Length: 365 words (1 double-spaced pages)
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Cultures had been flourishing thousands of years before the Europeans arrived to the New World. Great empires such as the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas inhabited the vast lands of Central and South America. These three major powers controlled the land before Columbus or Cortez were even born. Although the Pre-Columbian civilizations and the Europeans shared some similar ideas, life was very different in the New World compared with that of Middle Age Europe.
In the New World were the three main Civilizations, The Aztecs, The Mayans, and the Incas. Even though these civilizations were from the same area, they all have different cultures and thoughts. Many similarities can be found but the differences can be spotted when the cultures are looked at in depth.
The Aztec Civilization covered most of present day Mexico. It was made up of marauding bands of warriors who migrated from the north. The God of Sun and War for the Aztecs was Huitzilpochtli.
The Mayan Civilization was the oldest of the three, it sprang up around 2500 B.C.E. in present day Guatemala and covered the jungles of the Yucatan peninsula.
The Inca civilization started around 1200A.D. and was found in the Andes mountains in what is now Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.
Like the Pre-Columbian Civilizations, the Middle Age kingdoms of Europe had similar qualities such as the governmental structures. Spain, Portugal, England, and the rest of Europe used the Feudal System to sort out the social differences. The King and Queen were the head of state, followed by princesses, princes, bishops, and other church officials. Then came the merchants and artisans trailed by the lowly serfs and peasants who work the land for the system.
The discovery of the new world is what led to the fall of the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas. The Europeans were greatly outnumbered when they arrived in the New World, and could have easily been squashed by the warriors of these mighty Pre-Columbian civilizations. Lack of knowledge and trickery were what lead to their down-fall. The "Indians" were left dumbfounded as they tried to figure out what horses were and how it was possible that a man and horse were not the same creature. La Malinche led the Aztecs to believe that the horses could talk and think for themselves and that Herenan Cortez was really a god.
A result of the Conquest by the Europeans they Aztec, Mayan, and Inca Civilizations were virtually wiped out. There was a major loss to humanity here, first of all it destroyed many Ideas of these people that do not affect or Present day thinking. The history of these civilizations mysterious and as a result of the Conquest people of today know little of nothing about these Grand Civilizations that once flourished the new world. Now the New World is infested with all the diseases that at one point could only be found in Europe.