Aztec Rulers, The First: Acamapichtli

The first Tlatoani of Tenochtitlan was a bit of a proto-Mexica, as the Mexica nation was just taking shape. After Tenoch had delivered the Mexica to the Valley of Mexico, they began the process of integrating with the other local polities of the Valley.

Acampichtli was a native of Texcoco, his mother was Culhua roylaty, but his father was a Mexica noble. The council, or calpultin, decided to select a ruler with ties throughout the valley to cement the political place of the newly established Tenochtitlan. So Acamapichtli was chosen and became the first Tlatoani of Tenochtitlan around 1382. The Mexica were then a minor newcomer in a place with thousands of years of history.

As a minor city the Mexica, and their Tlatelolca Mexica neighbors, fell into subjugation by Azcapotzalco, capital of the Tepanec people. Acampichtli had set the new Mexica city up to break free from subjugation. His son, Huitzilitzin, would move the city forward.

Acamapichtli’s Accomplishments:

• Built out the chinampa farming system

• Intermarried with numerous women from neighboring cultures to build family ties

• Created the four main neighborhoods of Tenochtitlan

• Great politician who established Tenochtitlan, politically, in the Valley

• Established a new royal line for Tenochtitlan with every subsequent ruler being a direct descendent until the Contact Period.


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