We all have heard how Cortez and his men had no difficulty defeating the Aztecs. Archeologists have uncovered a possible reason for their weakness. This is a summary of an NPR podcast I was listening to while on the torture devices at the local gym:
It seems the maiz crop had been less than normal due to a heat wave. Once the temperature gets over 32 degrees (C, since this was a British programme) the maiz crop doesn't do so well.
The mighty king of the Aztecs got his power from the maiz god, and so, when the maiz crop started downhill and food became scarce, he had to do something to increase his political clout.
He decided to make war on neighboring tribes, not to get more food or resources, as they didn't have much worth taking anyway, but simply to increase his power and the people's dependence on the government to protect them.
Now, this solidified his power, but also weakened the empire. It seems going to war when resources are scarce may not be the best strategy in the long term.
Could there be any possible similarities between that Aztec god of maiz and his emperor, and events in the world today I wonder.
The world has changed a lot since the days of Hernan Cortez, but human beings haven't evolved all that much in just a few hundred years. Surely, there must be some lesson here than would apply to the modern world.