Essay on The And The Aztec Culture

Essay on The And The Aztec Culture

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When discussing the natives that inhabited North America before Europeans came to the New World, people often refer to groups such as the Cherokee, the Apache, or the Crow. While these groups have all made an impact on the United States and North America as a whole, people often forget about a group of Native Americans that literally built an empire and dominated much of the landscape in southern Mexico. It is quite possible that this group may be overlooked all too often because their lifestyle didn’t exactly fit what the average person would consider as being “Native American” or “Indian.” Rather than living in small villages, these people lived in city-states. Instead of small hit and run strikes against their enemies, this group of people waged wars against other city states. This group was known at the Nahuatl, or more commonly referred to as, the Aztecs. Although the Aztecs were known for revolutionizing and impacting society across the continent, there were two things that jumped out at me as things that truly defined the Aztec culture. Firstly, the Aztec’s art of warfare was truly revolutionary in its time. Many tactics and forms of weaponry used by the Aztecs changed the way war was waged in Mexico and still hold up to this day. Secondly (and most importantly), the Aztec’s obsession with human sacrifice (and sometimes cannibalism) simply astounded me. Although I was aware that the Aztecs were notorious for sacrificing humans, I was not aware of the degree and the reliance these people had on slaughtering individuals from beyond the battlefield.
Although the Nahuatl would eventually rise to become the dominant force in Mesoamerica, they started out as what most people would consider an “average” Native American ...

... middle of paper ...

... them in the history books for centuries to come and their obsession with ritual human sacrifice will be told for generations to come.
Although their civilization is gone, there is still much more to study and much more that we have to learn about this empire. Archaeological digs could turn up much more interesting information about their daily life, politics, and most interestingly to me, their life on the battlefield. As I stated in the opening of this paper, the Aztecs are one of the most overlooked groups when discussing Native North America simply because people don’t think of the Aztecs as a typical Native American group. However, the fact remains that this group went from a small tribe in north Mexico to building a conquering empire in Mesoamerica, which makes the Aztecs one of the most fearsome and successful civilizations to have inhabited North America.

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