In the Aztec government, there was an emperor, known as the Huey Tlatcani, who was worshipped as a god. For the Aztecs, there was a particularly famous group called the Triple Alliance. It was an alliance formed between three powerful city-states: Tenochtitlán, Texcoco, and Tlacopan. However, the alliance didn't completely control every bit of land. There were local governments in different areas, and these areas payed tribute to the Triple Alliance. In this way, the Aztecs were able to grow very powerful before their downfall.
Aztec architecture was unique, bold, and powerful. Images of mighty stone temples come into mind when we think of the Aztecs, and for good reason. A lot of their architecture was driven by religion and astrology, which were very important to the people. Since the soil on the ground was sometimes susceptible to sinking, the Aztecs focused on building strong foundations, and then stone from the area to build their constructions. These stones were often symbolically carved for decoration, which made the architecture very unique.
Warfare was used to acquire territory and resources, stop rebellions, and collect sacrificial victims. All males were expected to participate in battle. Aztec mythology shows how they definitely glorified war and thought of it as a regular occurrence. The military commander-in-chief was the king, just like in America's government. Military status played a large part in clothing and decorations for the Aztec people. Higher ranking officers had the right to wear certain headdresses, cloaks, or jewelry. Boys were trained as warriors from a young age, and they were taught that their purpose was to die gloriously in battle.
A male's basic garment was called a maxtlatl, which would be worn under a cloak or a cape. Women usually wore a blouse called huīpīlli with a long skirt known as cuēitl. Age was also a factor in what an individual would wear. Very young children, for example, most likely wouldn't have worn clothing at all. Sandals in particular were a fashionable sign of status. Mostly only noble males wore them. Gold, silver, precious stones, and other materials were used in jewelry as a sign of social status.
Maize, AKA corn, was the most important staple food for the Aztecs. It came in different colors and varieties, as well as different ways to eat. Corn tortillas, tamales, and maize gruel were all part of the Aztec cuisine. Besides corn, beans, grains, fish, wild game, seafood, and much more. They mostly drank water and maize gruel regularly. This shows that the Aztecs obviously had an advanced and plentiful development in the food area, and were very resourceful.
The Downfall of the Aztecs
- Aztec empire had conquered a lot of land and people, these conquered people resented the Aztecs.
- Hernán Cortés was a Spanish noble who sailed to America against the orders of his superior.
- As Cortés led his 500 man army into Mexico, he got into conflict but also made many allies who also wanted to conquer the Aztecs.
- Cortés and his men entered unopposed and took Montezuma II hostage to govern the empire through him.
- In 1520, a force of Spaniards had been sent to remove Cortés from command. Cortés led an army out and defeated them, however, back in Tenochtitlán, the people had revolted, and Cortés had no choice but to retreat with heavy casualties. Montezuma was killed in the fighting.
- The next year, Cortés returned with his Tlaxcaltec allies to besiege the city, where he would become ruler.