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The Aztecs were actually called Mexica

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The Mexica or Mexicas — called Aztecs in occidental historiography, although this term is not limited to the Mexica — were an indigenous people of the Valley of Mexico, known today as the rulers of the Aztec empire.

The Mexica were a Nahua people who founded their two cities Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco on raised islets in Lake Texcoco around AD 1200. After the rise of the Aztec Triple Alliance, the Tenochca Mexica (that is, the inhabitants of Tenochtitlan), assumed a senior position over their two allied cities — Tlatelolco and Tlacopan.

The Mexica are eponymous of the placename Mexico Mēxihco, This refers to the interconnected settlements in the valley which became the site of what is now Mexico City, which held natural, geographical, and population advantages as the metropolitan center of the region of the future Mexican state. This area was expanded upon in the wake of the Spanish conquest and administered from the former Aztec capital as New Spain.

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Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 8,000 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
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