History Chp. 11 Notes - Chapter 11 The Americas on the Eve of Invasion Chapter Thesis Intro The Aztec and Inca Empires were distinctly unique but

History Chp. 11 Notes - Chapter 11 The Americas on the...

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Chapter 11: The Americas on the Eve of Invasion 1 Chapter Thesis: The Aztec and Inca Empires were distinctly unique but shared key similarities in their agriculture, social organization, and military organization. Intro Tenochtitlan was the capital of Aztec (aka Mexica/Tenocha people) empire o Founded on two islands in lake o Had complex system of canals o Developed “floating gardens” o Considered as the “foundation of Heaven” o Largest of 50 city-states across central/southern Mexico Palaces/temples/market goods impressed Europeans (Hernan Cortez and Bernal Diaz del Castillo) Continuation of long development of relatively isolated civilization in Americas (1500s) Americas inhabited by indigenous people called Indians o Derived from Columbus’s mistake of reaching the Indies, implies common identity among them that was not achieved until after European arrival Development of major civilization in Mesoamerica (central Mexico and Andean heartland) based on earlier achievements o Development of imperial states, European expansion allowed for contact w/ Old World I. Postclassic Mesoamerica , 1000-1500 C.E. (8 th century) Collapse of Teotihuacan + abandonment of classical Maya cities -> political/cultural change o Nomadic people in the north migrated into richer lands of central Mexico (968) Toltecs established capital @ Tula Toltec culture combined features from sedentary people with militaristic ethic (ex: art portrayed sacrifice and war) Mesoamerican people (ex: Aztecs) have historical memory of Toltecs, seen as givers of civilization Toltec accomplishments fused/confused with Teotihuacan’s a. The Toltec Heritage Survival of Toltec legends o Ex: Topiltzin , Toltec leader and priest of god Quetzalcoatl (feathered Serpent), involved in struggle for priestly/political power with another faction and went into exile after loss -> supposedly sailed to Yucatan and spread Toltec influence Spread of Toltec influence o Influence spread from capital, Tula, to Guatemala o Creation of vast empire across central Mexico Conquered Chichen Itza (city in Yucatan) and other cities, ruled by Mexican dynasties/Mya rulers under Toltec influence Spread northward due to trade of obsidian in N. Mexico, and southwest due to trade of turquoise
2 b. The Aztec Rise to Power (1150) Toltec empire destroyed by northern nomadic invaders -> center of population/political power shifted to valley of Mexico o Lakes provided rich aquatic environment, allowed for settlement of towns that supported population became cultural/population center of Mexico in Postclassic period Control of lakes fought over- won by Aztecs (aka Mexica) who gradually built up their empire Aztec rise to power/formation of imperial state was rapid o Legends? Of Heritage Once lived in central valley with civilized life/agriculture -> exiled to Aztlan in the north Nomadic tribe that used political anarchy to invade sedentary agricultural people following fall of Toltecs o (1325) Migrated to shores of Lake Texcoco

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