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Mayan Aztec Inca Compare Contrast

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Mayan, Aztec, Inca

Social, Political, Economic Achievements


Hilcia Argueta, July 18, 2012

From Mexico to South America the Mayans, the Aztecs, and the Incas formed their civilizations with flourishing achievements. Each one of their societies learned to adapt to their environment in order to survive. They also politically knew how to set up their governments and unite it. Also, they knew how to economically keep them running. However, these three civilizations in some aspects where similar but also diverse.

The Mayans formed the civilization on the Yucatan peninsula and spread their culture for more than about 2,000 years. During some of these years the Mayans developed a complex understanding of astronomy. They also made great progress in agriculture. The productivity of the corn farmer led to a surplus of food. This helped sustain Mayan civilization. The Mayans never united as a single empire, instead they lived in individual states and were linked threw trade, political alliances and tribute obligations. At first each state was ruled by chiefdoms, and then they were ruled by powerful centralized leaders. Each state also had a supreme military leader called a noncom which served only 3 years. They had a complex system of trade and economy threw out their history. The Mayans also had commercial ties with other Mesoamerican civilizations all the way to South America.

The Aztecs developed in central Mexico where the followed a strict rule of hierarchy. Like the Mayans and Incas, the Aztecs also made advancements in agriculture. They created a chinampa farming system also known as floating gardens. Since they had limited space on the island of Tenochtitlan they crated what was a bed of reeds placed on a lake. They were then filled which soil and cultivated. This extensive agriculture system was under state control which determined prices. Within their home territory, the Aztec empire was a military aristocracy. They were ruled by an emperor. It had excellent organizers that developed specific offices to handle specific affairs such as trade and markets. Like the Mayans, Aztec economy was based on trade and agriculture which was provided by citizens in the outlining lands.

In South America, the Incas formed their civilization threw out the Andes Mountain range. Like the Aztecs, the Incas also had limited farming space so the developed the terrace farming technique. They built wooden frames along the sides of the mountains and filled them with soil and then cultivated them. The Inca government was also one of the superior aristocracies of its time, like the Aztecs. Only a few of titled leaders ruled the rest of society. The government was organized



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