Native Americans And Aztecs

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Native Americans And Aztecs

Two of the biggest and greatest civilization in the Americas were
the Aztecs and Incas. These two civilization were both said to be
conquered by the Spanish, but it wasn’t just the Spanish who
conquered them. These two civilizations both fell from a
combination of a weak government, lack of technology, new
disease introduced by the invaders, and not being prepared for the
invaders.
For many centuries the Aztec civilization revolved around a
ideological, social, and political system in which expansion was the
cornerstone. Expansion was the cornerstone of their whole
civilization, because their religion requested that a large number of
human sacrifices where to be made to the gods. To get the
sacrifices the Aztec went to war with other tribes in Mexico to get
these human sacrifices (Conrad & Demmest 47-49) . With each
conquest more sacrifices and more land was added to the Aztec
kingdom. The Aztec were a strong civilization who were familiar
with organized large scale war, had specialized war chiefs, and a
well organized system of territorial levy in which large armies could
be amassed in a short time (Age of Reconnaissance 124-125). They
may have been well organized for war, but they were not prepared
for internal changes in there civilization. When expansion was no
longer an option there system crumbled. Without expansion they
could no longer give human sacrifices in the same amount in which
they use too. Upon the arrival of the Spanish the Aztec
government was falling apart, and Moctezuma II programs of
internal military consolidation and administrative and social
stabilization had failed (Conrad & Demmest). When the Aztec’s
first met the Spanish they were amazed by them. The Spanish used
the Aztec’s own legends to take advantage of them and gain the
upper hand. Other disadvantages that the Aztecs had was the
need to take prisoner to sacrifice, they were not untied with other
tribes (Spanish were able to unite with other tribes to help fight the
Aztecs), had primitive weapons, and couldn’t stay on the battle
field for long, because they ran out of supplies quickly (Age of
Reconnaissance 167). The Spaniards didn’t destroy the Aztec
civilization all by their self another factor which helped the Spanish
were the disease that they brought over to the Americas from
Europe and Africa. The introduction of diseases like syphilis,
measles, smallpox, malaria, mumps and yellow fever are just some
sickness that plagued the
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Aztecs. Also the introduction of different species of animals and
plants caused a ecological imbalance (Plagues and Peoples
176-199). All these are some reasons to why the Aztec civilization
was destroyed.
With the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico rumors started to reach
the ears of Spaniards about a great civilization to the south. This
civilization was the Inca. The Inca civilization was inland so it made
it harder on the Spanish to reach them. Unlike the Aztecs the Inca
empire was held together by a tight social discipline based on
commercial land holding and a system of forced labor. Discipline
was enjoined by an elaborate cult of ruler-worship and enforced by
a military organization which maintained fortresses and stores at
strategic points (Age of Reconnaissance 170-171). The Incas
government was more organized then the Aztecs. One of their
strengths soon became a great weakness. The system that was set
up to chose a emperor. The system tried to keep the purity of the
royal families bloodline by incestuous marriage. The emperor
would have to marry one of his full sisters and have a child who
would then become the emperor upon his fathers death. It was also
set up to prevent civil war in the kingdom (Inca Decline 134).
Huascar became emperor just as the Inca empire’s problems
became critical. The government need reforms, and Huascar
believed that the royal mummies were the center of all the
problems. Huascar decided that the royal mummies had to be
removed, because they stood in the way of his reforms and wealth.
This decision became a political disaster. His assault against the
royal mummies caused the high nobility of the empire to turn
against him. In 1529 a civil war broke out between the crowned
emperor Huascar and his half brother Atauhualpa. This civil war
lasted for about 3 years ending in 1532 with Atauhualpa emerging
as the victor. Unfortunately his reign as emperor was cut short by
Francisco Pizarro and his men who fought and kill Atauhualpa and
his men when they were heading back to Cuzco (Inca Decline
134-139).
The Spanish invaders of the America’s came for wealth, settlement,
and to spread their faith. The

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