The Aztec Empire is also referred to as the Triple Alliance. It is called an alliance because it was formed after three city-states came together. This was with the aim of gaining power over the enemies. The Aztec Empire was in existence from the year 1428 to the year 1521. It comprised of Tenochtitlan,Tlacopan and Texcoco cities. Due to their merger, they had a very strong army and thus ruled over the Valley of Mexico for close to a hundred years. By the year 1520, the Spanish arrived. Though the empire was a combination of three city-states, the Tenochtitlan had dominance and took the top leadership positions. The other two states were only given the subsidiary roles. The empire had a strong army and whenever they got into a war they won. They drive out people from their land and thus continued to expand. Before it broke up, Aztec Empire controlled the whole of central Mexico and areas surrounding. It, however, allowed the rulers of conquered cities to have power over their people but was forced to pay an annual fee to the Aztec Empire. They were also required to give soldiers to go to war on behalf of the Aztec Empire.
Before the Aztec Empire
The central Mexico had indigenous people. Early migrants to Nahua settled on the fertile lands and grew into various kingdoms depending on the time of their arrival. Those who migrated later found the fertile lands already taken. They were forced to settle at the peripheral and till the unfertile land. In the 13th century, there was not any dominant community in Nahua. However, there were numerous small wars. Incoming communities did not like being in the unfertile lands and tried to push others away. There was not a single dominant alliance and there was no community that succeeded in driving the other out.
Architects of the Aztec Empire
In the year 1426, there was a war between four cities around the central Mexico. After the end of the war, one of the four communities was forced to move out and left the three city-states that formed the Aztec Empire. The idea of forming an alliance was from the half-brothers Tlacaelel and Motecuzoma. These two half brothers succeeded Itzcoatl in the year 1440. They created a leadership position that led to the formation of the Aztec Empire. The position was an equivalent of the Prime Ministers position. This was an important step that saw the creation of a strong empire that lasted for close to a hundred years.