrimp, insects and insect eggs, and water fowl.
Tezozomoc died inand his sons began a struggle for rulership of Azcapotzalco. Unknown to the king, the Mexicah actually planned to sacrifice her.
As allies of the Spaniards, the Tlaxcalans gained the most. It is said that the major Aztec weapon could chop off the head of a horse with one blow!After a three-month siege, Spanish forces under Hernán Cortés capture Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec empire.
Cortés’ men leveled the city and captured. The Aztec state is actually the most well documented Mesoamerican civilization with sources including archaeology, native books (codices) and lengthy and detailed accounts from their Spanish conquerors - both by military men and Christian clergy.
Dig into the mysteries of Aztec history right here!
What was ancient Aztec art and culture like? unlike anything before it. Although there was much tragedy in both the Spanish and Aztec empires before this, the meeting of the two civilizations was disastrous.
and other events of significance during the time of the Aztec civilization. An invaluable source of information about many aspects of Aztec religious thought, political and social structure, as well as history of the Spanish conquest from the Mexica viewpoint is the Florentine Codex.
For more on the conquest of Mexico by Spain, see also Spanish Conquest of Mexico, Siege of Tenochtitlan, and Hernán Cortés.
The Aztecs were conquered by Spain in after a long siege of the capital, Tenochtitlan, where much of the population died from hunger and smallpox. Conquest of the Aztec Empire Part I Hernán Cortés was born in Seville in By then America wasn't even discovered, but a few decades later he would be the one to conquer one of the most powerful empires in the new continent: the Aztec empire.Download