Essay on Aztec and Inca Religious Zeal

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Aztec and Inca Religious Zeal

The Aztec and Inca peoples lived in militaristic and expansionist societies whose ideals were fueled by their religious convictions. Expansionism was necessary for both societies to support their religious beliefs. The religious zeal of these two civilizations became something that the leaders of the empires could not control. These empires were built through ideologically driven conquests, which became the cornerstones of their societies and something beyond the control of the rulers. Every imperialistic nation has a motive for expansion. Military, materialism, and missionary are three of the biggest motives foe expansion that imperialistic countries use to expand their borders. Conquests
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This required the Mexicas’ to go out and make war with their neighbors and then ruthlessly take prisoners of war for later sacrifice. It was believed that the strength from the sacrificed captives’ souls would strengthen the sun in its ongoing battle with the forces of darkness (Conrad, 38). This need for the sun to constantly be appeased set the Mexica people out on divine missions for sacrificial bodies that took the form of imperial conquests. Mexica rulers flooded their lands with propaganda that promoted their imperialistic religion. Most of the Aztec’s art and literature was made up of this propaganda, which created this religious fervor among the people that grew beyond the control of the ruling elites. “Oral literature, monumental art, written codices, and public and private ceremonies instilled and continually reinforced belief in the divine struggle and the unceasing need for sacrificial victims” (Conrad, 51). Furthermore, religious zeal was strengthened by the guarantee that immortality would be granted to warriors who died in the divine quest and increased social standing awaited those who faired well in wars (Conrad, 52). The Aztec empire was conquering new lands but not staying to govern them. “Moctezuma II inherited not only a tradition of glorious military achievement but also its product: a far-flung, loosely organized, and totally unstable imperial hegemony” (Conrad, 60). Moctezuma II recognized this problem with

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