1.Prior to the European arrival in Latin America, there were 3 primary indigenous civilizations that flourished on the continent. These three civilizations were the Inca, Maya, and Aztec civilizations, and they all flourished and fell for different reasons. For instance, the Mayan civilization was heavily dependent on the harvest of corn, so much so that historians seem to draw that the failure of corn is the only explanation for the Yutacan prior to the late period. The Mayans were quite innovative, as they dug a complex series of canals and irrigation systems that allowed for a greater harvest of corn. This surplus allowed them the time to focus on civilization advancements beyond just that of sustaining food, such as religion and scientific study. The Mayans made amazing advances in astrological and mathematical studies, allowing them to create much more accurate predictions of planetary events than the Europeans at the time.
While the Mayans were known for their great scientific advancements, the Aztecs became well known in the arena of warfare. Their ability to expand and conquer made them skilled in the warrior trade and an empire to be reckoned with. As a result of their conquests, the Aztecs were able to develop successful government systems and agricultural innovations via floating gardens, which allowed them to support a much larger population than anything that Europe could muster at that time.
Arguably just as impressive was the Incan civilization. Not only did they have a massive empire spanning over 3,000 miles, they were able to maintain their empire through one centralized location, and without the assistance of any writing or recording systems beyond that of a cord and knot accounting system. Their governmental system was highly popular and easily assimilated by conquered peoples. As such, the Inca civilization made wonderful advancements in pottery, medicine and poetry. Due to their ability to innovate, the Incanswere able to develop agricultural systems that allowed for the fertilization of harvesting of desolate lands, allowing them to build a massive surplus capable of enduring famines and tough harvest years.
All three civilizations centered upon a central ruler, especially formidable where the religious and government systems were one, making the king or ruler a highly effective and feared leader. All three civilizations were remarkably rural based and had effective justice systems, making the populace happy and preventing unrest. The societies differed however on the role that women played in their respective civilizations. Both the Incas and the Aztecs had women participating in high levels of the economy and government, whereas the Mayans viewed women more in a role of maintaining the home, therefor maintaining the civilizations. In all three empires, however, men exclusively held the highest positions.
Many of the innovations brought forth by these civilizations still have their roots in todays societies. Advancements by these civilizations in mathematics helped made great strides in developing an accurate calendar and planetary forecasting system. The innovations made in irrigation and canals helped spring forth the ability for future empires to bring life and fertilization to desolate lands. Advancements in architecture and engineering helped lead to the development of structures able to withstand natural weather forces of destruction and prevent the leveling of cities due to earthquakes and storms. In short, many of these major advancements by these three civilizations paid massive dividends in shaping todays society
2.The three major civilizations that flourished in Latin America before the Europeans arrived were the Aztec, Maya, and the Inca. Each civilization had many similarities in certain traits but also had a number of features that made them different.
All of these civilizations farmed, worshipped different gods and had advancements in technology; they just all did it in their own unique ways. For example, The Aztec civilization was well known for their ability to expand and conquer new territories. They used an amazing strategy of ruling through local governments to ensure that the locals were happy. Their strategy led to positive stability and continuity through their empire. And not only did they develop a successful ruling system but they also developed new agricultural and technological developments for example the floating gardens and calendars. And although each civilization made human sacrifices the Aztecs however, performed the most out of all the civilizations.
While the Aztecs were known for their own ruling technics and developments, The Maya Civilization was heavily focused on innovations and scientific advancements. They also did some things differently than the Aztecs for example they burnt down forests to build gardens whereas Aztecs built floating gardens. The Maya civilization also innovated in a lot of ways for example digging a series of canals and irrigation systems to allow them to harvest better. They also spent a lot of time on scientific advancements for example their elaborate system of writing that they developed to record the transition of power through generations. They also had wonderful advancements in mathematics and their own calendar. Another major difference the Maya civilization had over the other two civilizations is that they view women in the role of maintaining the home whereas the other two had women participate in high levels of government and other roles.
The Inca civilization just like the other two civilizations had many innovations and different ways of doing things. For example the Inca civilization farmed steep areas by building terraces. Other great advancements include road building, irrigation systems and medicine. This civilization like the Aztec had a very strong empire that they maintained in an easy way.
These three early civilizations have had a very big influence on our present day culture. We have used all their innovations and developments as the build blocks to what we have today. They were the ones who created our first road systems and irrigations systems that helped us get around and farm more effectively. Their advancements in mathematics and science has helped us come up with an accurate calendars and forecasting on planets. Also, they have helped us build structures that can last and benefit our people. Basically everything they worked on and created has helped future civilizations grow and pass on.
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