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AZTEC CIVILIZATION
Aztec Civilization was established in the central part of Mexico with the ethnic groups that spoke the Nahuatl language. People who used to speak this language lived in the extensive boundaries of the Mesoamerican region (Leon-Portilla, 2012). It had developed extensive power in these regions through using its trade tactics and military power on the other hand. People of Aztecs are also known as “Tenochca”.
The Aztecs people were very intelligent and they had built their establishment in the swampy land through removing it and developing islands that were manmade in these regions. The very foundations of their city “Tenochtitlan” was established on this islands and they were also able to develop gardens in these regions. They were very highly skilled in agriculture and cultivated a wide range of crops. The crops that were cultivated by them include maize, potatoes, tomatoes and other such vegetables and fruits. They were highly equipped in the other skills that include hunting and fishing. The high tech and extremely developed system that was designed by them for the irrigation purpose depicts their ability to develop things that are required for sustenance. This included several different types of cultivation and irrigation methods that had the strength to fulfil the agricultural needs of the regions (Rounds, 1979).
Aztec civilization has also been known for its rich art and architecture and culture. There have been few of the finest art pieces produced during the time of Aztec civilization. The basis of the art was developing designs in the stones that may be of miniature size and can also be extremely massive (Kellogg, 2005). They developed carvings and structure that was based on the amethyst, gold, silver, exotic feathers, stone sculpture and the rock crystal. There were some other works that were based on the use of the turquoise mosaic that led the foundation of the artistic masks (Hodge & Smith, 1994).
The military that was observed in Aztecs Empire was extremely strong and had successful and strict tradition for developing strong military tradition and powerful army for the civilization. The powerful army was able to conquer several states across the Aztecs civilization. They had developed a three way alliance with the two empires of Texcocans and Tacubans in order to conquer one of the most influential and powerful opposition of the Aztec empire that constituted of the Tepanec civilization (Davies, 1978). The empire consisted of several warfare and military strategies that were adopted for conquering large number of neighboring states that were surrounding Aztec.
The town planning and management skills of the Aztec people were exclusively good. They had developed areas that comprised of the business markets where there were more than 50,000 people on busy days and the economy that was earned through this helped in providing finance to the Aztec people for carrying various administration and defense processes across their empire. They had developed extensive trade relations with the other countries and there was a rich flow of goods and other things across the system.
The social structure of the Aztec civilization was very strict and there were high levels of structuration observed in it. It consisted of the nobles, that constituted the topmost level of the caste system and the serfs constituted the middle level of the caste system, slaves constituted the bottom most level of the caste system. The interaction between the different castes in the society was very restricted and there were very limited instances of their interaction (Smith, 1986).
The town planning of the Aztec civilization was one of the best during those times. It had an exquisite architecture and infrastructure that was very well planned and equally well developed. In the beginning of the 16th century, Aztec civilization consisted of about 500 small states which constituted to about 6 million people that were involved in trading and other businesses with the civilization. There were large canals developed across the city for irrigation and other purposes in order to manage the water supply processes and the related model in the empire. At its peak, there were about 140,000 inhabitants in the Tenochtitlan city of Aztec. The area that was covered by the Aztec civilization constituted to be the major part of the Mexico region and it had already covered more than 135,000 sq.kms (HISTORY.COM, 2016).
Thus, it can be observed that the Aztec served to be one of the most developed, innovative and powerful civilization that flourished in the Mesoamerican regions. The construction of monuments, development of the imperial ideology. It had a strong military influence in the region surrounding the region near the Mesoamerican territories (Hodge M. G., 1998).
The prosperity of the Aztec civilization came into the eyes of the Spanish conquerors. They were highly impressed and taken aback with the beauty, architecture and other things that Aztec had to offer them. There were minor rebels continuously carried in the city which shows that there was a lack of unity among them. They had lost very badly to the Tlaxcala and Huexotzingo in the year of 1515 A.D (Cartwright, 2014).
Hernan Cortes, who was one of the most popular and powerful Spanish conquistadors had conquered the important and strategically significant empire of the Aztec. It was not conquered by him in the very first trial, but when he returned after forming alliances with other allies of the Aztec empire and it was very important for him to conquer Aztec civilization as it strives to be one among those civilizations that were very powerful during the 14th century (White, 1996).
References
Cartwright, M. (2014, February 26). Aztec Civilization. Retrieved from http://www.ancient.com: http://www.ancient.eu/Aztec_Civilization/
Davies, N. (1978). The Military Organization of the Aztec Empire. . Mesoamerican Communication Routes and Cultural Contacts, Papers of the New World Archaeological Foundation, 40,, 223-230.
HISTORY.COM. (2016). AZTECS. Retrieved from http://www.history.com: http://www.history.com/topics/aztecs
Hodge, M. G. (1998). Archaeological Views of Aztec Culture. Journal of Archaeological Research, 197-238.
Hodge, M. G., & Smith, M. E. (1994). Economies and polities in the Aztec realm (Vol. 6). . University Press of Colorado.
Kellogg, S. (2005). Law and the Transformation of Aztec Culture, 1500-1700. . University of Oklahoma Press.
Leon-Portilla, M. (2012). Aztec thought and culture: A study of the ancient Nahuatl mind (Vol. 67). . University of Oklahoma Press.
Rounds, J. (1979). Lineage, class, and power in the Aztec state. . American Ethnologist, 73-86.
Smith, M. E. (1986). The role of social stratification in the Aztec empire: a view from the provinces. American Anthropologist, 88(1), , 70-91.
White, J. M. (1996). Cortes and the Downfall of the Aztec Empire. Carroll & Graf Publishers.