05 March, 2017

The Expansion of the Aztec Empire

3.0 / 5 1 vote(s)


Sigh. Nothing in history really comes all that simply. The first thing you learn when looking up the Aztecs is they aren't really called the Aztecs - at least that's not what they referred to themselves as. The word Aztec is a modern term, as the people that are being discussed are actually the Nahuatl-speaking people of Mexica ethnicity, typically part of the Triple Alliance empire in old-school central Mexico. By old-school I mean 14th to 16th centuries.

I also discovered that learning about the histories of countries that you know little about can have some problems that you wouldn't have anticipated. For instance, is Tepanec a king, city, or kingdom? Those were my first guesses, but as it turns out it's a people. Reading the wikipedia entry meant reading several other entries just to get the most basic understanding of the first. What follows is my best attempt at understanding it.

O.K., so a little history on the Mexica people. They were loyal to the Tepanecs, a much more powerful group at the time. The Mexica helped the Tepanecs in a war against the Acolhua city of Texcoco (the Acolhua name is mostly i


historyisfun1111 Mamat Yaaqub


The Aztec Empire flourished between c. 1345 and 1521 CE and, at its greatest extent, covered most of northern Mesoamerica. Aztec warriors were able to dominate their neighbouring states and permit rulers such as Motecuhzoma II to impose Aztec ideals and religion across Mexico. Highly accomplished in agriculture and trade, the last of the great Mesoamerican civilizations was also noted for its art and architecture which ranks amongst the finest ever produced on the continent.

The Aztec state is actually the most well documented Mesoamerican civilization with sources including archaeology, native books (codices) and lengthy and detailed accounts from their Spanish conquerors - both by military men and Christian clergy. These latter sources may not always be reliable but the picture we have of the Aztecs, their institutions, religious practices, warfare and daily life is a rich one and it continues to be constantly expanded with details being added through the endeavours of


Aztec Environment
The Aztec livelihood began with the development surrounding their environment, for it provided nourishment from agricultural goods and guidance of seasonal changes for other cultural practices. The Aztec Empire was located in the central and southern regions of present day Mexico.  As the Aztec Empire grew in the 15 th and 16 th centuries, it stretched from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

The empire consisted of city states with three allied capitals in the Basin of Mexico.  The capital city, however, was Tenochtitlan, (tay-nohch-tee-tlahn).  Tenochtitlan is located at the center of high-altitude valleys.  This region is at the same altitude as the Yucatan Peninsula. Tenochtitlan, which absorbed Tlatelolco in 1473, was located on islands or chinampas on Lake Texcoco (which was connected to a lake system at the bottom of the Basin of Mexico). 


The culture of the Aztecs bloomed from the blending of regional societies into one, which this became accomplished through the ideals of the Aztec monarchy and warfare. “There were two main objectives in Aztec warfare. The first objective was to conquer enemy city states so that they could demand tribute and expand Aztec territory. The second was to capture sacrificial victims to be used in ceremonies. Most warfare was political and was compelled by the duty of the chief, or Tlatoani, to provide economic growth through expansion. The first order of business for a new ruler was to engineer a military offensive to demonstrate his ability as a warrior and to provide a liberal amount of captives to sacrifice at his coronation ceremony. If he failed, it was taken as a bad omen for the rule of that Tlatoani and led to rebellions of city states. The Aztecs also participated in what were referred to as Flower Wars from 1450 to 1519. They were called Flower Wars because the resplendently clad captives of opposing tribes being herded after battle resembled a garland of flowers. These battles were fought by warriors from the Triple Alliance (Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan) against



Path of the Conquest
Path of the Conquest

On November 8, 1519, the Spanish conquistadors first entered the great city of Mexico, the metropolis the Aztecs had built on a lake island. Don Hernando Cortes, who was accompanied by six hundred Spaniards and a great many native allies, at last could see for himself the temples and palaces about which he had heard so many marvels. The Spaniards arrived from the direction of Tlalpan, to the south of the city, passing across one of the wide causeways that connected the island with the mainland. When they reached a locality known as Xoloco, they were welcomed by the last of the Motecuhzomas, who had come out to meet them in the belief that the white men must be Quetzalcoatll and other gods, returning at last from across the waters now known as the Gulf of Mexico. Thus Cortes and his men entered the city, not only as guests, but also as gods coming home. It was the first direct encounter between one of the most extraordinary pre-Columbian cultures and the strangers who would eventually destroy it.



continued from previous post....

the history of Spanish and French invasions... into the now called Mexico...

over time it kind of gave me insight and understanding on why
Sacaegwea was they way she was... she had battle them brutal males alone and they didnt want the males and she refused them to come near her daughters.....

i think she was completely full of anger and anguish to the point she didnt blink at killing anyone not even a male at birth... she couldnt kill a male child past a few months old.... in her soul she couldnt do it....

more history on the Aztecs....

History of the Aztecs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Aztecs were a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican people


makinapacalatxilbalba Pierre Cloutier
Notes on Aztec Art

The Aztec Empire before it was conquered and destroyed by the Spanish produced some of the most extraordinary art that the world has seen. The fact that this art was based upon a very disturbing series of practices and a, from a European point of view, rather odd way of perceiving the world as made this art a very disturbing art for many. This is because of the Aztec practice of mass human sacrifice, along with ritual cannibalism, genuinely horrified contemporary Europeans even as it continues to horrify us. This rather grotesque practice or more correctly atrocity has continued to color the perception of the Aztec's and their culture.1

Now if it is without question that mass human sacrifice is indeed an atrocity, (an opinion I hold), then of course we should condemn the Aztec's for practicing it. If occasional human sacrifice is an abomination than of course mass human sacrifice is even more so. However condemnation is not enough after condemnation comes how do we understand such practices and further how does it affect our evaluation of Aztec culture and society? Of course using one vile practice to condemn utterly a society / culture is generally not fair and certainly it cannot be said that the Spanish were moral improvements over the Aztecs.


midtownblogger Lawrence Kreger

Aztec Empire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the Aztec Empire as a political entity. For Aztec society and culture, see Aztec.
Triple Alliance
Ēxcān Tlahtōlōyān
Nahuatl glyphs for Texcoco, Tenochtitlan, and Tlacopan.


An excerpt from "The Spread of European Settlement", Chapter 7 of
A Green History of the World (Penguin, 1991) by Clive Ponting

Despite the rise in population and the large extension of the settled area, Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries remained a backward region, on the margins of the main developments of world history. China was the most populous and advanced country in the world and the Islamic states of the Mediterranean and Near East, about to be revived under the Ottoman empire, were culturally far in advance of a relatively impoverished Europe. The crusades were a short-lived enterprise and Christian control of parts of the Levant, in most places maintained for no more than a few decades, passed almost without disturbing the Islamic world. In 1241 the Mongols reached the river Oder and western Europe only avoided invasion after the Mongol victory at the battle of Wahlstatt because of the death of the Mongol leader Ogodai and the resulting internal confusion within the empire. Nevertheless a few decades later the Mongols ruled the most extensive empire the world had ever seen stretching from the Volga in the west to China in the east and taking in lar