They were a mighty empire until the arrival of Europeans. The Aztecs controlled a territory that incorporated many different tribes and peoples and they did this without the use of metal. But they were not primitive. The Aztec civilization was advanced in many ways alien to Europe. Unfortunately, for these native Americans, they did not have the skills in war accompanied by the inherent cynicism that constant European conflict bred in the Conquistadors. The Aztecs were doomed from the moment the first Spanish boot was allowed to step onto the shores of their land. The rest is history.