Life in Latin America Before the Europeans Arrived

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Before Europeans discovered Latin America, there were some civilizations that already lived and died on that land. The first known civilization sometimes referred to as the “mother culture” or the Olmec lived throughout Mexico for about 1,700 years and vanished in 300 B.C. The three civilizations that thrived after the Olmec before the Europeans arrived throughout Mexico and Latin America were the Maya, the Aztec, and the Inca. Life in Latin America prior to the European contact insinuated a paradox because they had an organized leadership and were spiritual, yet they caused mayhem through violence and war. Being as methodical as they were, having an organized leadership kept peace in the city states but didn’t keep peace throughout the other city-states. The rulers were power-hungry and wanted to conquer many city-states to create an empire which caused war. Also, these civilizations were very spiritual throughout their common day lives, but believed in some gods from the underworld that wanted blood through human sacrifice. This was a very violent way of worshiping their gods that they embraced it.

Organized leadership existed in each civilization before the Europeans arrived. The ruling king or queen came from same bloodline as the rulers before them. The Aztecs leadership was vital to the life of each and every person in the Aztec civilization. The rulers set everyday laws that affected people’s lives every day, these rules were followed because they came directly from the gods. For example, the king that lived during the time of the Spanish conquest, named Montezuma was seen as an actual god by many but at the end of his life, his people were disgusted with him and reportedly threw stones at him that ended up killing hi...

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...eace in the individual city states. But the kings and rulers were war-like; they raged war between the individual city-states competing for power. Also, they were a very spiritual people. They worshiped many gods and based their culture and life on the gods and their religion. Yet, they worshiped these gods in very violent ways through human sacrifice. Some civilizations killed younger children and some killed adults, ripping out their hearts and cutting off their heads. Life in Latin America before the Europeans arrived insinuated a paradox because they had an organized leadership and were spiritual, yet they caused mayhem through violence and war.

Works Cited

The Inca: The Great Inca Rebellion

The Maya: Engineering an Empire

The Aztec: Documentary: The Aztec Empire In Search of History

The Olmec: Secrets of the Ancient Olmecs (Full Documentary) on You tube
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