This course takes a comparative perspective to consider state development in Central and South America through the Early Spanish Colonial Era. The course is divided into three sections: In the first third, you will learn about the development of the Maya and the Wari, consider the cultural distinctions between the two states, and compare how each state set the stage for upcoming major Imperial Empires. The second section studies how Aztec and Inka civilizations built upon (or did not) existing infrastructures and religious traditions to become major powers. The third section investigates how Spanish colonial processes were shaped by cultural traditions in Mexico and Peru. Specifically, this third section explores how cultural structures and shifting alliances led to Spanish forces adapting and exacerbating these factors in their ultimately successful conquests of each region.