Chapter 11 - The Americas on the Eve of Invasion

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

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Chapter 11 The Americas on the Eve of Invasion I. Introduction A. By 1500, Americas densely populated by Indians – misnomer – Columbus/Indies 1. Term has meaning only when used to apply to non-Indians B. Mesoamerica and Andean heartland 1. Imperial states in place when Europe arrives 2. Few areas influenced by two main centers 3. Areas that developed independently II. Postclassic Mesoamerica A. Introduction 1. Toltecs/Aztecs replace Mayas of 8 th century CE a. By 15 th century Aztecs created extensive empire – war, religion, agrarian 2. Downfall of Mayans – Teotihuacan a. Nomads from North come down b. Toltec Culture – 968 established capital Tula 1. Sedentary/agrarian peoples with militaristic ethic 2. Cult of sacrifice/war 3. Aztecs saw Toltecs as givers of civilization B. The Toltec Heritage 1. Leader Topilitzin followed Quetzalcoatl – feathered serpent 2. Empire spread over much of central Mexico 3. 1000 Conquered Chichen Itza – Mayans under control of Toltecs 4. Toltec influence northward a. Trade turquoise with American Southwest b. How far – to Mississippi/Ohio – debatable evidence 1. Stepped temples – Monk’s Mound 2. Ritual sacrifice 3. pottery 4. Social stratification 5. Large city – Cahokia could handle 30,000 people C. The Aztec Rise to Power – eagle with serpent on cactus 1. Geography – aquatic environment – chinampas a. Aztecs/Mexicas won control of lake b. Nomadic tribes or agricultural culture 2. Political structure – centralized city with tributary city-states 3. Military – tough warriors/fanatic followers of religion 4. 1428 emerged as independent power D. The Aztec Social Contract 1. Subject peoples a. Pay tribute, surrender lands, military service b. King civil power/god on earth 2. Stratified society a. Histories rewritten 3. Human sacrifice – cult of military class supplying war captives as sacrifices E. Religion and the Ideology of Conquest 1. Incorporated features from past Mesoamerican religions a. Little distinction between world of gods and natural world
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b. Deities – fire, rain, water, corn, sky, sun – pantheon 1. Gods of fertility/agriculture 2. Creator deities 3. Warfare and sacrifice c. Female form for all gods 2. Yearly festivals/ceremonies a. Expansive calendar 3. Sacrifice - to energize the sun god – needed nourishment of human blood a. Types and frequency/degree changed with Aztecs – borrowed from Toltec b. religious conviction vs. political control 4. Religious questions – afterlife, good life, do gods exist 5. Art has flowers/birds/song and blood
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This note was uploaded on 08/18/2011 for the course HIST 101 taught by Professor Troy during the Spring '11 term at Campbell University .

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

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