The Mayas And The Aztecs History Essay

Harmonizing to Crow, no Inca, Aztec or Maya wrote what we can analytically decode today as a complete sentence. There is no inscribed chronological recount of these civilisations. What we know about them today is derived from Hagiographas of Spaniards who conquered the new universe every bit good as from archeological findings. These civilisations are said to hold been born out of the mostly migratory and hunter gatherer folk of Indians. There colony was possibly facilitated by the find of maize which enabled this people to settle down as they could now bring forth a significant measure of nutrient that was sufficient for their survival alternatively of invariably holding to scrounge. This extract will try to compare the three civilisations with the purpose of determine which of the three was the most civilised from a twenty-first century position point

The Mayas

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The Mayas were the first of these earlier folks to do the most of the new agricultural being. The Mayans foremost settled on the highly fertile fields of Mexico where they prospered mightily before migration to the Guatemalan lowlands where they established the first great Indian civilization. This sufficiency enabled them stableness to develop a civilization ( Crow 6 ) .

Like other early civilisations, the Mayan ‘s faith was fused with art giving their civilization a beauty and polish unlike that of other autochthonal American people. However, they concentrated chiefly on the religious, refined and strictly aesthetic at the disbursal of stuff techniques geared towards back uping life. While the Incas built great rock metropoliss, huge irrigation systems every bit good as a societal society blended into one, the Mayans did non. The Mayans homes were in the shrub environing the great spiritual constructions. The houses were flimsy and made out of clay and reeds ( Crow 6 ) . Outstanding ceremonials were the lone clip they gathered in these brilliant centres as one big population to idolize and reaffirm their individual fate ( Crow 7 ) .

The agricultural being, a more lasting contract for the Indian, finally pushed them to be more clip witting so as to find the cultivation rhythms and avoid possible extinction from hungriness. This resulted in the Mayan calendar. This calendar is based on the correlativity of the shorter rhythms of the Moon and the Sun ‘s and Venus ‘s longer rhythm. A twelvemonth is made up of three hundred and 65 yearss. The twelvemonth has 18 months with each holding 20 yearss every bit good as an extra 5 luckless yearss. The day of the months were known by most Mayans in their metropoliss than in the civilisations of imperial Rome, Greece and Babylonia. The Mayans calendar was the most accurate one in the universe until Pope Gregory initiated the alterations to the current calendar we use today ( Crow 8 ) .

The calendar is non the supreme look of Maya Culture ; this rubric is accorded to the Mayan Heliography. The system of sculpted hieroglyphics by the Mayans was extremely refined. The regular motives were made of complex symbols that were executed with evident loving attention. These are comparable to those in Egypt, Babylonia and China and have no equal in autochthonal America ( Crow 8 ) .

None of the autochthonal American civilisations learned the usage of the true arch and as such the suites in the great temples constructed by the Mayans were little and begrimed with monolithic walls and low roofs to guarantee safety. The spiritual architecture stands brilliant with luxuriant sculpture, stonework, brilliant frescoes and their perfect sense of symmetricalness. The Mayans besides produced finely shaped objects made out of jade, magnificent plume work and attractively curved wood. They besides had astonishing accomplishment in their fabrics and polychromatic clayware. They had an outstanding cognition of mathematics, uranology, and written linguistic communication which is really close to literary look. This is why the Mayans are popularly referred to as the Greeks of the new universe ( Crow 17 ) .

The Mayans had an involvement in athleticss which possibly came to be as a signifier of ritualistic look. There centres has a larger ball tribunal where they played a signifier of hoops with the ball being made out of gum elastic, an innovation non yet made outside of the Americas so. This represents the first usage of gum elastic in human history. The game was both ritual and recreational ( Crow 20 ) .

The Incas

The Inca civilisation represented a big and really closely incorporate civilization group on the American continent. They were led by a captain who was known as “ the Inca ” , intending “ Lord ” or “ great swayer ” . They occupied the cragged part of South America from the Middle of Chile to northern Ecuador and from the Pacific seashore to the Brazilian jungles foothills. The Incas developed the most extended imperium in the Americas, an impressive effort sing the terrain of their land: mammoth snow-capped scopes, deep gorges, unfriendly waste dirt that worked against economic development and political integrity. The full imperium still remained a closely knit province that was ruled by a powerful emperor. The impression of statehood and rank rose from tribal and folk civilization, with the authorities subdivided down till the local degree. The local swayers were nevertheless kept in cheque as the emperor required his topic ‘s entire obeisance. The civilisation was still booming when the Spaniards conquered the Americas ( Crow 23 ) .

Religion and province to the Incas were one. The closely knit tribal construction was such that every adult male was assured a occupation and every occupation was assured a worker. This included division of land and communal agribusiness with the philosophy of implemented cooperation pervading the full cloth of life every bit good as believing amongst the Inca people. This societal organisation was unrivaled by either the Aztec or the Mayans ( Crow 27 ) .

The community or kin formed the footing of the Inca society. Work, authorities and land ownership was all communal. Finally a system of land division emerged with land being in three parts ( a piece for the Sun, a piece for the Inca adult male and a piece for the community ) . The Inca used dead fish caputs and guano dungs as fertiliser on their land. The Incas represent the greatest all unit of ammunition applied scientists in the new universe. This civilisation is known for their monolithic rock constructions and huge fortress metropoliss that dwarf others in the new universe. In add-on they besides had a greatest system of agribusiness ( aqueducts and terraced farms ) , all right trade and humanistic disciplines ( Crow 39 ) .

The Aztecs

The Aztecs civilisation was made up of war-like, blood-letting warrior who merged with the Toltecs. The Aztecs were represented the strongest power in the Americas and forced their will on other folks that surrounded them. They nevertheless failed to represent a state in cultural, economical or political sense over the district they ruled over. Although the Aztecs allowed some kind of elections, the campaigners belonged to a fixed nobility. All work forces were warriors apart for a few priests with those who died in conflict come ining heaven straight ( Crow 47 ) .

The civilization and manner of life was violent and oppressive with decease being the most frequent punishment for offense. A heavy testimonial met rose they conquered and panic and inhuman treatment reigned to control rebellion. Aztec revenue enhancement aggregators would go around amongst the topic tribes to implement prompt payment. Those captured in conflict were either sacrificed on the communion table or sold into bondage. The acrimonious and deep hate for the Aztecs contributed to the success of the Spaniards. The bloody-minded War and Sun Gods were the supreme divinity of Aztec tradition ( Crow 50 ) .

The Aztecs built pyramids much like those constructed by the Maya. Although they were much larger, the coating was non every bit good as that of the Mayans. They had patios, staircases and a considerable sum of sculpting with abbreviated tops as opposed to pointed 1s. This is because the temple was constructed at the top. Two of their pyramids are much larger than those constructed by the Egyptians. The pyramid of the Sun is two 100 pess tall without including the temple. The full Teotihuacan vale is dedicated to the imposing edifices with the full vale covered in plaster floor. This was a ceremonial centre as opposed to residential metropolis ( Crow 46 ) .

The Aztecs calendar, although reasonably accurate, and their apprehension of uranology, which doubtless eclipses their cognition of other scientific disciplines, was inherited from the Mayas. The Aztec hieroglyphics, although many old ages into the hereafter compared to that of the Mayans, was of a more crude quality. It represented picture Hagiographas of the Aztec ‘s testimonials, Torahs, ritual, legend and chronology. There humanistic disciplines and trades on the other manus was of superior quality ( Crow 51-52 ) .

The footing of their agribusiness, which was the least extended of the three, was based on communal ownership of farming land merely like the Incas and the Mayas. Although currency did non be in this civilisation, Sn that was stamped with a “ T ” , pieces of Cu, and quills of gold dust and bags of cacao beans was used as money. The Aztecs had a market every five yearss where they traded in a immense assortment of points that were of high quality. The Aztecs were besides known man-eaters with banquet repasts having slaves ‘ meat ( Crow 53 ) .

The Aztec civilization prohibited freedom of idea, personal lucks and single autonomy, with the population populating under a codification. They had a strong sense of faith and community where humanistic disciplines and trade played an of import intent ( Crow 60 ) .


Although the Mayans represented a race of people of superior mind like no other in the new universe, this was merely limited to a category of Lords and priests while the common adult male was every bit much a barbarian as the other. There exists a clear gulf between the Mayan people and the promotions they made in their civilisation. As such there was non societal being or the techniques for back uping life The Aztec on the other manus represent a civilisation that was excessively dead set on domination of others which made them savageness in nature. From a twenty-first century point of position, the Inca represent the most civilised of the three, with unquestionable structural edifice art every bit good as a societal organisation that is unrivaled by the others every bit good as one that span a huge country of geographical challenges.

Section II


Principles of life and decease operate at the same time as a look of adult male and nature. While one is an look of enlargement and growing the other leads to decomposition and accordingly a new life. Harmonizing to Aristotle, no society of all time rose which did non hold within itself the seeds for destructing itself. The Spanish and Lusitanian colonial imperium which endured for more than three century had their rules of integrity set within their constructions of civilization, the Catholic Church every bit good as through the pattern of crossbreeding. The rule of division on the other manus was represented by political, economic, racial and societal cleavages which resulted in the separation of the dependences from Portugal and Spain every bit good as disunity within the dependences. The settlements in South America were inspired by the Gallic revolution of 1789 and the American revolution of 1776 to seek independency in the first half of the nineteenth century. This excerpt looks at some of the similarities and differences between the ways Brazil attained its independency and how the Spanish-America settlements attained theirs.

Independence in Brazil and Spanish American settlements

Brazil started its way to political and economic emancipation between 1808 and 1820. it acted as the centre for the Luso-Brazilian Empire. Alternatively of taking the revolution route like the Spanish-America settlements, it strived to go an imperial centre. It was non until this position was achieved did it go independency in 1822. Portugal in fact declared independency signifier Brazil in 1820 with Brazil declaring its independency two old ages subsequently. Brazil comes across as missing the anti-monarchist and anti-European regulations sentiments that Spanish America had. As such, it is feared that had no the Lusitanian Cortes forced the male monarch to return to Europe, anti-colonial revolution would hold been hard to raise as had been the instance of Spanish America. This could be attributed to the strong institutional presence of the centralised monarchal system in Brazil since 1808. The Portuguese choose to acknowledge Brazil as opposed to simply moving negatively as the Spanish settlements did. The Lusitanian established dealingss in Brazil, regulated the commercial intercourse and afforded channels for political correspondence and as such avoided a revolution as witnessed in the Spanish settlements ( Crow 517 ) .

The menace of societal order in Brazil since the 1790s had a strong association with republicanism. This tended to bring forth greater coalescency within the elite, belongings proprietors, who feared autonomy would besides intend equality. This would non sit good with the societal construction in topographic point at the clip. The Brazilian bargainers, nationalists and intellectuals, unlike the Creole in Spanish America, although adopting “ liberalism ” had their ardor limited to the desire for protection of belongings, entree to markets and warrants that debts would be cleared. For this to be achieved, monarchy, centralism and continuity were paramount. In add-on the Brazilian nationalists were realists. However, the political emancipation of Brazil merely like that of Spanish America was a long and cumulative procedure with much of the continuity being retained on the manner to independency. 1808, 1816 and 1822 all are of import minutes in the state ‘s general averment of separation and its definition of nationhood ( Crow 527 ) .

In Spanish America, the rules of division were outstanding during the battle for independency in early 1800s. This was contrary to the much colonial attempt from the Bourbon aimed at increasing efficiency and improves the societal construction in America. History has proven that political and societal reforms can non maintain gait with economic advancement and bulk feeling. This is the chief ground Spain lost the American imperium and the account for every revolution, depression and war in world ‘s history. There were legion revolutions in the history of colonial Spanish America, the Gonzalo Rebel in Peru, 1544 ; Cortes ‘ boy ‘s revolution is Mexico. The motivation for these revolutions was to want to posses the booty of the settlements conquest though they brought up the common people ‘s name so as to derive popularity for the cause. They were legion other rebellions in Spanish America which did non last long but were all characteristic of Iberian character individuality which had been suppressed in Spain but broke out in American since the agencies of control were of a more spread nature. All this revolution although non representative of mass feelings all pointed to the hereafter and the nature the independency battle would take ( Crow 399 ) .

The ejection of the Jesuit missionaries from the Americas besides contributed to a important extent to the rebellion of the South American people. This had been carried out by the colonisers so as to get the huge wealth of the priests every bit good as extinguish a political and economical menace to the authorities. The remotion of their production ability and stableness with the locals they represented resulted in public bitterness and call. The Jesuit represented the strongest pillar of societal control and order. Once the Jesuits were gone, the radical force route was now paved. In add-on, their ejection besides left bulk of the colonial citizens in resistance to the totalitarian policy of the authorities ( Crow 403 ) .

The first important political motion to countervail the monarchal control over Spanish-America took topographic point in Paraguay, the most backward part in Latin America: this was Jesuit based. The first large-scale Peruvian rebellion was a clear cut protest against political and economic subjugation and resulted in a fully fledged civil war ( Crow 404 ) . This feelings emanated from the subjugation and development of the Indians who were forced to till the dirt, mine and work in the mills so that they would carry through the public duty of working in the populace sector and contribute to personal testimonial revenue enhancement, debts accumulated and other disbursals of a similar sort. The development of the Indians was over whelming and sinful. This is what do the rebellion of the Comuneros New Granada and Tupac Amaru and the Indians ( Crow 414 ) .

The chief cause for the battle for independency in the Spanish settlements resulted from a long-drawn-out hostility that existed between the Creoles and the Spaniards. This gave the Creole category the ideas and be aftering for freedom. This category conceived independency, assumed leading duties, laid down the plan for revolution, led the forces of revolution on the conflict Fieldss and established the regionalist governments which followed. However, the support form the huge Numberss of Indians, ladino, mulatttoes and Negroes is acknowledged for their success ( 415 ) . The American Revolution is besides attributed for the new political thought across the Earth, Spanish speech production American states were no exclusion. The cardinal Spanish governments tried their best to smother broad thought. The Spanish authorities issued a decree to censor the ownership to censor American Liberty medallions. It besides persecuted those accused of dissident thoughts, thoughts of freedom and democracy.

Between 1808 and 1825, legion factors acted the helped the cause of autonomy in America: revolutions in Europe, independency in the United States, curates in England surpluss of the Spanish tyranny, Cadiz ‘s constitutional philosophies, the liberators ‘ romantic religion, Spain ‘s degeneracy, the oligarchies ‘ political aspirations, hatred of the vicereine and interrogators by all categories and castes and the thoughts of the Encyclopedists and Rousseau. The revolution motion was an matter of petit larceny and mean involvements ( Crow 427 ) .

The revolutions broke out in 1810 in all the settlements apart from Peru. The multitudes in most countries were either apathetic or supported the Spanish. The independency as such was a rebellion of the categories as opposed to the multitudes. The independency wars lasted 15 old ages in some of the parts and went on at the same time with regional or civil battles which worked to weaken the unit of the initial explosion of enthusiasm in 1810. The state of affairs during the battle for independency in most of Spanish America was the same. The lower categories where pro-Spanish while the Creole category became divided along political and leading ideological lines. This presents possibly the most blazing difference between the way to independence in Brazil and in the Spanish settlements ( Crow 432 ) .


Although there are many differences in the manner Brazil and the Spanish speech production American states, the chief similarity is the hostility the common people had for the colonisers. Any attempt to re-colonize was normally met with renew attempts to revolt. However, it still remains that the manner Brazil acquired its independency is peculiarly different from the other states.


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