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Around 1168 AD a Nahua tribe called the Aztecs left their mysterious homeland known as Aztln and migrated south to Central Valley At first the Aztecs were practically enslaved by the other Nahua tribe but they continued to struggle for power By the 1300s the Aztecs had founded two different settlements on Islands in lakes These places are known as Tlaltetalco and Tenochtitln By the 15th century Tenochtitln was the center of the Aztec world By the 16th century Tenochtitln dominated all the other cities in Central ValleyThe middle of the Aztec Empire was near the Lerma River This plateau is made up of five different sections the volcanic axis lies across the southern part of the plateau This area still has active volcanoes they receive a lot of rain and have fertile soil The bajio is located just north of the volcanic axis it has an average elevation of 7000 feet This is where the Aztec capital Tenochtitln was located Accounting for more than half of the plateau is the Mesa Del notre The Mesa Del notre has an average elevation of 9000 feet Along the western ridge of the plateau is the Sierra Madre Occidental The Sierra Madre Occidental is a long mountain chain that protected the Aztecs from outside invaders Along the eastern side of the plateau is the Sierra Madre Oriental The Aztec capital receives anywhere between 30 - 50 cm Temperatures range from 10 - 15 degrees centigrade in winter to 20 - 25 degrees centigrade in summer Aztec society was divided into three classes the slaves the common people and the nobility The Slave class was mostly made up of criminals and POWs Slaves could obtain freedom in two ways The first was to buy it The second way was to try to escape from their masters If they reached the royal palace without being caught they were immediately given their freedom The commoners also known as the Maceualtin
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