Should Historians Emphasize Agriculture or Human Sacrifice

Table of Content

It is often said, that the Aztec nation is one of the largest and most advanced nations to have ever existed on earth! How did the Aztecs manage to make it to the top nations? The Aztecs actually founded their capital city of Tenochtitlan on an island in the middle of lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico. They ruled a vast empire that eventually spread through most of central Mexico and far south by Yucatan Peninsula. The Aztecs were basically relative latecomers to the valley of Mexico and they became a great power less than a century before the arrival of Cortez. Did you know, that the Aztecs focused mainly on human sacrifice and agriculture? Yes, the Aztecs made sacrifices and used sacrificial victims, or people who are captured and killed for their hearts to offer to the gods. The Aztecs also focused on agriculture, for example, Chinampas, or Small floating islands the Aztecs constructed from mud and plants to grow crops and many other plants in order to have enough food to survive. Firstly, let’s take a look at agriculture, which will be our main focus but we will also be focusing on human sacrifice.

The Aztec empire arose in the valley of Mexico, a fertile area nearly 8,000 feet above sea level. Their capital city of Tenochtitlan developed into one of the largest cities in the world. The Aztec empire was a massive empire which always provided fresh and clean water, streets. The Aztecs took much care of their empire to keep it from getting polluted, which gave them an advantage to being one of the most advanced nations to have ever existed. As stated on the document, ‘ The Aztecs Rise to Power’, The Aztecs depended most of the time on agriculture. How do I know this? The Aztecs reclaimed land from the lake by sinking timbers into the water to serve as walls and filling in the area between the timbers. By doing this, the Aztecs were able to create small islands called Chinampas or “floating gardens”. Although this agricultural strategy may sound complex, this technique allowed the Aztecs to conquer more land, which gave them the advantage to grow more crops to have more food and vegetables to nourish on and survive through deadly hunger. Okay, so we already know that the Aztecs created Chinampas, or “floating gardens” as way of agriculture. We also know that they needed this agricultural technique in order to eat and have plentiful food for survival. The Aztecs also made human sacrifices which was a way to please gods, but what importance does it really have? If the Aztecs made a sacrificial sacrifice, okay, but what impact does it really have in their Aztec life? On the other hand, agricultural techniques can provide the Aztecs with plentiful food, which can impact their lives massively because many will not hunger to death, instead many will survive.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

Although Tenochtitlan spread over five square miles, people had an easy time getting around, by using four avenues which met at the foot of the great temple. This also gave the Aztecs an advantage to being one of the most advanced nations. The Aztecs created causeways which were linked to the island and the mainland. One of them stretched at a long length which measured five miles, but the average length that these causeways that were measured were about 25 to 30 feet wide. All these causeways provided wooden bridges that could be raised to let boats through or to protect the city during an enemy attack which gave an advantage to Aztec agricultural way of life. Now, we learned that Tenochtitlan provided causeways, or raised bridges for boats, and that it was an easy way to get around the empire. This gave another advantage to Aztec agricultural society. This was important information to know because, without these causeways, the Aztecs would have a difficult time to get around the Aztec empire, which may effect the way that the Aztecs lived. On the other hand, once the Aztecs made sacrifices, they would still have an easy way to get around, but it doesn’t really effect the lives of the Aztecs. The Aztecs would pay tribute to the gods or give goods, but this only means that they are worshipping the gods, but it does not necessarily effect the lives of the Aztecs as much as agriculture.

The city of Tenochtitlan, boasted other technological marvels, like the aqueduct that carried fresh water for irrigation. One pipe would transfer water while the other was being cleaned. Twin pipes would run from the Chapultepec springs, three miles away. According to document E, dikes were 10 miles along the east side of the city to hold back flood waters. Some people would come to do business, while other thousands of people visited each year to simply gaze in wonder of the Aztec world. This gave a massive impact on Aztec society because they would create dikes or walls to prevent flooding, in order to prevent their city from flooding and turning into a catastrophic disaster which they will have to pay for at the end. This once again, gave another good advantage to the Aztec way of life. Meanwhile, the Aztecs would battle their enemies and capture their victims instead of killing them. They would take these victims to the priest and offer them as sacrificial victims. The priests would cut their hearts out and feed the gods with reverence. This gave no impact to the way of human agricultural life, this must mean the the agricultural society was more effective in the lives of the Aztecs, which gave them the advantage to being one of the most advanced nation.

Now that we know more about agricultural society, we know that the Aztecs mainly focused on agricultural techniques for survival, cleanliness, and even providing of easier way to get around throughout the empire. We also know that human sacrifice was not all that effective on Aztec way of life. Aztec agricultural society was mainly important to the lives of the Aztecs because it provided them much resource but the Aztec sacrificial way of life was not all that effective due to lack of resource and least impact on way of living. Sacrificial practices are also important to the Aztec’s way of living, but it was not that impactful, than the impact that was caused by the agricultural way of living. Now we know a bit more about the Aztecs and that sacrifices were important with the way of live in the agricultural society but did not make much of an impact as the other did.

Cite this page

Should Historians Emphasize Agriculture or Human Sacrifice. (2022, Feb 15). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront