Differences And Similarities Between The Inca And The Aztecs

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When the Spanish first arrived in the New World they encountered two powerful empires: The Aztec and the Inca. However, the Inca and the Aztecs used different methods to control their empires, especially in the areas of economics and state religions. These methods, although different in structure, did contain some similarities. This demonstrates that empires can be equally powerful, but use different methods of organizing economic and religious systems. The Aztec economic system can be split into two sections: the domestic economy and the political economy. The political economy was based upon city-states (altepetl), which were taxed through labor tribute (coatequitl). Each city-state was required to provide a certain amount of workers during …show more content…
Unlike the Aztecs, this empire micromanaged the economy, not letting any trade occur without their knowledge. However, they did use a labor tribute system, known as the Mit’a system. The leader of each ayllu would choose people to pay the labor tax. Those chosen would build roads, bridges, storage areas, and women would make textiles out of alpaca and llama. This demonstrates that the Incas put a great amount of effort into the infrastructure of their empire, which is similar to the Aztecs; however the Incas focused on these issues more than the Aztecs. It is plausible that this stems from the Incas having a much larger area of land to control, leading to a focus on the upkeep roads. This is comparable to the Ancient Romans, who also had an advanced road system. However, for the production of wealth goods, the Incas acquired workers outside of the tribute system by creating the mitima. These were settlements where the empire would move specialists, especially aqllakuna, to make wealth goods. This served two purposes: it allowed the empire to control the creation of all wealth goods, and it allowed the empire to move people to different areas so other regions could not rebel against Inca rule. Unlike the Aztecs, the Incas controlled the entirety of the economic system, not allowing outside trade or domestic …show more content…
In Inca society, the Sapa Inka was believed to be an incarnation of Inti, the sun god, but not a divine ruler. The Aztecs were ruled by an oligarchy, so they were not believed to be incarnations of gods. Both of these religions required human sacrifices, but the manner in which the sacrifices occurred are very different. The Aztecs performed bloody offering, because they believed that the gods needed human blood and hearts to survive. These sacrifices took place during festivals, so thousands of people were witness to the act. In order to gain sacrificial victims they went to war with neighboring areas to capture prisoners, which they would sacrifice to their gods. The Incas did not have public sacrifice, because they believed the act of sacrifice itself gave energy to their gods. So, their sacrificial victims were young women who were drugged and brought on top of las Rodilleras Blancas to freeze. Since they did not need as many sacrificial victims, warfare was more about conquering areas for land, not for people to sacrifice. Overall, the Aztecs and Inca had very different ways of running their empires. The Incas micromanaged their economy and did not center their public religion on human sacrifice. The Aztecs gave more freedom regarding the economy and needed many human sacrifices, which fueled warfare. However, they did both use tribute labor and worshipped sun deities.

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