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Aztec Empire

Uploaded by Admin on Apr 28, 2000

The Aztec Empire was a Native American state that ruled much of what is now Mexico from about 1427 until 1521, when the empire was conquered by the Spaniards. The empire represented the highest point in the development of the rich Aztec civilization that had begun more than a century earlier. At the height of their power, the Aztec controlled a region stretching from the Valley of Mexico in central Mexico east to the Gulf of Mexico and south to Guatemala. The Aztec built great cities and developed a complex social, political, and religious structure. Their capital, Tenochitlan, was located on the site of present-day Mexico City. An elaborate city built on islands and marsh land, Tenochtitlán was possibly the largest city in the world at the time of the Spanish conquest. It featured a huge temple complex, a royal palace, and numerous canals. After the Spanish conquest, the empire of the Aztec was destroyed, but their civilization remained an important influence on the development of Mexican culture. Many present-day Mexicans are descended from the Aztec, and more than 1 million Mexicans speak Nahuatl, the native Aztec language, as their primary language. In Mexico City, searches continue to uncover temple foundations, statues, jewelry, and other artifacts of the Aztec civilization. Aztec refers both to the people who founded the empire, who called themselves Mexica, or Tenochca, and, more generally, to all of the many other Nahuatl-speaking ethnic groups that lived in the Valley of Mexico at the time of the Spanish conquest. The name Aztec is derived from Aztlan, the mythical homeland of the Mexica; according to tradition, Aztlán was located northwest of the Valley of Mexico, possibly in west Mexico. The name Mexico is derived from Mexica. Long before the rise of the Aztec, the Valley of Mexico was the center of a highly developed civilization. A fertile basin, the valley was located 7800 ft above sea level. In its center lay five interconnected lakes dotted with marshy islands. From about AD 100 to 650 the valley was dominated by the city of Teotihuacan, center of a powerful religious, economic, and political state. After the decline of Teotihuacán, the Toltec people migrated into central Mexico from the north and established a conquest state there. The Toltec civilization reached its height in the 10th and 11th centuries. In the 13th century wandering bands of Nahuatl-speaking warriors, often called Chichimec, invaded the valley. They took over...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   04/28/2000

Category:   History

Length:   15 pages (3,286 words)

Views:   7883

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