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The Aztec and Maya empires were neighbours in Central America, convenient to Spanish conquest objectives. As opposed to the Inca, who were in South America.




The Aztecs were a Mesoamerican culture that flourished in central Mexico in the post-classic period from 1300 to 1521. The Aztec people included different ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica from the 14th to the 16th centuries. Aztec culture was organized into city-states (altepetl), some of which joined to form alliances, political confederations, or empires. The Aztec Empire was a confederation of three city-states established in 1427: Tenochtitlan, city-state of the Mexica or Tenochca; Texcoco; and Tlacopan, previously part of the Tepanec empire, whose dominant power was Azcapotzalco. Although the term Aztecs is often narrowly restricted to the Mexica of Tenochtitlan, it is also broadly used to refer to Nahua polities or peoples of central Mexico in the prehispanic era, as well as the Spanish colonial era (1521–1821). The definitions of Aztec and Aztecs have long been the topic of scholarly discussion ever since German scientist Alexander von Humboldt established its common usage in the early 19th century.

Most ethnic groups of central Mexico in the post-classic period shared basic cultural traits of Mesoamerica, and so many of the traits that characterize Aztec culture cannot be said to be exclusive to the Aztecs. For the same reason, the notion of "Aztec civilization" is best understood as a particular horizon of a general Mesoamerican civilization. The culture of central Mexico includes maize cultivation, the social division between nobility (pipiltin) and commoners (macehualtin), a pantheon (featuring Tezcatlipoca, Tlaloc, and Quetzalcoatl), and the calendric system of a xiuhpohualli of 365 days intercalated with a tonalpohualli of 260 days. Particular to the Mexica of Tenochtitlan was the patron God Huitzilopochtli, twin pyramids, and the ceramic ware known as Aztec I to IV.

From the 13th century, the Valley of Mexico was the heart of dense population and the rise of city-states. The Mexica were late-comers to the Valley of Mexico, and founded the city-state of Tenochtitlan on unpromising islets in Lake Texcoco, later becoming the dominant power of the Aztec Triple Alliance or Aztec Empire. It was an empire that expanded its political hegemony far beyond the Valley of Mexico, conquering other city states throughout Mesoamerica in the late post-classic period. It originated in 1427 as an alliance between the city-states Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan; these allied to defeat the Tepanec state of Azcapotzalco, which had previously dominated the Basin of Mexico.


Soon Texcoco and Tlacopan were relegated to junior partnership in the alliance, with Tenochtitlan the dominant power. The empire extended its reach by a combination of trade and military conquest. It was never a true territorial empire controlling a territory by large military garrisons in conquered provinces, but rather dominated its client city-states primarily by installing friendly rulers in conquered territories, by constructing marriage alliances between the ruling dynasties, and by extending an imperial ideology to its client city-states. Client city-states paid taxes, not tribute to the Aztec emperor, the Huey Tlatoani, in an economic strategy limiting communication and trade between outlying polities, making them dependent on the imperial center for the acquisition of luxury goods. The political clout of the empire reached far south into Mesoamerica conquering polities as far south as Chiapas and Guatemala and spanning Mesoamerica from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans.









The empire reached its maximal extent in 1519, just prior to the arrival of a small group of Spanish conquistadors led by Hernán Cortés. Cortés allied with city-states opposed to the Mexica, particularly the Nahuatl-speaking Tlaxcalteca as well as other central Mexican polities, including Texcoco, its former ally in the Triple Alliance. After the fall of Tenochtitlan on 13 August 1521 and the capture of the emperor Cuauhtémoc, the Spanish founded Mexico City on the ruins of Tenochtitlan. From there, they proceeded with the process of conquest and incorporation of Mesoamerican peoples into the Spanish Empire. With the destruction of the superstructure of the Aztec Empire in 1521, the Spanish used the city-states on which the Aztec Empire had been built, to rule the indigenous populations via their local nobles. Those nobles pledged loyalty to the Spanish crown and converted, at least nominally, to Christianity, and, in return, were recognized as nobles by the Spanish crown. Nobles acted as intermediaries to convey taxes and mobilize labor for their new overlords, facilitating the establishment of Spanish colonial rule.

Aztec culture and history is primarily known through archaeological evidence found in excavations such as that of the renowned Templo Mayor in Mexico City; from indigenous writings; from eyewitness accounts by Spanish conquistadors such as Cortés and Bernal Díaz del Castillo; and especially from 16th- and 17th-century descriptions of Aztec culture and history written by Spanish clergymen and literate Aztecs in the Spanish or Nahuatl language, such as the famous illustrated, bilingual (Spanish and Nahuatl), twelve-volume Florentine Codex created by the Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún, in collaboration with indigenous Aztec informants. Important for knowledge of post-conquest Nahuas was the training of indigenous scribes to write alphabetic texts in Nahuatl, mainly for local purposes under Spanish colonial rule. At its height, Aztec culture had rich and complex philosophical, mythological, and religious traditions, as well as achieving remarkable architectural and artistic accomplishments.















Artists impression of the city of Tenochtitlán





Like the ancient Egyptians, the Aztecs were quite advanced metalurgically.









The Spanish laid siege to the Aztec city of Tenochtitlán, driven by gold fever and dreams of conquest.



Aztec gold was stolen by the Spanish conquistadors, to prop up their coffers in Europe, and pay for wars with the British. Spain was systematically exporting precious metals from the Maya and Inca.








Montezuma - Aztec King - It's a mystery how this gold survived the Spanish Conquistador's






Spanish Conquistadors were ruthless mercenaries, who murdered thousands of Aztec natives, for gold. The Aztecs were also bloodthirsty, with rituals involving live human sacrifices. Spain, like many other European countries at that time, were keen to establish colonies, from where to export riches to their European masters. Such a notion, while viable at that time was doomed to eventual independences, as slaves revolted against their masters.





Moctezuma II Xocoyotzin is known to world history as the Aztec ruler when the Spanish invaders and their indigenous allies began their conquest of the empire in a two-year-long campaign (1519–1521). His early rule did not hint at his future fame. He succeeded to the rulership after the death of Ahuitzotl. Moctezuma Xocoyotzin (lit. "He frowns like a lord, the youngest child"), was a son of Axayacatl, and a war leader. He began his rule in standard fashion, conducting a coronation campaign to demonstrate his skills as a leader. He attacked the fortified city of Nopallan in Oaxaca and subjected the adjacent region to the empire. An effective warrior, Moctezuma maintained the pace of conquest set by his predecessor and subjected large areas in Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla and even far south along the Pacific and Gulf coasts, conquering the province of Xoconochco in Chiapas. he also intensified the flower wars waged against Tlaxcala and Huexotzinco, and secured an alliance with Cholula. He also consolidated the class structure of Aztec society, by making it harder for commoners (Nahuatl languages: macehualtin) to accede to the privileged class of the pipiltin through merit in combat. He also instituted a strict sumptuary code limiting the types of luxury goods that could be consumed by commoners.

In 1517, Moctezuma received the first news of ships with strange warriors having landed on the Gulf Coast near Cempoallan and he dispatched messengers to greet them and find out what was happening, and he ordered his subjects in the area to keep him informed of any new arrivals. In 1519, he was informed of the arrival of the Spanish fleet of Hernán Cortés, who soon marched toward Tlaxcala where he formed an alliance with the traditional enemies of the Aztecs. On 8 November 1519, Moctezuma II received Cortés and his troops and Tlaxcalan allies on the causeway south of Tenochtitlan, and he invited the Spaniards to stay as his guests in Tenochtitlan. When Aztec troops destroyed a Spanish camp on the gulf coast, Cortés ordered Moctezuma to execute the commanders responsible for the attack, and Moctezuma complied. At this point, the power balance had shifted toward the Spaniards who now held Moctezuma as a prisoner in his own palace. As this shift in power became clear to Moctezuma's subjects, the Spaniards became increasingly unwelcome in the capital city, and, in June 1520, hostilities broke out, culminating in the massacre in the Great Temple, and a major uprising of the Mexica against the Spanish. During the fighting, Moctezuma was killed, either by the Spaniards who killed him as they fled the city or by the Mexica themselves who considered him a traitor.

Cuitláhuac, a kinsman and adviser to Moctezuma, succeeded him as tlatoani, mounting the defense of Tenochtitlan against the Spanish invaders and their indigenous allies. He ruled only 80 days, perhaps dying in a smallpox epidemic, although early sources do not give the cause. He was succeeded by Cuauhtémoc, the last independent Mexica tlatoani, who continued the fierce defense of Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs were weakened by disease, and the Spanish enlisted tens of thousands of Indian allies, especially Tlaxcalans, for the assault on Tenochtitlan. After the siege and complete destruction of the Aztec capital, Cuauhtémoc was captured on 13 August 1521, marking the beginning of Spanish hegemony in central Mexico. Spaniards held Cuauhtémoc captive until he was tortured and executed on the orders of Cortés, supposedly for treason, during an ill-fated expedition to Honduras in 1525. His death marked the end of a tumultuous era in Aztec political history.

After the fall of the Aztec Empire, entire Nahua communities were subject to forced labor under the encomienda system, the Aztec education system was abolished and replaced by a very limited church education, and Aztec religious practices were forcibly replaced with Catholicism. 








STORM BY NAME, STORMY BY NATURE - Only two people knew where Henry Morgan's golden hoard was stashed, and they are both in Davy Jones Locker. Blackbeard was tortured to death by a British officer, trying to extract the secret, Henry Morgan died of a heart attack in Jamaica. John Storm discovers the location, but refuses to tell, even in the International Court, where Hague prosecutors try every trick in the book to make him reveal all. The British and Spanish gambits backfire, when the Court find no claim for Britain or Spain, but exonerate John, and appoint him unofficial arbitrator, with the full backing of those with genuine heritage claims.




The best known golden treasures are Doubloons, Guineas and Sovereigns. Other forms of transportable money are diamonds, rubies and emeralds. In this fictional John Storm adventure, Henry Morgan is the pirate who liberated the gold that the Spanish had stolen from the Aztecs, Inca and possible Maya Empires. And Blackbeard is the pirate who knew part of the secret location, that he took with him to the grave.







The original Treasure Island was written by Robert Louis Stevenson, becoming an instant hit, popular with children and adults, the subject of many films and graphic novels.





When food shortages and the energy crisis really begins to bite, only gold, silver and gemstones will be worth anything, by way of savings and pensions. Banks who trade in real coin of the realm, are the only ones who will be trusted in the future. Coins could soon make a comeback. The good news is that countries do not need to mint their own. Anyone can produce a quarter ounce dollar, based on the value of gold itself, rather than what any nation says it is worth. We'd suggest that gold is index linked to food, timber and other essential commodities.















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