Professor Brian Larkin
15 October 2014
The validity of the statement, “The Aztec and Incan Empires grew so large and so rapidly primarily because of religion,” can be strongly supported. It is seen why with knowledge of the Aztec and Incan’s collective statistics on their size and collective histories of the importance of religious practices in their cultures. Religion was a fundamental part of their lives (Malpass, 101). It deserves the most credit for the quick growth of the empires because it was the sole thing related to the well-beings of the populations and the expansion of their societies. The two empires grew large fast because of their similar religion’s influence on day-to-day life.
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Having agriculture being such a significant part in their lives they had many nature related gods. Mutually their most important god was their sun god. The structure of the universe was ruled by faith; therefore the empires would not have grown if the people of those empires did not believe they had to do certain things to keep the gods, and quintessentially themselves, alive. People would not have worked so hard in their assigned social seats if it were not for having to repay the gods and keeping nature in balance. The hard working classed are who expanded the realms which possessed elaborate irrigation systems, elaborate farming methods, canals, a successful trading market, roads, required education systems, magnificent engineering, and beautiful temples. With limited mobility in Incan civilization there was a small minority of nobles, while the majority were farmers that worked all day. This social structure form used by the Incan government to keep control over the people and claimed and captured land demanding hard work from the people who were not nobles so that they had no energy to rebel. Aztecs had more diversity in their class system. More artisans, craftsmen, and merchants meant more trade, which greatly helped with their expansion. A person’s and the civilization’s success depended on the nature of the universe, decisions made by ruling the religious laws, and by tying in sacred days of …show more content…
The main goal of warfare was to get tribute from the people they conquered. The conquered were then forced to give up their land for either of the empires, which led to more expansion. One difference between the two empires is that Aztecs believed strongly in the power of human sacrifice and bloodletting. They saw that the only way to keep their gods and the world alive was by doing so. When Aztec warriors expanded their empire the conquered people would obey in fear of being sacrificed. Religion helped the empire grow because sacrifice made the surrounding people scared. Conquered lands had to pay tribute, but were better off when it came to trading and infrastructure after joining the ever-growing Aztec Empire. Both the civilizations gave to the gods, yet Incans did so more on the terms of animal sacrifice. Only in a case of disaster did the Incans practice sacrifice on humans. Religion made it seem alright to practice violence and warfare for self-interested