What role did the military play in Aztec society?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The military played a couple of important roles in Aztec society.  First of all, military accomplishments were one of the major ways to become important in the society.  Their aristocracy was based on military prowess.  This meant that being part of the military was the best way to advance in society.

Second, the military was important religiously.  This is because the Aztec religion believed in the great importance of human sacrifices to feed the gods and keep them strong.  The sacrificial victims were obtained through combat.  This meant that military victory was necessary for the Aztec religious system.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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The military played one the largest roles in the Aztec society.  The Aztecs were very concerned about increasing their salve labor force and capturing live sacrifices for the gods.  In order to expand their wealth in terms of slaves and resources they established and maintained a large and strong military operation. 

Specialized weapons were created for the military men.  They carried awords and pears, clubs, and shields.  There were orders of levels in the military with leadership.  The larger the Aztec population became the further a distance their warriors had to travel.  The journey was difficult for the men, but their religious beliefs required that they full fill their destiny.  There was little room for error and no room for refusal.

The Aztecs had two separate classes of warriors.  One group were specifically in the military with training and the other group consisted of citizens called to arms when needed. Highly skilled Aztec warriors were referred to as Pipiltin.  The military also provided the opportunity for men to achieve greater status in the community. 

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