The official name of the Aztec Empire is "The Aztec Triple Alliance" or "excan tlahtoloyan" in Nahuatl. The Aztecs also call their country "Aztlan" which means "land of the Aztecs" in Nahuatl. Another name for the Aztecs is Mexica, the Aztec Empire is sometimes referred to as "Mexico".
The Aztecs already existed as a people from 1200 until Tenoch became their leader in 1345 and migrated them into the Valley of Mexico. The state religion of the Aztec civilization awaited the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy: that the wandering tribes would find the destined site for a great city whose location would be signaled by an Eagle eating a snake while perched atop a cactus. The Aztecs saw this vision on what was then a small swampy island in Lake Texcoco. It was there were Tenoch founded the Great City of Tenochtitlan. Tenoch founded the Aztec Triple Alliance with the Kings of Texcoco and Tlatelolco. Tenoch remained emperor of the Aztec Empire until his death in 1375.
Under Itzcoatl the Aztec Empire began its expansion north and south into Mexico. Montezuma I further enlarged the empire and under his reign the empire covered all of central Mexico. His daughter Atotoztli launched a campaign to conquer North Mexico which was successful. She also was fair and kind to the subjugated people granting them equal rights. Her son Ahuitzotl conquered all of Mexico except the Mayan Kingdom of Yucatan. Ahuitzotl's son Montezuma II brought great prosperity to the Aztec Empire and under his rule the city of Tenochtitlan was among the largest in the world with a population of more than 700,000 people. He also expanded Templo Mayor. He also improved the infrastructure and public buildings and was fair and kind to the people of subjugated tribes. In 1519, Hernan Cortés of Spain landed in Yucatan and Mexico and began the invasion of the Maya and Aztec Empires. The Aztec and Maya Empires bonded together to expel the Spanish from their lands. With their overwhelming numbers they quickly defeated the Spanish army and forced Queen Isabella I of Spain to sign a peace treaty. The Spanish never tried to invade the Aztec and Maya Empires again. However, everything has its price and the war had taken its toll, disease and plague quickly spread through the whole empire and the population began to rapidly decrease.
The Aztecs learned the secret gunpowder from the captured weapons and began to modernize in a stunning time. Under Montezuma's daughter Tenochzitza the Aztec Empire abolished the barbaric practice of human sacrifice and gave women equal rights. The Aztec Empire reached its greatest extent during the reign of Quatzalzuma I (reigned 1615-1671) when it successfully eradicated the plague through imported medicine from India and China. He also invaded and conquered most of the Maya Kingdom and expanded beyond Mexico into present day California, Arizona and New Mexico. His daughter Teotlalco gave the Maya Kingdom her independence back and abolished slavery and began the rapid modernization of the country. She started oversea trade with Europe and Asia and imported many technological inventions, soon the Aztec Empire was on par with Europe and Asia in terms of both technology and power. In 1778, the religion of The Aztec Empire was officially changed to Christianity following Emperor Tocloca I's conversion. The Aztec Empire successfully repelled all European attempts to colonize or vassalize the empire. The Aztec Empire later sold its lands north of Mexico to the United States of America to solve its financial crisis in 1850. The Aztec Empire joined the Great Nations Alliance in The Great War in 1925 and together with the Maya Kingdom they managed to temporarily conquer the Southern United States and Northern Parts of the Inca Empire and all of Venezuela. They were defeated by the combined forces of Brazil, the United States of America and Inca Empire at the Siege of Tenochtitlan. The Aztec Empire managed to recover and is now a major economy and power.
The Aztec Empire's economy is ranked 19th and has a GDP growth of 10%, which is one of the highest in the world. Its current GDP is 2,200,000,000,000 (in US dollars). If the trend continues, it will become the 13th largest economy by 2050. The Aztec Empire is a free-market and capitalistic economy. Tourism in a growing factor for the economy. The majority of the people works in the service sector with 55%, 20% works in the industrial sector, 13% works in the primary sector. The Aztec Empire's main exports are automobiles, electronics, televisions, computers, mobile phones, LCD displays oil and oil products, silver, fruits, vegetables, coffee and cotton. The Aztec Empire's main imports are metalworking machines, steel mill products, agricultural machinery, metals, repair parts for motor vehicles, aircraft, and aircraft parts and oil production equipment. The Empire's main trading partners are the USA and China.
The Aztec Empire is a populous nation on Earth with more then 150 million inhabitants and has a current population growth of 3%. The main ethnic group are Aztec people. The main language spoken is Nahuatl. The life expectancy at birth is 75 years (overall). The main religion is Roman Catholicism with a Protestant minority.
The Aztec Empire is situated in Middle America. It borders (in clockwise from north) the United States of America and the Mayan Kingdom. North Mexico has a temperate climate while the south has a tropical climate.
Aztec architecture is related to that of older Mesoamerican architecture and sometimes thought of as one of them, usually Maya. Their houses and religious structures were unique, however. Aztec cities often competed to construct the greatest temples in the Aztec empire. While doing so, Instead of demolishing an old temple and building a new one at the site, they simply built over the old structure. Often, the temples were immense and were very proportioned. Some temples have been found to have at least four of five layers. Houses were uniform throughout most of the empire, only varying in size and ornamentation. Houses were built with adobe and were not separated, thus resulting in one large room. The Aztecs view craftsmanship and extraordinary work as something very valuable. The Aztecs build their pyramids similar to mountains. They do this because they believed the mountains protected the rain from coming in and hitting their buildings. The great city Tenochtitlan is a great example of Aztec Architecture. It is split into four sides, each side having an architectural value. Tenochtitlan was riddled (full) with pyramids and architectural values. The city had a grid surrounding the four sides. Each side having a platform with stairs. The Great Temple (Templo Mayor) is the largest temple with a shrine at the top. The temple is 100-80m and is one of the biggest building in the Aztec city Tenochtitlan and the second largest Aztec pyramid temple.
Chocolate plays an important part in the history of Mexican cuisine. The word "chocolate" originated from Mexico's Aztec cuisine, derived from the Nahuatl word xocolatl. Chocolate was first drunk rather than eaten. It is also used for religious rituals.
Song and poetry are highly regarded in the empire; there are presentations and poetry contests at most of the Aztec festivals. There are also dramatic presentations that included players, musicians and acrobats.
The Aztec Empire was formally a feudal society, it was abolished in 1800. There were four major social classes. The upper class was the richest and most privileged class, it consisted of the Imperial family, nobility, priests and military leaders. The middle class was a rich and privileged class, it consisted of artisans, poets, artists, engineers and warriors. The lower class was the poorest and least privileged class, it consisted of the farmers and fishermen. The lowest class were the slaves, they had no rights and were treated as objects. Each class had its rights and its duties.
- Slavery and human sacrifice were widely practised in the empire. A total of five million people have been sacrificed in the whole history of the empire. Slavery and human sacrifice were abolished in 1600 AD.