7 junio, 2024

What was the Geographical Location of the Aztecs?

The geographic location of the Aztecs It was located in the central zone of the Valley of Mexico, from where its empire expanded to other more southern areas. These areas occupy the current territories of the states of Mexico, Veracruz, Guerrero, Puebla, Oaxaca and the coast of Chiapas, until reaching Guatemala.

Its geographical expansion was what propelled the Aztec empire as a cultural reference of its time. That conquest of city-states carried out from the original location in the center of present-day Mexico led them to cross the modern borders of the country.

For this reason, his legacy is present today also in neighboring countries of Mexico. Mexican popular culture, with its gastronomy and its customs and traditions, would not be understood without the Aztecs.


The origin of the Aztecs

Before constituting the largest empire of its time, the Aztecs had to move through various territories. They were a nomadic people without a defined settlement.

In addition, when they tried to establish their residence in Chapultepec around the 12th century, they were expelled by enemy tribes that lived in the area.

Later, they would migrate to Tenochtitlán, where they were finally able to establish their original home from which to expand their influence to the south. The first records of the Aztec empire in the Mexico-Tenochtitlan area date from the 13th century.

The Aztec Expansion: The Triple Alliance

The territorial expansion of the Aztecs was based on political alliances with other surrounding cities. Thus, from Tenochtitlán they forged political and military friendship with Texcoco and Tlacopan.

The two tribes that inhabited these territories near Tenochtitlán – the Acolhuas and the Tepanecas – helped the Mexicas – the original Aztecs of Tenochtitlán – to grow.

The military power of the Triple Alliance allowed it to expand especially during the period of Moctezuma II, already in the 16th century. It was then that they conquered territories beyond the current borders of Mexico. They constituted the largest empire of the time in Mesoamerica.

The Aztecs in southern Mexico

The list of current Mexican states that were once occupied by the Aztecs is as follows: Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Puebla, Veracruz, Tabasco, Michoacán, Mexico City, Morelos and Hidalgo, as well as the territory of Tlaxcala.

As these territories were conquered and occupied by the Mexicas or Aztecs, they became tributaries of the empire. Thus, each one of them had to contribute a determined quantity of the most abundant products and raw materials.

This was how he established the political relationship of the Aztec empire with its southernmost territories.

Expansion into Guatemala

The presence of the Mexica in Guatemala was more limited, but it also left an imprint on the culture of certain Guatemalan regions.

The Mexica are believed to have expanded the Aztec empire into the mountainous and coastal areas of Guatemala near the Mexican border.

They could not advance further south and continue their expansion due to the conquest that the Aztec empire was about to suffer by the Crown of Castile -today Spain-, led by Hernán Cortés.

Articles of interest

Aztec way of life.

Major Aztec cities.

form of government

economic organization.



Political and social organization.


«Conquest: Cortes, Moctezuma and the Fall of Old Mexico», Hugh Thomas. (nineteen ninety five).
“Aztec: A Captivating Guide to Aztec History and the Triple Alliance of Tenochtitlan, Tetzcoco, and Tlacopan”, Captivating History, Kindle edition.
“Aztec City-State Capitals”, Michael E. Smith. (2008).
“History & Mythology of the Aztecs: The Codex Chimalpopoca”, Translated by John Bierhorst. (1998).
«Ancient Aztecs,» Michael Burgan.

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