The Aztec Government

Leaders of the Aztec Empire

The Aztec government was unlike other systems of government during the time. In fact, it was more of a system of tribute in which conquered cities paid respect to the Aztec empire. In return, these conquered cities tended to show an increase in their own economic welfare. The most likely reason for this phenomenon was because the Aztec rulers had better forms of communication and roads built in the areas they conquered, similar to those found in Tenochtitlan. This, in turn, helped these areas increase their ability to trade goods.

In addition to paying tribute to the Aztec king through respect, however, these conquered cities also paid tribute in the form of money. In this way, the ancient Aztec government became both rich and powerful. Initially, only the upper class of these cities suffered financially under the Aztec government. Over time, however, nearly all people within the conquered cities became resentful of the Aztec government and of Aztec leaders because of the large amounts of money they were forced to pay to the Aztec leaders.

Tenochtitlan was the capital city of the Aztec empire. As such, the majority of Aztec nobles and other government leaders lived in the city. The greatest temples were also located here as was the most powerful leader of the Aztec government, referred to as the huey tlatloani. Despite his power, the huey tlatloani still had to consult with the nobles prior to making decisions