• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16

The ancient civilizations of Central and South America

Extracts from this document...


History Report: Central and South America was once home to some of the ancient world's most magnificent and glorious civilizations. The Incas, Aztecs, and Mayas were just three of these civilizations. These civilizations ruled the area for many years, and flourished greatly in their own different ways. They were the cause for much advancement in arts, architecture, politics, religion, and society in the world. These civilizations created pyramids, temples, and monuments in honor of their gods and rulers. Their people proved to be intellectually advanced, and they were able to successfully create calendars, alphabets, and predict solar eclipses. They all developed differently from each other but shared one thing in common, the fact that they were all highly successful. It took a great many years to finally bring an end to these civilizations. Many attacks and assaults from the Spanish conquistadors, European diseases, and selfish kings to finally bring an end to their influence on the world. The Aztecs were the first major civilization to rule the area of Central and South America. They are also sometimes known as the Mexicas, but we refer to them the Aztecs. They might not have been a huge empire when they began, and never really had the land area that many empires of their time could boast, but nevertheless had a great influence on Europe and Spain in particular. The Aztec Empire also ranges to the Aztec Triple Alliance. The Aztec Triple Alliance was a group of three tribes that were brought together for military purposes. The Mexicas, Acolhuas, and Tepanecas made up this particular alliance. Eventually they all combined to form the Aztec Empire � The Aztecs first came to the Americas in 1168 AD. They began as a tribe of nomads and hunter-gatherers. They were not used to settling and living in one area for many years, and so it was after a few years that they began to form permanent settlements. ...read more.


Whatever was left was given to the government as a tax. Many people who did not have the necessary crops to pay the tax were ordered into labor. They would, along with other poor people, create roads, temples, forts, or royal residences for the emperor of the empire. The farmers of the Inca Empire were also expected to fight in the army or do battle whenever they were called upon by the Inca emperor. 4 The empire was divided into four quarters, or suyus. Each suyu (quarter) was ruled by a governor who was from the emperor's family. It was his job to make sure law and order was maintained in that region and they would then report back everything to the emperor. These peasants were also busy creating a vast, complicated system of roads. These roads were created for helping messengers, so that they could deliver messages at a quicker speed from one part of the empire to another. Since there was no other route, land had to be used, and it had to be improved. Building large roads was the only way of doing that. A lot of labor was needed to build the roads, and many of the people working there were like slaves, as they were forced into the work. 5 The Inca's political affairs were kept very secret and had a complex nature to them as well. Since the Incas had not managed to invent writing and did not have an alphabet they used a quipu. The quipu was a string which had several beads placed on it. The different colors, shapes, and positions of the beads signified different amounts of money. They could also stand for other values, depending on the situation. This was a very advanced and well-thought of system and it generally worked very well. But the only problem was that only selective people could read and understand what the quipu meant, and so not everyone had the privilege of using this method of keeping records. ...read more.


The city was well protected and was never threatened either. 7 In 1511, the Maya empire was invaded by the Spanish conquistadors. This opened Spain's eyes to another great civilization and an outpost for more wealth and riches. After three or four successful invasions in 1697 they successfully achieved their aim of dominating and conquering the entire Maya region. The majority of the Maya population was killed in battle, or by European diseases. The few people that were left of this magnificent civilization were forced to work as slaves in Spanish farms or in their gold mines. 7 The Maya Empire was a remarkable civilization which went through many stages of growth and development. They matured into one of the greatest civilizations of this area, but were subdued by the Spanish in the very end. A fantastic few centuries of Maya rule was destroyed by the Spanish who only took a 100 or so years to wipe out their entire population. The Maya Empire may be long gone, but their legacy still lives. 7 The Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas ruled the Americas for hundreds of years. They were influenced from the past and they influenced the future of the area. Their origins were similar in a special way. These civilizations all started of as small tribes or groups of peoples that migrated from one area into Central and South America. Over the years they destroyed all sources of resistance and stamped their authority on the region. Their cultures and civilizations are remembered by many people even until now. These civilizations will always remain in my mind as the greatest ever. I learned a lot from doing this research report and I hope you learn just as much from reading it. 1 Ancient Kingdoms of the Sun pgs 59-63 2 Encarta Encyclopedia Article (Aztecs) 3 Collier's Encyclopedia Volume 3 pgs. 412-416 (Article: Aztecs) 4 Collier's Encyclopedia Volume 12 pgs. 550-553(Article: Incas) 5 Encarta Encyclopedia (Article: Inca Empire) 6 Encarta Encyclopedia (Article: Machu Pichu) 7 Encarta Encyclopedia (Article: Maya Civilization) 8 Collier's Encyclopedia Volume 15 pgs. 577-584 (Article: Mayas) 9 Website: Chichen Itza, Mexico ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Compare and contrast the Inca and Aztec civilization in terms of religion, politics, social ...

    Although this was more prevalent through the Aztecs, it was still practiced with the Inca. Human sacrifice was performed to please the gods and promise for a lavish crop in the year to come. Prisoners of war, volunteers and the youth would be sacrificed in mass.

  2. Analyse, 'The Diary Of A Nobody' by George and Weedon Grossmith and 'The Secret ...

    It's my mother's fault for not knowing about vitamins." The authoritive voice of Pooter's character immediately place him in a higher social class than Adrian Mole as Pooter lived in a society where grammar was seen as a reflection of social class and importance. This is reflected in the way the author of Pooter's diary delivers a thread of

  1. Mateship has long been a major aspect of the national image as projected by ...

    The exclusive type of mateship is directed against a third group, whereas the inclusive type is directed against a situation, loneliness, danger and death or towards an ideal. In Gallipoli, the inclusive type of mateship is portrayed, but what is more important is that the representation is conventional rather than critical.

  2. Enough is never enough.

    We have more communal rights and freedom then many citizens in other countries. We have the guarantee for the freedom of expression, assembly, religion, and the press. We have equal rights just like all the other citizens regarding race or religion.

  1. Once Were Warriors vs No Sugar

    families and incarcerated for months and in that time, endured racist treatment while in prison. Comparable to this, Once Were Warriors depicts a racist society in a similar manner and through similar circumstances. The Heke family reside in a slum on the outskirts of the city.

  2. Discuss the relationship between literacy, orality and sacred texts with particular reference to South ...

    Little attention was paid to local interpretations of the narratives and the peoples' own distinctions between different types of oral prose. Even those who have approached the study of oral traditions as literature, the perspective has been rather narrow. Lord (1960, cited in Smith 1977), for example, constructed an 'oral

  1. Did funerals in this period serve any purpose other than 'to display and reinforce ...

    the reformation religion and faith took a more central role in the funeral than after the reformation, whilst placing greater emphasis upon social status. Llyewern uses pre-reformation iconography to show this, before the reformation he found the images of Christ, Mary and the Saints to be central, whilst after the reformation, gradually status symbols reinforcing hierarchy became more common.

  2. Ocean Ridge Golf and Country Club - target marketing

    The target market for Ocean Ridge members is determined by the following factors: The demographics of a possible member are: Target age being thirty five years old all the way up to 60 years old, social class being classes A to B1, with a status of married preferably with children.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work