A History of World Societies by John P McKay Essays

A History of World Societies by John P McKay Essays

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1. The religion of the Aztec people was prominent in other aspects of Aztec civilization including military and politics. According to the Aztecs, "War was an article of religious faith" (McKay 276). The Aztec's religion gave them the advantage over surrounding groups in Mexico because they retained this view. War was seen as a religious duty and a way in which to pay tribute to the gods. The Aztec's believed that the god, Huitzilopochtli, needed human blood in order to keep the sun moving. The sun was the most important of all because it is "the source of all life" (McKay 276). Human sacrifice fueled everything behind what the Aztecs did. The Aztecs believed that the world would pretty much end if they did not sacrifice humans to the gods. War was also an avenue in which to attain human sacrifices for the gods. The Aztec's would conquer surrounding groups and use them as sacrifices for the gods. Other candidates for human sacrifices included tribute from conquered groups, unsuccessful generals, corrupt judges, and others. Human sacrifice even determined social status for young men. During Aztec wars against neighboring groups, young Aztec soldiers were encouraged to take enemy prisoners for human sacrifice. If that young soldier captured his first prisoner he would attain the title "iyac" or warrior. In later campaigns, if the warrior captured four of the enemy he would then be a tequiua and be a member of the nobility. This also works against the warrior in the case that he fails to capture prisoners then he would join the maceualtin or working class. Prisoners acquired from wars and Aztec imperial expansions were also used in future battles as warriors. Many warriors of the Aztec army were composed of individua...

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... Now that everyone had to compete to attain civil service jobs a new class was formed called the scholar-official class. These educated individuals did away with most of the "aristocratic habits and prejudices" (McKay 335). The development of movable type decreased the cost of producing books therefore increasing the spread of literature thus aiding in the spread of literacy. This helped people compete in the examination system by becoming educated. This education was used in other ways as well such as furthering the arts, collecting books for libraries, science and medicine. China's prime minister, Sima Guang, "wrote a narrative history of China from the Warring States Period to the founding of the Song Dynasty" (McKay 336). This is just one of the many examples in the growing prosperity of China during this period.

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History of World Societies

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