The Aztec Empire Essay

The Aztec Empire Essay

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Who were the Aztecs? Why were they considered to be an empire even greater than the Romans? And how was Hernan Cortes able to defeat them? These are some of the questions that people ask about these indigenous people. These people are known as the Aztecs but originally called themselves Mexica. They came to Mexico in the early thirteenth century and from there they started to develop a social structure and government consisting of priests, kings, peasants, and soldiers. Besides having a very organized society the Aztecs had a very large and intimidating army consisting of full time soldiers and peasants. By 1427 A.D. the Aztec empire became the dominant group and controlled most of central Mexico. Considering how advanced and large the Aztec culture and society were makes me believe that they were aware of other people outside of their civilization. A clear example would be that they knew of neighboring tribes other than their own that they went to war with and conquered. Although I do believe that the Aztecs were caught off guard and even amazed when they saw the light skinned Spaniards. I also believe that Cortes wasn’t the first outsider to make contact with the Aztecs but I do believe he was the first light skinned person to make contact with them because of Moctezumas reaction to Cortes description. Hernan Cortes was a Spanish conquistador who defeated the Aztecs with less than 1000 soldiers and a handful of horses. Some reasons that have to do with the Aztecs fall from power are the Prophecy of Quetzalcoatle, their Emperor Moctezuma, enemy tribes, disadvantages in technology, their omens, disease, and lastly their warfare rituals.
The first reason and most important reason that I believe the Aztecs were defeated by the S...


... middle of paper ...


...The last two reasons that the Aztecs were defeated had to do with the disease that the Spaniards brought with them from Europe mainly small pox and the Aztec warfare rituals. The Aztecs had never been exposed to this disease and therefore their immune systems could not beat it and it eventually claimed the lives of thousands of Indians not only the Aztecs. The Aztecs had many rituals that they performed and most of them had to do with human sacrifice and this was something unspeakable and unholy in the eyes of the Spaniards which only fueled their cause in killing them and stopping such barbaric acts. Also the Aztecs would perform rituals before declaring war which the Spaniards used to their advantage and caught them off guard with their immediate attack of Tenochtitlan. These were the most important factors that led to the eventual fall of the Aztec empire.

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