Empires in the Americas before 1492

American empire before 1500

The Olmec civilization started in 1200 BC along the Gulf of Mexico.

Map of The Olmec Civilization
Map of The Olmec Civilization

The Olmec developed a written language using hieroglyphics and apparently its unreadable today. They invented intensive agriculture, the number system, and the calendar.

Olmec Civlization mask
Olmec Civlization mask
Map of Mayan Civilization
Map of Mayan Civilization
The Flag of Maya
The Flag of Maya

For religious purposes the Olmecs built huge temples and carved huge heads from volcanic rocks other religious rituals includes a ceremonial ball game called pok-a-pok at the end of the game whoever loses were sacrificed to the gods. The civilization just vanished randomly about AD 200.

The Mayan Civilization started in the Yucatan Peninsula. This civilization ended between AD 300 and 700. The Mayans developed in religious centers. Mayan cities traded and fought wars with each other and government was in the hands of an absolute ruler. the people who did not work were the priest, nobles, and warrior while the vast majority of people were peasants farmers. Mayan religion was preoccupied with time. They try to perform ceremonies but they fail like it leads to destructions. The Mayans developed really accurate calendars and the number system based on 20. Like the Olmecs, Mayans writing cannot be read today. Like the Olmecs, Mayans collapsed about AD 850, and the people left the religious centers.

The Toltec Civilization embellishment in central Mexico between 7th century AD and the beginning of the 13th. Also they conquered the great city of Teotihuacán. At the biggest times of the great city covered 8 miles, and a population about 200,000. The Toltec religion was the worship of Quetzalcóat, the Feathered Serpent god, who brought blessing to Toltec. The Toltec invaders and had the lower level of Toltec. After the invasion about 1000AD they had built an advanced civilization. Around 1200, the Toltec was ended.

The Aztec civilization started in the migration of a nomadic tribe from the north to central Mexico. Beginning about 132, the Aztecs slowly extended their authority over the local tribes, and they received tribute from them. They gave the Aztecs gold, turquois, corn, animals, and slaves. They also built their capital city of Tenochtitlan on an island in a lake on the site of present-day Mexico City. The mainland had fresh water and sewer that carried waste materials away. Few years later Teotihuacán grew into a great city. Farming was done on artificial island called Chinampas. The Aztecs borrowed architectural techniques, the calendar, and a writing system, not to mention their social system, their religion, and many of their arts and crafts. From the people they conquered. Aztec government was held by the emperor who had the most power. The governments was elected by the priestly and warrior elite. Aztecs religion was polytheistic. The priests determined the feast days of each god by sophisticated calendar. Also priest predicted the future by reading signs. Blood sacrifices to the sun were necessary, and in times of difficulties, the sacrifices were human hearts. In 1487, 20,000 captives were sacrificed on the step of the Aztec pyramids. The civilization ended in the late 15th century because people rebelled and Spanish conquers arrived in 1519 under Herman Cortes. The Aztec empire was the last great Indian empires in Mexico and Central America.

The Inca civilization was originated in the valleys of Andes Mountains about the same times as Aztecs. Early people had found the technique of terrace-farming. They also learn irrigation technique. City state grew in these valleys after about 10.000BC before 15th century there was none dominant power. Then Incas started to create an empire. At its height, it ranged some 2,000 miles along the Pacific Coast of South America (present-day Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina) and had a population of perhaps 6 million. The capital city was Cuzco. There was also great city like Machu Picchu. Like the Aztecs, Incas emperor had most power and he controlled most of the good organized part of the empire. The Incas forced the people who they conquered to follow their language, religion, and dress. The communication with other parts of the empire was available because of roads and bridges. People’s lives were controlled by the government. Also Incas lacked at written language instead they kept record by using the quipu, a knotted string used to prod the memory. Also their spoken language of Quechua survives and is widely spoken. The Inca civilization suffered like the Aztecs because of the arrival of the Spanish under Francisco Pizzarro in 1531.

Works Cited
Dag, Oern. “File:Banner of the Restored Inca Empire.svg.” Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons, 1 Apr. 2009. Web. 03 Nov. 2014. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Banner_of_the_Restored_Inca_Empire.svg

“Flag of the Aztec Empire.svg.” Age of Empires Series Wiki. Wikia, 26 July 2012. Web. 03 Nov. 2014. http://ageofempires.wikia.com/wiki/File:Flag_of_the_Aztec_Empire.svg
Brown, Robert.

“Asian, African & American Civilizations Before 1500.” Asian, African & American Civilizations Before 1500. The University of North Carolina, 18 Apr. 2008. Web. 03 Nov. 2014. http://www2.uncp.edu/home/rwb/lecture_nonwest_world.htm

“Fall of the Incas.” Fall of the Incas. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2014. http://www.watertown.k12.ma.us/cunniff/americanhistorycentral/04encountersintheamericas/Fall_of_the_In.html

“Wikipedia:Featured Picture Candidates/Map of the Olmec Heartland.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Featured_picture_candidates/Map_of_the_Olmec_Heartland

“Asian, African & American Civilizations Before 1500 Brown, Robert, 18 June 2008. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. http://www2.uncp.edu/home/rwb/lecture_nonwest_world.htm

“Guatemala – Indigenous Peoples Flags.” Guatemala – Indigenous Peoples Flags. A. Pérez and R. Quinto, 3 May 2008. Web. 04 Nov. 2014. http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/gt-maya.html

“The Maya: Ancient and Modern.” The Maya: Ancient and Modern. Chabot Space & Science Center., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2014. http://www.calendarinthesky.org/Articles/MayaScience/MayaScienceArticleView/tabid/139/ArticleId/6/The-Maya-Ancient-and-Modern.aspx

“Maps.” Aztec Empire Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2014 https://aztecprojectempire.wordpress.com/maps/

“Toltecs.” Toltecs. Brinton, Daniel G, 2002. Web. 04 Nov. 2014. http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/toltecs.htm

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