The Aztecs had city-states and were people of a stratified society. Each of one of these city-states is ruled by a speaker that is chosen by the pipiltin(the nobility). This speaker would have to sacrifice his own blood regularly to show that he is a true king and has good intentions for his empire. The nobles grew stronger with every conquest. The Aztecs also had a governing council but they weren't all that successful because they had lacked real power.
The Aztec system was very successful, because it was aimed at political dominance and not head on control of the people. The calpulli had authority over the government but during the 1st hundred years the emperor took over. The Aztecs were very smart in creating "flower wars"(to leave a few territories unconquered so that periodic wars could be staged so that both sides could obtain captives for sacrifice) ,because it ensured sacrifices. The Incas believed that their ruler was a living god there to represent the sun god on earth.
Everything the Incas did ,religiously and politically, had a religious meaning in it. The Incas had a queen(senior wife of king) and she was believed to be linked to the moon. The Inca believed that integration was very important. By using their language(Quechan) they integrated by teaching it too their conquered peoples. They were smart to adopt the split inheritance from the Mayans. The Inca expansion was closely tied together by ancestor worship.
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They had developed a state bureaucracy of which almost all of the nobility had played a part in. The Aztecs and Incas are alike because the kings of each of the two peoples were elected by siblings of the royal family. The governing council also had a say so in. Both rulers and kings had a "right hand man" the Aztecs had a prime minister where as the Incas had a high priest. Both the prime minister and high priest(which both had tremendous power) were usually close relatives of the king. Aztecs' and Incas' highest deity was the sun god.
In both empires men and women were mostly equal but since the military virtue was emphasized it gave men more power so it wasn't completely balanced. Women were mostly in the household but they still contributed to the empire. The military in both had great power because they were the backbone of the empires; they supplied the peoples with war captives for human sacrifice. Both of the empires used sacrifice as a political terror. Where the Aztecs demanded mostly tribute as well as some labor the Inca people demanded mostly labor. Both took tribute from their conquered peoples.
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