Chapter 11 - The Americas on the Eve of Invasion - Chapter 11 The Americas on the Eve of Invasion I Introduction A By 1500 Americas densely populated by

Chapter 11 - The Americas on the Eve of Invasion - Chapter...

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Chapter 11The Americas on the Eve of InvasionI. IntroductionA. By 1500, Americas densely populated by Indians – misnomer – Columbus/Indies1. Term has meaning only when used to apply to non-IndiansB. Mesoamerica and Andean heartland1. Imperial states in place when Europe arrives2. Few areas influenced by two main centers3. Areas that developed independentlyII. Postclassic MesoamericaA. Introduction1. Toltecs/Aztecs replace Mayas of 8thcentury CEa. By 15thcentury Aztecs created extensive empire – war, religion, agrarian2. Downfall of Mayans – Teotihuacana. Nomads from North come downb. Toltec Culture – 968 established capital Tula1. Sedentary/agrarian peoples with militaristic ethic2. Cult of sacrifice/war3. Aztecs saw Toltecs as givers of civilizationB. The Toltec Heritage1. Leader Topilitzin followed Quetzalcoatl – feathered serpent2. Empire spread over much of central Mexico3. 1000 Conquered Chichen Itza – Mayans under control of Toltecs4. Toltec influence northwarda. Trade turquoise with American Southwestb. How far – to Mississippi/Ohio – debatable evidence1. Stepped temples – Monk’s Mound2. Ritual sacrifice3. pottery4. Social stratification5. Large city – Cahokia could handle 30,000 peopleC. The Aztec Rise to Power – eagle with serpent on cactus1. Geography – aquatic environment – chinampasa. Aztecs/Mexicas won control of lakeb. Nomadic tribes or agricultural culture2. Political structure – centralized city with tributary city-states3. Military – tough warriors/fanatic followers of religion4. 1428 emerged as independent powerD. The Aztec Social Contract1. Subject peoplesa. Pay tribute, surrender lands, military serviceb. King civil power/god on earth2. Stratified societya. Histories rewritten3. Human sacrifice – cult of military class supplying war captives as sacrificesE. Religion and the Ideology of Conquest1. Incorporated features from past Mesoamerican religionsa. Little distinction between world of gods and natural world
b. Deities – fire, rain, water, corn, sky, sun – pantheon1. Gods of fertility/agriculture2. Creator deities3. Warfare and sacrificec. Female form for all gods2. Yearly festivals/ceremoniesa. Expansive calendar3. Sacrifice - to energize the sun god – needed nourishment of human blooda. Types and frequency/degree changed with Aztecs – borrowed from Toltecb. religious conviction vs. political control4. Religious questions – afterlife, good life, do gods exist5. Art has flowers/birds/song and blood

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