Paper1.docx - Joel Diaz Option#2 The Fall of the Aztecs The...

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Joel Diaz 9-21-10 Option #2 The Fall of the Aztecs The Aztec empire was a vast empire located in Central Mexico, with their capital city, Tenochtitlan, established on a lake. The Mexica was the dominant tribe, with their king, Montezuma, reigning over the land. They built great architectures, such as temples and pyramids to worship their gods, as well as aqueducts to provide the city with fresh water. They domesticated animals and had rural farms, as well as floating hydroponic gardens, which they called chinampas. The Aztecs were also great mathematicians and astronomers, creating their own calendar. The Mexica religion was intertwined with every aspect of daily life. The people would participate in activities like feasting, fasting, penance, dancing, singing, sacrifice, and ritual cannibalism (Schwartz, pg.9). They believed in multiple gods and goddesses that required human blood to nourish them (Schwartz, pg.11). Their society was based on warfare, and it was seen as a way of life. It was used as a political tool, as they conquered all of their neighboring tribes. Boys were taught how to fight at a young age, and introduced to military virtues. Military accomplishment was also used as a tool for social mobility. The society believed that the greatest military achievement involved capturing an enemy as a sacrificial lamb for the gods (Schwartz, pg.11). How then did this great civilization with so many architectural, agricultural, and military achievement, fall to the Spanish conquerors? One important factor that led to the success of the Spanish conquest was the interpreters Hernan Cortez found during his expedition. Cortez first found a Spaniard by the name of Jeronimo De Aguilar in the town of Cozumel. Aguilar was on a voyage to Santo Domingo when he became shipwrecked and captured by the Indians (Schwartz, pg.54-55). He lived among the Indians and learned the Tabasco language. Cortez was also given an Indian woman by the name of Malinche, by a town who first attacked Cortez but then gave him gifts as a sign of peace when they were defeated. Malinche was
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This note was uploaded on 03/20/2012 for the course LAH 1093 taught by Professor Weber during the Fall '08 term at FSU.

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Paper1.docx - Joel Diaz Option#2 The Fall of the Aztecs The...

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