Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Aztecs and Creating an Empire

Creating an Empire
In 1428 the Aztecs of Tenochtitlan joined the people of the city-states of Texcoco and Tlacopan to form a triple alliance. This united group quickly became the strongest fighting force in the Valley of Mexico. Together the three city-states built an empire. It is often called the Aztec Empire because the Aztecs were the most powerful of the three allies.

During the 1400s, Aztec warriors began to march across the Valley of Mexico and over the mountains to the south and the east.

The soldiers conquered many other native peoples. From all the conquered people, the Aztecs demanded tribute, or payment. The tribute brought large amounts of food, precious stones and metals, and clothing into the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. Maize, beans, chilis, cotton, rubber, jaguar skins, feathers of tropical birds, gold, silver, jade, and cacao beans were all part of the tribute.

By 1500 the Aztec Empire covered more than 200,000 square miles (517,960 sq km) of Central America. As many as 5 million people lived under the rule of the Aztecs. From the peoples they conquered, the Aztecs borrowed many new ways of doing things. They also learned new ideas from the Mayas, just as the Mayas had from the Olmecs. Together the ideas helped the Aztecs build a strong empire.

How did the Aztecs gain their power and wealth?

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