The Aztec and Incan civilizations have similarities in religion, politics and social structure. Just like all compare and contrast topics, there will definitely be many similar parts but also many different parts to their society. There are many things that start up a great civilization. From its beginning, to its leaders, to many more factors that contribute greatly. Overall they both made great impact on history to this day.
The Aztecs were nomads that were worshiping the Huitzilopochtli which is the Aztec sun and war god. There was a legend that says the people of Azetec were to head south in search of an eagle on a cactus with a snake in its mouth. If they found that, then they were to establish their city there. Where they found and established their civilization, it was in present day Mexico. As they began to start their city they copied other civilizations through their religion, cities, commerce and culture. Just like the South Indians in our previous essay. They adopted and integrated many things into their starting culture they originally had. Which makes them now a melting pot like the United Stares.
In 1325 they began to really settle. The Incas now, were a small tribe in the Andes in struggle for the rare, rich soil in order to establish farming. They settled in Cuzco at 1200. Their technique to began to become a powerful empire was by attacking apposing tribes. If we were to say who was more powerful, the Inca had the more the empire. This is because the Incas had a much larger empire at it height or peak point of development as a society, and a better sense of government. The strong part of the Aztecs was they had a better social structure and were more consistent and loyal to their religion.
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Their religion served as a key factor to their lifestyle. So important that the taking ones life in the sake of religion was accepted and a normal thing practiced. Although this was more common through the Aztecs, it was still practiced with the Inca people during rituals and ceremonies. Human sacrifice was performed to please the gods and increase the chance the crop produce in the year to come. Usually the prisoners of war, volunteers, and the youth would be sacrificed in their worshipping mass.
The volunteers who chose to die for their religion were set to one year of waiting. You would live a very lavish life up to their sacrificial murder. Originally this kind of ideas was passed on by the Maya and the Toltec empires. The Inca side more calm and not as intense as the Aztecs. It was rare that they would sacrifice a human, and usually be a goat or some other animal to be sacrificed. They would only sacrifice a human during a famine, war, or significant reason. In the end, the Aztec had the more powerful religion overall.
Socially, the Inca and the Aztec was much different. Aztecs based their social structure on a ladder of four classes: nobility, commoners, serf and slaves. The nobility and the commoners could own Land. Serfs were members of the lowest social class, like slaves. They were assigned and attached to the land owned by the nobles and required to perform labor with a certain amount of work for an amount of free time. A serf was very similar to the indentured slave.
Even worse, there was the slave who worked on the noble’s properties with no release. The fairer one was the Inca social structure which was based on equality. Everyone was equal and there was no upper or lower class – a stateless society. Thats great right? Everyone would have the same stipend or salary. Kinda like communism. In this social structure no one owned private property but everyone had the same amount of land to live on. Anything that you grew or harvested belonged to the government. Which made it hard to have ambitions to do more if your neighbor did nothing and still got the same result. Also if you had more of something than someone else, for example sheep, you would be required to give it away to people who had less sheep than you. So live was more less motivation and diverse compared to the fellow Azetects.
The Government and politics were both widespread in both empires. A hierarchy controlled the Aztec empire. There were the steps that separated it. Each step had more command and power than the one lower. The emperor was the top of the chain. He controlled the military and was backed by various religious viewpoints, such as the emperor was a god to be worshiped. The emperor and his subjects also had the job of also controlling the life of the commoners. The emperor owned all the land and regulated the amount of food rations each person got. So he was the boss over his people and did what he felt was best to him and his people. This kind of government was not as centralized as the Inca. An Incan ruler called Pachacuti created an authoritative central rule to calm his large empire. He shaped a very detailed structure consisting of tax collection, courts, military, and trade security. Also a common language to be used, called the Quechua.
Eventually they are all conquered and changed. Which hows that these empires were the roots and pioneers that led to bigger, better, and new empires such as the Americas. The empires taught us to farm on a rocky plain by using steps and various other great tools. Without them we wouldn’t have so much skills and knowledge we have today.
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