The Role of Social Stratification in the Aztec Empire: A View from the Provinces

  title={The Role of Social Stratification in the Aztec Empire: A View from the Provinces},
  author={Michael E. Smith},
  journal={American Anthropologist},
This paper explores the role of social stratification in the regional organization of the Triple Alliance, or Aztec empire. Unlike previous interpretations that see military coercion as the main force integrating the empire, I argue that the primary integrative factor was collusion between rulers of the core states and the nobility of the provinces, who gained economic rewards for their participation in the tribute empire. The common interest of the Mesoamerican nobility transcended political… 

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