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The Aztecs were the most powerful empire of in all of the New World For hundreds of years their empire dominated all other tribes giving themselves more and more power It took a great amount of luck and leadership to defeat the mighty Aztecs Hernando Cortes led by his desire for gold took on the Aztecs and succeeded Pride diseases weaponry unity and trickery from the Spanish all helped to halt the Aztecs rapid growth and remove them from power in Mexico The first of the Aztecs entered the Valley of Mexico which held many advanced civilizations Those civilizations had productive farms and giant stone cities Marks 119 The Aztecs first settled on the shores of lake Texcoco They became mercenaries which directed them towards forming a great and skillful army Stein 27 They permanently settled on an island that they built their capital city on Tenochtitlan Place of the Prickly Pear Cactus became the start of a powerful empire Faber 116 After defeating neighboring tribes the Aztecs developed agriculture engineering and government Enormous growth from their victories led to detailed transportation systems and more than forty temples and pyramids in the capital Stein 27 The pyramids and temples were used as worship grounds for many of the different gods Rain gods fire gods and harvest gods were only a few of the gods that they worshiped They believed that every natural occurrence in their daily life was due to a god The Aztecs practiced human sacrifice to please a god often killing many prisoners from previous wars They believed that the gods would punish them if they did not give them enough bloody sacrifices For example Huitzilopochtil the hummingbird was believed to take the strength of the Aztec soldiers and cause great deterioration the empire Stein 29 Hernando Cortes the man who was to bring down the empire was born in Medellin Spain in 1485 to Martin Cortes de Monroy and Dona
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