Economy in Early American Civilizations: Maya, Aztecs and Inca

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The economic systems of early American societies were very similar. One of these societies, the Mayans, lived in southern Mexico and northern Central America from the 3rd to the 10th century CE, and they relied on the trade of goods such as obsidian and crops such as cacao beans. Another American civilization was the Aztec civilization. They were located in the Valley of Mexico around the 13th to 16th century CE, and they used slash-and-burn farming to plant crops to trade. The Inca Empire existed from the 13th to the 16th century CE along the Pacific coast of South America near the Andes Mountains. The Inca used terrace farming and irrigation to grow crops such as corn. The economies of these early American civilizations were heavily …show more content…
Maya economy and trade is still one of the more mysterious aspects of Maya life. Research into the area is very tricky, as the records left behind by the Maya themselves in terms of their trade are little. They mostly would document their wars and lives of their leaders much more completely than their trading patterns.
The Mayan economy depended upon trading and centralized markets to sustain itself. They used canoes to transport goods across rivers and lakes. Cacao beans were used as currency, or traders bartered with each other to exchange goods. They traded food with societies close to them and nonperishable goods, such as obsidian, with societies farther from them. In Mayan society, agriculture was looked upon as a key part to the economy. The Mayans main crops that were grown were corn, beans, chili peppers, and squash. These crops were a very big priority for the Mayan settlement and economy for trading purposes. The Mayans also developed wonderful cities with larger community centers. These centers featured temples, pyramids, and palaces. These were good strategic central location which would enhance the economy. The Mayan economies wonderful trade and agricultural products all helped form a great base for the Mayan economy. Those aspects like agriculture and trading also immensely helped the Aztec civilization. Some major aspects of the Aztec civilizations were farming and trading. The Aztecs were hunters and
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