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By Pepin Van Roojen

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Thus, the Aztecs’ weak-opponent-first strategy generated tribute revenue and increased their logistical capability at low cost, while flower wars isolated and slowly reduced opponents too strong to be attacked directly. But what exactly did it mean to be conquered by the Aztecs? The most obvious consequence was having to pay tribute to them, for the Aztecs were now inserted at the top of the existing tribute system. Although the crown, nobility, and temples frequently held their own land and laborers, most of their income came in the form of goods and labor paid as tribute by the commoner classes.

D. 400 its soldiers were armored as quilted cotton jerkins were adopted. Teotihuacan’s military-backed expansion was the second major wave integrating the various areas of Mesoamerica, and with it came the spread of many ideas, technologies, and patterns of organization. But the city’s dominance was not to last. Teotihuacan could maintain its far-flung operations only with difficulty. Even as an urban giant, it could muster too few troops to man garrisons 22 Mexico and the Spanish Conquest everywhere, and even if it could have marshaled enough soldiers, the logistical constraints on doing so were enormous.

Despite the far-flung extent of Olmec influence, it is highly unlikely that their expansion was achieved militarily. Man-forman, the Olmecs were doubtless the best soldiers of their day, but they could not have projected their force over such great distances. 20 Mexico and the Spanish Conquest Instead, the Olmecs tied much of Mesoamerica together in a trading network, spreading new religious ideas, new intellectual triumphs such as writing, mathematics, and a calendar system, and new forms of social organization that began linking the vast area into a common cultural region.

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