The Aztec's Rise to Power

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  • The rolling hills of the Valley of Mexico! 
  • Around the 1200s, the Aztec people made their way from Aztlan, their home area, and roamed to the Valley of Mexico. None of the other tribes there like them and thought they were just vulgar barbarians. So, the Aztec people had to be hired soldiers or mercenaries in order to live and receive anything. They couldn’t farm either. And as a result of this,  over the next 60 years, they just served may different city states. Eventually, while serving the city state Azcapotzalco, their priests had a vision.
  • The visions the priest had, was that of a beautiful capital that would be built at the spot where they found an eagle perched on a cactus eating a serpent. If they saw this, then they would take it as a sign of the gods and build there. Legend says that the vision did come true and they found this on an island near Azcapotzalco on a small island in Lake Texcoco.  But, although they did settle on the beloved land, there were a few troubles.
  • The troubles that Aztec people had to overcome were the fact that the promised land from the gods is in the middle of a swampy lake with nothing to build on. So, the Aztecs had their engineers build pilings in order to have a foundation and cemented volcanic rock to help. Then, they began to build and build and build their glorious city.
  • How do I build on this? Engineer!
  • After the Aztec’s built their city named Tenochitlan, they faced other problems such as their population boom. They didn’t have access to clean water or farming so what they did was they built chinampas. Chinampas are floating gardens made of soil in the lake. They got the soil from the bottom of the lake and molded it with mud into the chinampas. That way, they could farm and then they built many canals and ways in order to travel throughout. But, they still needed clean water so they fought off another tribe and took water straight from the mountains to Tenochitlan with aqueducts.
  • After the indigenous people rose to power they began to expand their empire more and begin to trade more and more along with build new towns. From their capital, they ruled over all of their land. They built causeways, large bridges to connect them to the mainland and help trade. They built many things and were one of the most advanced pre-columbian civilizations.
  • Some of the things they traded was a gooey, nutritious, algae called spirulina. Even today, Mexcio trades this with Japan. The Aztecs also traded salamanders around their lake, ducks, fish, and the larvae of insects. Through all of this, there capitol expanded and they became one of the greatest powers of that time. They then re-named themselves Mexica.
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