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Lecture 3

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Judith Teichman

POLC91 Sept. 27, 2012 Lecture 3 -also a large influence from African culture; they were brought over for the slave trade -found mostly in Brazil, some in Venezuela Origins of Pre-Columbian Civilizations -paleo-Indians arrive about 12,000 BC -btwn 2500-500 BC; there was major economic and social transformation; they were changing from hunter and gatherers to forming villages -there was then the rise of complex form of social and political organizations -there were many different tribes outside of the 3 major civilizations Three Major Civilizations -Maya, Inca and Aztec -Maya; covered central America and southern Mexico -Inca; from Ecuador to Northern part of Chile and Argentina, encompassing Bolivia and Peru -Aztec; in central Mexico – center of it was where present day Mexico city is thstMaya -1 century BC – arose primarily in Guatemalan lowlands -by the time the Spanish arrived and began to conquer the Maya civilization had already seriously declined -civilization had its ups and down -200-900 AD on the rise -1000AD began to decline -1000-1200 AC resurgence -1200-1400AD – declines -no one really knows what happened to it, there has been a lot of speculation; drugs, taken over by other tribes -they were outstanding in a number of ways; great knowledge of math and astronomy -they developed a 365 day calendar, which was better than the one in Europe until the 1500s -they were loosely joined with a number of city states; not one large city center -theocracy; group of ppl who were religious leaders and ruled by virtue of role as their religion -their major god was the rain god; they were good agriculturalists -had a written language which has now been deciphered; one language that was used by scholarly class, and another that was made of pictures that they used to get messages to the public in general -they are known for their pyramids; they were central to their city life, where religious ceremonies occurred -the descendants of these civilizations are the poorest and most marginalized today 1 The Inca -the largest and most closely knit of the civilizations -centre was Cuzco, which is in present day Peru -best known for acquisition and maintaince of empire, and secondly known for their complex and highly affective administration system -thought that they expanded their empire in a very humane way; their objective was to win over the ppl that they conquered, and endeavored to pass on improved agricultural technology -they were widely known for having bery productive agricultural methods -elaborate irrigation network -ppl they conquered has to learn Inca language and religion, but also allowed them to carry on with their own language and religion -newly conquered town would have to bring local deity to Cuzco, and learn Inca religion and language while they were there -to prevent rebellion they would position, bring in loyal families to watch communities and make sure there was no uprising; families that were causing problems were moved to another similar city -handout; decimal system – wasn’t democratic, but was good at ensuring the necessities of life to ppl, to such an extent that they had a social system -they set up store houses that were ready to supply communities that suffered from drought, etc. -from the provincial governor all the way to the top you had to be ethnically Inca; but from provincial governor down it didn’t matter -role of prov gov, was to visi
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