Cambios economicos y sociales durante la conquista

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American Peoples

Societies found by Europeans after 1492

Middle America – MESOAMERICA
AZTECS – Mexica – 1519

Central Valley of Mexico
Settled in an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco,founded Tenochtitlán
Aztecs dominated most of Mexico south of Tenochtitlán

Political organization – city-states
Political power centered on a ruling class of priests and nobles, presided by thesupreme ruler
Tlatoani [title] – supreme leader of Mexica

Common language – Nahuatl
Writing system – pictographs

Economic base
Intensive agriculture; irrigation system – highly sophisticatedElaborate system of dykes, canals, and aqueducts for agriculture
Chinampa – raised fields surrounded by water – agriculture form borrowed from the Mayas
Surplus used for military purposes, in case offamine, or natural disasters
Social organization
Specialization of labor; various occupations and skills
Market exchanges – barter
Relied on tribute and trade for food needs
Long distance trade –carried out by pochteca traders
Macehualtin – commoners who owned land, owed tribute, labor, and military service to the Aztec state
Mayeques – peasants, majority of Aztec population

Dietstaples: maize, beans, chilies, squash, etc.
High value products: cotton cloth, feathers, jade, precious metals, obsidian, animal skins, cacao beans, etc.

Artisans – skilled workers – potters, weavers,stonemasons, silversmiths, scribes, and feather-workers
Organized in guilds

Monumental architecture – temples, palaces, ceremonial architecture

Polytheistic society
Two major gods:Tlaloc – rain god
HUITZILOPOCHTLI – war god – major cult to this god

Human sacrifice – war captives sacrificed to Huitzilopochtli
Function: to maintain order of the cosmos; to justify militaryexpansion (why they went to war)
Aztec worldview – understanding of their world – Aztecs believed that sacrificed was essential for their survival as a society, for the Sun to rise the following day,...
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