Itzcoatl's successor Montezuma (Moctezuma) I, who took power in 1440, was a great warrior who was remembered as the father of the Aztec empire. By the early 16th century, the Aztecs had come to rule over up to 500 small states, and some 5 to 6 million people, either by conquest or commerce.
Similarly, you may ask, when did the Aztec civilization begin and end?
When was the Aztec empire destroyed?
Most Nahuatl speakers also speak Spanish, except for some of the elderly. Classical Nahuatl was the language of the Aztec empire and was used as a lingua franca in much of Mesoamerica from the 7th century AD until the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.
The Huey Tlatoani was the ultimate power in the land. They felt that he was appointed by the gods and had the divine right to rule. He decided when to go to war and what tribute the lands he ruled would pay the Aztecs. When an emperor died, the new emperor was chosen by a group of high ranking nobles.
The Aztec Empire of 1519 was the most powerful Mesoamerican kingdom of all time. The multi-ethnic, multi-lingual realm stretched for more than 80,000 square miles through many parts of what is now central and southern Mexico.
The Inca Empire was short-lived. It lasted just shy of 100 years, from ca.1438 AD, when the Inca ruler Pachacuti and his army began conquering lands surrounding the Inca heartland of Cuzco, until the coming of the Spaniards in 1532.
The Aztec also referred to themselves as the Mehika or Meshika or Mexica, the origin of the name "Mexico". The Aztecs were famous for their agriculture, cultivating all available land, introducing irrigation, draining swamps, and creating artificial islands in the lakes.
But the Maya of Yucatan and Guatemala exhibited a cultural continuity spanning more than 2,000 years (1000 BC-AD 1542), and many aspects of their culture continue to the present. Mesoamerica had three major time periods: preclassic (2000 BC-AD 300), classic (300-900), and postclassic (900-1500).
The Aztec Empire flourished between c. 1345 and 1521 CE and, at its greatest extent, covered most of northern Mesoamerica.
Between 1517 and 1519, the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan had an earthquake. Lake Texcoco had flooded the capital city. The Aztecs believed the disasters warned of the fall of their empire. In 1519, the Spanish explorer, Hernando Cortes arrived on the east coast of Mexico.
THE AZTEC EMPIRE. The ancestors of the Aztecs settled on a marshy island in Lake Texcoco in either 1325 or 1345. According to legend the Aztecs settled at a place where they saw an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its mouth. They took this as a sign from their god that they should settle there.
the Aztecs were accomplished artists and architects. They made beautiful objects from gold feathers and other natural materials. They also designed and built an extraordinary capital city. The island city included avenues, canals, long causeways, aqueducts, and dikes.
The Mayan people did not disappear and continue to live in Mexico and Central America. The Aztecs were a people who came into the Valley of Mexico in the 12th century and quickly rose to become the dominant power in Mesoamerica. The capital of the Aztecs, Tenochtitlan, was built on Lake Texcoco on raised islands.
Fall of the Aztec Empire. For more on the conquest of Mexico by Spain, see also Spanish Conquest of Mexico, Siege of Tenochtitlan, and Hernán Cortés. The Aztecs were conquered by Spain in 1521 after a long siege of the capital, Tenochtitlan, where much of the population died from hunger and smallpox.
(pg. 340) These sentences refer to the ritual of human sacrificed practiced by the Aztec priests. The Aztec believed that they owed everything to the gods who created themselves as well as the world around them. The would perform sacrifices in order for a good crop yield or good weather among other things.
Born around 1485, Hernán Cortés was a Spanish conquistador and explorer who defeated the Aztec empire and claimed Mexico for Spain. He first set sail to the New World at the age of 19. Cortés later joined an expedition to Cuba. Cortés died in Spain in 1547.
Aztec empire history. Many years after the Mexica people first built their proud city, Tenochtitlan (later to become Mexico City), they formed an alliance with two other cities - Texcoco (Tetzcoco) and Tlacopan (these three cities are shown as yellow dots in the map above).