Ch 11

Report
World History:
The Earth and its Peoples
Chapter 11
Peoples and Civilizations of the
Americas,
200 - 1500 C.E.
Objectives
• How did differing environments influence the
development of Mesoamerican, Andean, and northern
people?
• What technologies were developed to meet the
challenges of these environments?
• How were the civilizations of Mesoamerica and the
Andean region similar? How did they differ?
• How did religious belief and practice influence political
life in the ancient Americas?
Classic-Era Culture and Society, 200-900
Classic Period - (200-900 CE)
– Olmec traditions
– platform and pyramid structures
•
political and cultural innovations
– elite ability to control laborers
– rich and power of leaders
Teotihuacan - (450-600 CE)
– largest city in Americas
• 125,000 to 200,000
– pyramids to Sun and Moon gods
• human sacrifice
– well-being of society
– Quetzalcoatl
• feathered serpent god
Classic-Era Culture and Society, 200-900
Teotihuacan Agriculture
– marginal lands into production
– chinampas
• “floating gardens”
• year-round farming
Commoner Housing
– apartment-like stone buildings
– artisans
Commerce
– base of wealth for elite class
Politics
– alliance of elite families
– demise to invaders or interior
elite / class conflict
The Maya
Maya
– Guatemala, Belize, Honduras
– tropical climate and fragile soils
• managed forests; terracing
• draining swamps; gardens
– single culture, no political unity
• city-states
– centered of religious temples
• awe the masses
• pyramids and plazas
• alignment with Sun and Venus
• rulers
– priestly and political
– bloodletting as communication
The Maya
Military
– captives not territory
• elite warriors sacrificed
Women
– ruling class
• important roles in ceremonies
• bloodletting
– common
• gardens; family, religion,
healing
Technology
– calendric system
• ritual, solar, cycle, long count
– math
• zero and place value
Postclassic Period, 900-1500
Population expansion
– intensified agriculture
– increased warfare
Toltecs - 968-1156 CE
– Tula
– important innovations
• military and political
• conquest state
– warrior, sacrifice images
– downfall
• division of responsibility
• struggle between religious cults
• new Mesoamerican order
– urbanized Toltec statecraft
The Aztecs
Aztecs - 1325
– Mexica
– clan-based from N. Mexico
• serfs and mercenaries
• adopt Toltec urbanization
– Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco
• Lake Texcoco
• shift to monarch system
– rulers selected by council
– war provided legitimacy
– social reorganization (inequality)
• warrior elite
– slaves and serfs
• clothes, diets, marriage
Aztecs
Population
– 150,000 (500,000 by 1500 CE)
• Agriculture
– labor of clans and defeated
– land reclamation
• Lake Texcoco dike
– chinampas
• maize, fruits, vegetables
– tribute system
• 1/4 of crops
• Commerce
– specialized merchant class
– no money or credit (barter)
– Tenochtitlan markets
Aztecs
Religion
– polytheistic; dual nature gods
• male and female
• war and agriculture (Twin
Temples)
– Huitzilopochtli
• cult of the hummingbird
• Sun’s warmth
– human hearts
– Tlatoc
• rain god
• human sacrifice
– war captives
– criminals, slaves, tribute
– political subtext
Sacrificial Tools
Northern Peoples
^ Agriculture = ^ Population
– maize, beans, squash
– irrigation systems
Southwestern Cultures
– Mexican influence
• Anasazi - 450-1200 CE
– “ancient ones”
– four-corner region
– underground buildings (kivas)
• artisan activities
Decline
– population pressures
– limited arable land in drought
Mound Builders
Adena - 500 BCE
– Ohio River Valley
– monumental earthworks
• elite burial mounds
Hopewell - 100-400 CE
– hunter-gatherer / limited
agriculture
– chiefdom
• hereditary
• religious and secular
Cahokia
– Mississippi Valley
– East St. Louis
– 30,000 population
Andean Civilizations, 200-1500
Andean Society
– effective organization of labor
• khipus
– census and tribute counts
• terrace farming
– ayllu (clan)
• communally held land
• reciprocal relationship
– mit’a (territorial state)
• state projects
• vertical integration
– small ecological areas
– access to essential zones
Moche
Moche - 200 CE
– city-state
• influence via military
• theocratic society
– massive irrigation
• coca for religious rituals
– llamas and alpacas
• artisanship
– pottery: textiles
– gold and silver objects: metal
tools
• decline
– natural disasters
– rise of new military powers (Wari)
Tiwanaku and Wari
Tiwanaku
– Andean highland (13,000’)
– Lake Titicaca reclamations
– ceremonial / political center
• large regional population
Wari
– possible twin capital or
dependency
– lacks central planning
Decline
increased military conflict
The Inca
Inca
– ambitious military expansion
• resources from ecological
zones
• llamas and alpacas
– collective efforts
• 1/7 male population
– held hostage
• local ruler heirs held in Cuzco
– Cuzco
• Incan capital
• shape of a Puma
• Weakening
– civil war in 1525

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