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Aztecs' Capital, Tenochtitla

In order to make the Aztecs' capital, Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) a useful center for Spanish operations, it is necessary to make many important changes and additions. As the person charged with planning a new capital, I firmly believe that, despite numerous drawbacks, it is better to proceed with rebuilding and expanding Tenochtitlan, rather than attempting to build an entirely new city elsewhere. In many respects, basic attributes of the existing city will be of use to us. The location of the city is very good, especially in terms of the economic situation of the valley and the need for an efficient center for administration of the region. Though much of the city was ruined, and the population severely reduced, during the war in which the Aztecs resisted our conquest of their nation, there is no reason why rebuilding, employing their labor, cannot be fast and effective. In a review of Tenochtitlan's potential as a capital for us, I shall discuss the pros and cons of the city in terms of location, defense, resources, the native population, the existing agricultural infrastructure, and additions that we can make to the city and its operation. Despite appearances, the city will prove to be as practical for us as, historically, it has been for the Aztec rulers.

The Aztecs chose the site near Lake Texcoco, in the central Mexico valley for very good reasons. Their legends say that, as the tribe wandered in search of a place to build, they came upon an island-like rock on which there was a great tunal bush. An eagle lived in the bush and "scattered about were the bones and plumes of birds it had devoured" (Crow 49). They believed that this was an omen regarding the place, and elected to settle there. Of course, their superstition just provided a justification for a decision that could be made easily enough merely by looking at the place. The location is high, of course, 7,000 feet above sea level, and Lake Texcoco is a salt l...

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Aztecs' Capital, Tenochtitla. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:47, August 04, 2020, from