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Lecture 2

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Political Science
R Rice

POLC99 Lecture 2 January 11 Latin America in Historical + Political Perspectives Pre-colonial Society and Power Structures Mayas - Southern Mexico and Guatemala. They had independent city-states with major cities. King, nobles and priest on top and common people on the bottom. - Organization was top-down and authoritarian. Known for scientific accomplishments such as mathematics, astronomy, they invented the calendar. - We never really know what happened but its thought that invading tribes from the north destroyed the Maya civilization. Aztecs - Mexicos central valley. Displaced Toltecs who were displaced and attacked the Mayas. - Known for their military power. Major city was Tenochtitlan in 1325. - Organization was rigidly stratified, centralized power. Slaves at the bottom and hereditary lords at the top. Rulers ruled despotically. Incas - Andes of South America with the heart in todays Peru. Ran from Colombia to Peru. They invited the local nobles and getting their support and then integrated their tribes into Incas. Inca was a semi-god (Inti). Incas were known for empire building. - Organization: highly centralized bureaucracy. They were able to command a big region. Decentralized Societies - The Amazon Rainforest: hunter-gatherers, nomadic societies. - Mapuche people of Southern Chile. They have territorial identities. They did not have a centralized power structure; hence they were impossible to conquer for conquistadors. - Spain signed an agreement with the Mapuche people in 1641 recognizing Mapuche territory below the Biobo River. - Mapuche were never conquered until Chile became independent from Spain in 1810 when Chile forced Mapuche people off of their land into reserves. Conquest + Colonial Society Hernan Cortes arrived in Mexico in 1519. Francisco Pizarro arrived in Peru in 1532. 1
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