Edit The Aztecs were a Native American civilization that occupied central Mexico for roughly one hundred years in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Aztecs ruled a mighty empire and possessed a rich culture, producing some of the most impressive pre-Columbian architecture in North America.
The Aztecs are also known as Mexica or Tenochca.
It is possible that their migration southward was part of a general movement of peoples that followed, or perhaps helped trigger, the collapse of the Toltec civilization. The basis of Aztec success in creating a great state and ultimately an empire was their remarkable system of agriculturewhich featured intensive cultivation of all available land, as well as elaborate systems of irrigation and reclamation of swampland.
The high productivity gained by those methods made for a rich and populous state. The Aztec state was a despotism in which the military arm played a dominant role.
Valour in war was, in fact, the surest path to advancement in Aztec society, which was caste- and class-divided but nonetheless vertically fluid. The priestly and bureaucratic classes were involved in the administration of the empire, while at the bottom of society were classes of serfs, indentured servants, and outright slaves.
TlatelolcoAztec ruins of the former city-state of Tlatelolco foreground and the Church of Santiago de Tlatelolco backgroundMexico City. At base, it shared many of the cosmological beliefs of earlier peoples, notably the Mayasuch as that the present earth was the last in a series of creations and that it occupied a position between systems of 13 heavens and 9 underworlds.
Closely entwined with Aztec religion was the calendar, on which the elaborate round of rituals and ceremonies that occupied the priests was based. The Aztec calendar was the one common to much of Mesoamerica, and it comprised a solar year of days and a sacred year of days; the two yearly cycles running in parallel produced a larger cycle of 52 years.
The Aztec empire was still expanding, and its society still evolving, when its progress was halted in by the appearance of Spanish explorers.
The writings preserve a record of the Aztec culture and Nahuatl language. Ayer, Learn More in these related Britannica articles:The Aztec Empire was an example of an empire that ruled by indirect means. Like most European empires, it was ethnically very diverse, but unlike most European empires, it was more a system of tributes than a single unitary form of government.
The discovery and conquest of the Aztec empire, while beneficial to European society in both the New and Old World, leaves Aztec society decapitated and virtually unrecognizable.
The fall of the Aztec empire to Hernán Cortés and his army was the necessary first step in . Scholarly study of Aztec civilization is most often based on scientific and multidisciplinary methodologies, combining archeological knowledge with ethnohistorical and ethnographic information. Central Mexico in the classic and post-classic.
Aztec: Aztec, Nahuatl-speaking people who in the 15th and early 16th centuries ruled a large empire in what is now central and southern Mexico making it the most densely populated settlement ever achieved by a Mesoamerican civilization.
The Aztec state was a despotism in which the military arm played a dominant role. Valour in war was, in. In , conquistador Hernan Cortes landed on Mexico's Gulf coast and began an audacious conquest of the mighty Aztec Empire. By August of , the glorious city of Tenochtitlan was in ruins.
The Aztec lands were renamed "New Spain" and the colonization process began. Assess the effectiveness of the Aztec Civilization before the Spanish Conquest The Aztecs were seen as one of the strongest powers during their existence, representing an extremely advanced and successful civilization.