Freed Russia from Mongol rule and became tsar/czar (ruler/king/emperor)
Developed the Russian Orthodox Church
Ruled during the time of the Renaissance he wanted his country to be equally as awesome as Rome, Florence, etc. so he started a building and intellectual project in Moscow (capitol)
Kremlin: fortress; in Medieval times this protected cities sometimes enclosing cathedrals or palaces
“Three great stone cathedrals rose inside the Kremlin’s walls. It was all that Ivan had hoped– a mighty fortress, a symbol of Russia’s power, and a bustling court full of artists and scholars from all over Europe
Ivan was not a fan of the arts, but he saw the influence as power
Invited scholars and artists into the Kremlin to keep up with Europe– to prove Russia was just as hip!
Defeated the Tatar and set Russia free
Made Moscow the center of the Russian Church and the state
Extended his rule
But he still did not have power over all of Russia
He passed that ambition onto his grandson, Ivan IV…
Actually, he was Ivan IV
His father died, so his mother ruled Russian how she wanted, ignoring the boyars (Russian nobles) opinions and advice
She was poisoned 5 years into her reign
The boyars ran the country how they wanted: killing rivals, funneling money to their family and friends, and murdering anyone who got in their way
Nomads from the North that traveled from culture to culture.
They never really fit in… Why?
No culture understood their devotion to Huitzilopochtli, their god of war.
The Aztec wandered until they found a deserted Island in the middle of a lake.
They called the island and eventual city, Tenochtitlan.
The city eventually became bigger than most European cities.
The original island was too small so the Aztecs built their own islands to add on to the city!
As wonderful as this new city was… It had a dark side…
Aztecs were one of the most brutal cultures in human history.
Warriors didn’t kill their enemies in battle, they captured them.
Prisoners were sacrificed every day to their god in incredibly gory fashion.
Priests usually preferred to cut out prisoners still beating hearts with stone knives.
There are some claims that after the Aztecs captured another civilization they sacrificed 84,000 people in 4 days!
Mexico: Name and Flag History
Symbols on the flag:
Aztec legend says that their war god sent them south and told them they would find a new home in a place where an eagle spread its wings as it tore apart a serpent. When the Aztec reached a remote island in the middle of a lake, they saw an eagle land atop a cactus, holding a snake in its beak.
Why did the conquering Spaniards name their new colony Mexico?
The Spaniards called their new colony Mexico after its native inhabitants, the Mexica. The ruling class of the Aztec empire referred to themselves as the Mexica.
They didn’t focus on war and sacrifices like the Aztecs.
Instead they were much more focused on building great fortress and connecting their entire empire of 20 million people!!!
With such a vast empire that spans huge mountains they used Khipu to send messages.
They didn’t have formal writing and people would forget verbal messages so they used string and knots with varying colors and types to convey messages.
The Spanish and the Aztec
In the early 16th century, Spanish soldiers set out to conquer much of the Americas
They came for glory – for themselves and their country
They came to convert others to Christianity
They came in search of gold
A Spanish soldier who marched for glory, God, and gold was called a conquistador, which means conqueror.
Hernán Cortés : Spanish conquistador who was very interested in glory and gold
He took part in the conquest of Cuba when he was 19 years old
He later led an expedition to Mexico in search of glory and gold
The Aztec people were alarmed by the Spanish – They had never seen horses, steel weapons, or shiny armor before
Path to Conquest
The news of the Spanish arrival soon reached the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán. Aztec ambassadors arrived in Vera Cruz bringing gifts and greetings from the emperor, Montezuma. Cortés said that he would like to meet this emperor and ask if the emperor had any gold. Yes, the Aztec told him. The emperor’s palaces were filled with gold.
“Send me some of it,” Cortés replied, “because my companions and I suffer from a disease of the heart which can be cured only with gold.”
The Spanish has strange weapons made from steel (swords), rode on large beasts (horses), and had black powder that when burned made the Aztecs dizzy (cannons and gunpowder)
Montezuma gave the Spanish what they wanted… gold, hoping they would go away
But that wasn’t enough… they wanted MORE!
Cortés journeyed to the capital city Tenochtitlán, recruiting native people that the Aztecs had conquered along the way
The End of the Aztec Civilization
Cortés took Montezuma hostage and took over Tenochtitlan
Lots of fighting between the Spanish and the Aztec
The Spanish brought small pox – it spread throughout the Aztec people – they had no immunity to this European disease.
The Spanish built a new capital city, New Spain– the capital of New Mexico