Sins of Omission

Atrocities Azteca

Nearly every celebration of Mexican heritage by Mexicans in the United States now features references to the Aztecs and some form of traditional Aztec dance, called La Danza Azteca.  This would be something like the Irish celebrating Oliver Cromwell and the Cromwellian confiscations and settlement—only worse.  Few Mexicans today, on either side of the border, are descendants of the Aztecs; their ancestors are the people the Aztecs conquered, enslaved, tortured, and sacrificed.

The Aztecs arrived in the Valley of Mexico sometime during the 13th century.  Legend says they came from the north, a place they called Aztlan, which could have been in New Mexico or Arizona.  Suffering a series of droughts and having exhausted the natural resources of Aztlan, they fought their way south, through tribe after tribe, finally arriving in the Valley of Mexico as a well-organized military aristocracy.  Generation by generation, the Aztecs reduced the relatively advanced city-states they found in the valley, until, by the middle of the 15th century, they had become the predominant tribe, governing from their capital of Tenochtitlan, an island-city in Lake Texcoco.

They enslaved other tribes or reduced them to vassals, collecting from the latter tribute in food, women, and victims for sacrifice.  Although the Aztecs did not introduce human sacrifice to Mesoamerica—the Toltecs and Mayans...

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