Mayan, Aztec, and
Incan Geography Jake B. 1/2 core
The locations landforms and climates of South and
Central America all had similarities and impacted the Mayan, Incan, and
Aztec trade and tax. The Aztecs were based from the middle of the
Mexico valley. Incans were stretched along the west coast of South
America bordered by the Andes Mountains on the eastern side. The last
group, the Mayans was spread through present-day Belize, most of
Guatemala, and El Salvador. There was taxing and trading going on in
all of the empires keeping the large empires strong.
The Aztec empire
Aztecs were located in the middle of the Mexico
Valley in the middle of Lake Texco. The valley was very marshy and
scattered with islands. The islands were unwanted and solid ground was
needed so the Aztecs began sinking large trees and then covering them
with mud and boulders creating a solid surface. Streams and mountains
surrounded the city. The mountains surrounding the capital city created
great natural barrier. The empire was spread along the Gulf of Mexico
and the Pacific Ocean. The empires land would reach as far south as the
boarder of Guatemala. At the height of the empire, it was around 5
million people, making it a very large and strong empire at the time.
“The Aztec Empire of 519 was the most powerful Mesoamerican kingdom of
all time” (http://www.houstonculture.org/mexico/aztecs.html)
The next empire I am going to start
talking about is
the Incas. The Incan empire was centered in Cuzco, Peru. The empire was
stretched along the west coast of Southern America. It stretched along
almost the whole range of the Andes Mountains. The Andes were one of
the tallest mountain ranges in the whole world. So it serves as a great
natural barrier on the eastern side warding off other empires. It
passed through present-day Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, and Bolivia.The
territory was 2,500 miles long. It reached from Columbia to Chile and
from the Atacama Desert to the Amazonian rainforest. It was called the
land of four quarters because the climate and geography was so
different, from the high mountains to the rainforests and deserts.
The Mayan empire
The last empire is the Mayans. The
Mayan was usually
divided into 3 zones, the southern Mayan highlands, the central
lowlands, and the northern lowlands. The Mayan culture spread through
present-day Mexico, Belize, most of Guatemala, and parts of El Salvador
and Honduras. The furthest region it reached was the Petén
Jungle in Guatemala. “In the south, pine forests covered the mountain
highlands. In the northern and central regions rainforests, grasslands,
and swamps covered those areas. These areas are known as the
lowlands”(Frey 260). The topography varied in the regions of the Mayan
empire. The south and the lowlands were covered by thick dense
Mayan resources were very scarce. It was hard to
find surface water and good soil. The different regions had different
techniques at farming. In the south they would slash and burn. Then in
the northern mountains they would terrace farm the hills.
and Tribute in all of the empires
One big way of strengthening and
keeping the empire
together was trading and tax or tribute. The Aztec empire was made of
many city-states under the Aztec rule. They kept it strong by creating
taxes or tribute from all of the city-states. The states would pay in
various valuable objects. All of the money and objects would flow into
Tenochtitlan, the capital city. With all the resources going into the
city Tenochtitlan became a very powerful and wealthy city.
In the Incan empire there were roads linked
throughout the empire. “…A 14,000 mile-long road system criss-crossing
high Andean mountain passes and linking the rulers with the ruled”
have messengers travel by feet for very far distances. They would stop
every 30 miles for breaks. Trade and messaging would flow through the
The Inca traded many different things because the different zones would
provide different materials. The hills provided potatoes, cocoa, animal
skin and much more. The lower valleys produced sweet potatoes, maize,
squash, peanuts and various other objects. But the Incas favorite thing
to trade was gold.
For Mayan trade they would have to do long distance
trading because of the little resources. One example of a city, Tikal,
had a large population so they would have to trade from up to 100 km
away. When the trade increased it made it a stronger and wealthier
city. Some objects needed in the city were some pottery, stone tools,
salt and then other food including potatoes, corn, beans, and squash.
All the empires needed trade and tax to keep them strong and
Now that you have learned about the locations,
landforms, and climates of South and Central America you can see how it
impacted the three large empires, And there trade and tax. To keep a
strong empire successful, everything has to work out and trade and tax
must increase as the empire grows. As you can see all of the empires
were very strong and large.
Frey, Wendy. History Alive the Medieval World. Palo Alto, CA: Teachers
Curriculum Institute. 2005, Print.
John P. Schmal. History of Mexico –The Aztec Empire. Huston Institute
for Culture. 2004. Web.
Liesl Clark. The Lost Inca Empire. WBCH Educational Foundation.
November 1, 2000. Web.
Hi, my name is Jake
Bagnall and I live in Santa Cruz, CA. And go to
Mission Hill Middle School. I live with one of my two sisters; the
other is in college at LMU down in Los Angeles. I also live with my Mom
and Dad. I can always rely on them to take me places and support me at
my sports events. I play many sports but my favorites are baseball and
basketball. I play baseball for the Central Coast Whitecaps, a travel
baseball team from all around the area. I play pitcher and outfield. In
my spare time I am always hanging out with friends and going either
body boarding, skateboarding or just hanging around. Since I live by
the ocean I am always either checking the waves, on the cliffs or
biking on West cliff, and in the summer I’m usually at the beach.
click here is the
link back to the room 3 homepage.