MASSIVE BLOODSHED TO BUILD AN EMPIRE.
Thesis: There is more to the Aztecs than the savage society for which they are known.
Most people know the Aztecs as the brutal savages, who killed thousands, but few know the reason why and the great empire they built. The Aztecs are actually all of the people who spoke the Nahuatl language in Mexico. The tribe of the Mexica, known as the Tenochca, is the Aztecs that we all know. They were fearless warriors and pragmatic builders, who created an empire during the 15th century that was surpassed in size, in the Americas, only by that of the Incas. The Aztecs sacrificed many of their own and enemies, to appease their gods. They went on to be one of the greatest empires in history, building the great city of Tenochtitlan, where 300,000 lived.
The Aztecs migrated from the north into the valley of Mexico, around the twelfth century as told by Gruzinski, in The Aztecs Rise and Fall of an Empire. They adopted the cultural patterns of the Teotihuacan, and based their urban culture around them in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. There are three legends of their origin: they came from the island of Aztlan, they came from the caves of Chicomoztoc, and they came from the mountains. The Aztecs war god, Huitzilopochtli, commanded them on a journey south to find the sacred city, and they arrived in the valley of Mexico in 1248. After a 130 years of searching, the Mexican (Aztecs) saw the holy sign of an eagle sitting on top of a cactus. It .
was here that the great city of Tenochtitlan was built. T he Tenochcas (Aztecs) grew in power and military skill and were sought as allies by many neighboring tribes in the wars going on in Mexico. Under the ruler Itzacoatl they built temples, roads, links from the city to the mainland, a government, and a religious hierarchy. Under Itzacoatl and his successor, Moctezuma I, the Tenochcas conquered throughout the valley of Mexico and in southern parts.