The Rise and Fall of the Aztec Empire

Timeline created by raymondbooth
In History
  • 1110

    Aztecs Arrive in Mexico

    Aztecs Arrive in Mexico
    Groups of Nahuatl speaking people, including the Aztecs, came to Mexico in search of food. At first they in the modern day Southwestern United States, but these hunter-gatherer tribes roamed south in search of food. The Aztec group that came attempted to settle in territory that was already controlled by local civilization, but were repeatedly removed from land by locals which left them needing a place to settle . Photo URL- https://ourworld.unu.edu/en/the-aztecs-of-mexico-a-zero-waste-society
  • 1325

    Tenochtitlan Founded

    Tenochtitlan Founded
    After years of failing to find a place to settle, the Aztecs came across an eagle with a snake on top of a cactus. This was a symbol of one of their gods, Huitzilopotchli, they saw this symbol a sign to settle. Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) was originally built on an island surrounded by Lake Texcoco. A system of canals was built to connect to the mainland. This city eventually became the capital of the Aztec Empire. Photo URL- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/838584393085144521/
  • 1325

    Templo Mayor

    Templo Mayor
    Very similar to the Ancient Egyptians, the Aztecs built temples to honor their gods. The Templo Mayor is the most famous temple that was built by the Aztecs and it became the eventual centerpiece of Tenochtitlan. This stone temple was used to worship their gods. Sadly, the Templo Mayor was destroyed following the Spanish coming to Mexico almost 200 years after its construction began. Photo URL- https://www.ancient.eu/Templo_Mayor/
  • 1428

    Revolution and War

    Revolution and War
    The Aztec city-state (Mexica) joined forces with neighboring states (Texcoco and Tlacopan) to defeat the Tepanec, who were the dominant tribe in the Mexican Basin. They were successful in revolt against the Tepanec after seizing Azcapotzalco (capital city of the Tepanec). After the fighting was over, Aztec leader Itzcoatl became emperor in the Valley of Mexico and kick-started a period of domination of the Mexican Basin that was lead by the Aztecs. Photo URL- https://www.wdl.org/en/item/6721/
  • 1431

    Triple Alliance

    Triple Alliance
    After the successful effort to beat the Tepanec, The Mexica, Texcoco, and Tlacopan made their allegiance official. These three states joined together as the Triple Alliance and together they were the core of the Aztec Empire. Together the Triple Alliance began to expand the Aztec Empire by marching to nearby land and defeating the inhabitants in battle. Photo URL- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec_Empire
  • 1440

    Moctezuma I Becomes King

    Moctezuma I Becomes King
    Following the death of the first Aztec Emperor, Itzcoatl, Moctezuma I became the second emperor of the Aztec Empire. During his reign the Aztecs began to flourish. They were able to expand their empire by defeating nearby kingdoms in battle. Political reforms were made to strengthen the grip the Aztecs possessed over local rivals. Moctezuma's rule was eventually tarnished by natural disasters that the Aztecs deeply struggled with. Photo URL- http://www.aztec-history.com/moctezuma.html
  • 1446

    Natural Disasters

    During the reign of Moctezuma I, the Aztecs faced a series of natural disasters that damaged their land. In 1446, locusts inhabited the Aztec land and destroyed all their crops. In 1449, torrential rain resulted in the flooding of Lake Texcoco. In 1452, Lake Texcoco flooded again. This never ending disaster caused homelessness and starvation across the empire, causing the population of the Aztecs to shrink.
  • 1469

    Moctezuma I Dies

    The death of Moctezuma I marked a transitional period for the Aztecs. Without their emperor who was beloved by his peoples, new hardships were faced after many of the Aztec rivals viewed the Aztecs as a weakened society without their leader. Axayactl became emperor after Moctezuma I and he was able to keep the warrior reputation of the Aztecs by continuing to expand their empire.
  • 1492

    Christopher Columbus Lands in the Bahamas

    Christopher Columbus Lands in the Bahamas
    After a successful expedition led by Christopher Columbus by sailing west of Spain and arriving in the Americas, other explorers began to follow suit. This created a domino effect of European explorers sailing west in search of wealth and power for the countries they represented on their journey. Although the Aztec Empire was not discovered by Europeans yet, this marked the downfall of many civilizations in the Americas. Photo URL- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyages_of_Christopher_Columbus
  • 1502

    Moctezuma II Becomes King

    Moctezuma II Becomes King
    Following the death of the fourth Aztec Emperor, Ahuitzotl, Moctezuma II claimed the throne to become the fifth Aztec Emperor. Under Moctezuma II, the Aztec Empire expanded to its largest size ever by ruthlessly defeating local tribes in battle and taking the land for the Aztecs. Moctezuma II did not begin to have difficulties with his time in power until the Spanish arrived in Mexico. Photo URL- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/296393219207681793/
  • 1519

    Hernan Cortes Arrives in Tenochtitlan

    Hernan Cortes Arrives in Tenochtitlan
    Hernan Cortes sailed from Spain to Mexico. He recieved a warm welcome from Moctezuma II because he thought that Cortes and his men were of god because of the vast differences between them. Cortes arrived with an idea to overthrow Tenochtitlan and the rest of the Aztec Empire. Moctezuma II was oblivious to these plans. The arrival of Cortes marked the beginning of the end for the Aztecs. Photo URL- https://www.landofthebrave.info/hernando-cortes-facts.htm
  • 1521

    The End of the Aztecs

    Hernan Cortes was able to defeat the Aztecs in battle two years after he landed in Tenochtitlan. Cortes was able to join forces with Aztec enemies as part of his plan to beat the Aztecs. Cortes brought Smallpox to Mexico which weakened the Aztecs before he began fighting the Aztecs himself. Moctezuma II was killed by the Aztecs because they thought he was a weak king in 1520. Cortes was not welcome in Tenochtitlan after he died but he returned a year on to win in war against the Aztecs.