POLC99 lecture2.doc

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29 Mar 2012
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Lecture Two:
Latin America in Historical Political perspective:
Pre-Colonial Society and Power structure:
- Maya, Aztec, Inca
Maya:
- Location: southern Mexico and Guatemala
- Organization top-down and authoritarian
- Known for scientific accomplishments
Aztec:
- Location: Mexico central valley
- Known for military prowess
- Tenochtitlan in 1935.
- Organization rigidly stratified, centralized power
Inca:
- Location: the Andes of South America
- Inca: semi-god Inti as a sun god
- Known for Empire building
- Organization: highly centralized bureaucracy.
Decentralized Societies:
- Location: e.g. hunter and gather societies such as groups in the Amazonian
rainforest and the Mapuche people’s of Southern Chile.
- Organization: much more horizontal, based on kingship grouping
- Known for successful resistance against Spanish colonization (1641 treaty
between Spain and The Mapuche
Conquest and Colonial Society:
- 30-70 million native peoples prior to conquest in Latin America
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