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New York: Penguin, 2002. Communist Movements Organized groups supporting communism, a social and economic theory based on the writings of nineteenth-century German political philosopher Karl Marx and German socialist Friedrich Engels. Communist philosophy advocates a classless, stateless society in which the means of production are owned communally by all citizens and goods are produced and distributed equitably. Communism has traditionally been perceived as hostile to capitalism, which operates on the principle of private ownership, which communism proposes to abolish.

After a siege lasting several months, Cortés’s troops stormed into the city; the Aztecs surrendered on August 13. Their new ruler, Cuauhtémoc, was captured and executed, and Cortés’s troops slaughtered thousands of citizens. Though Aztec resistance continued after the fall of Tenochtitlán, Cortes’s victory marked a sea change in power relations in Mesoamerica. It was not long before the Native Americans who had allied themselves with Spain found that they had accomplished little more than exchange one empire for another.

Because of the relative lack of precipitation, roofs were flat in Mexico but sloped elsewhere in tropical regions. Spanish architecture at the time had absorbed complex geometrical patterns from the Muslim Moors who had ruled Spain for centuries; these Moorish elements appeared in colonial architecture as well. As urban centers grew in the seventeenth century, new buildings were constructed in the baroque style, featuring numerous sculptures and other decorations of Christian scenes and figures.

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