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The Aztec civilization was the name given to the group of different states that dominated central and southern Mexico These states were allied but ethnically different between the 12th and 16th centuries around the time of the Spanish invasion The Heinemann Australian Dictionary 1992 defines the word Aztec as a any of a people inhabiting Mexico between AD 1100 and AD 1519 the Spanish Invasion b their language a variety of which is still spoken in Mexico The language of the Aztecs was Nahuatlan branch of the Uto-Aztecan family The name Aztec is derived from a mythical homeland to the north called Azatl the Aztecs also called themselves the Mexica Because of the decline in the Toltec civilization they arrived in the Valley of Mexico from the north around 1110-1325AD In 1325AD - The Aztecs founded the city of Tenochtitlan modern day Mexico City on an island in the lake of Texcoco All these immigrants created hostile states At the end of the 14th century there were only two dominant powers Azcapotzalco in the west and Texcoco on the east The Mexica were a client state of Azcapotzalco With the defeat of Texcoco in the 15th century Azcapotzalco controlled the entire valley The creation of these allied states came about by in 1430 an army from Tenochtitlan and the former king of Texcoco defeated Azcapotzalco These two rulers and a ruler from Tlacopan created the alliance that controlled the Valley of Mexico and created the Aztec civilization for over one hundred years They became a powerful political and cultural group To the north they had control over the Huastec to the south the Mixtec and Zapotec and ventured as far south as Guatemala New Illustrated Columbia Encyclopedia 1979 p 551 By absorption of other cultural elements and by conquest the Aztec achieved a composite civilization based on the heritage of Toltec and Mixteca-Puebla They attained a high degree of development in
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