September 8, 2012
Outline: Chapter 1 - The Meeting of Cultures
I. America Before Columbus
* At first, early settlers of America formed small nomadic groups, hunting and fishing to obtain food. * Gradually, stable civilizations were formed, many of substantial sizes and variety. II. The Civilizations of the South
* The greatest of these civilizations were in South America and in Mexico * These civilizations developed complex political systems and large networks of paved roads that unified the civilization Incas in Peru. * The Mayas created a written language, a numerical system, an accurate calendar, and an advanced agricultural system-they were eventually succeeded by the Aztecs, a nomadic warrior tribe from the North. * The Aztecs formed elaborate administrative, educational, and medical systems-their religion required human sacrifice. * The Aztec capital was Tenochtitlan, with one of the largest populations of any city during the time, with impressive buildings. III. The Civilizations of the North
* Civilizations in the North were not as elaborate as those in the South. * Societies were mainly based on fishing, gathering, fishing or a combination of the three. * Some communities were only agricultural.
* The most elaborate were in the Southwest, where irrigation systems were built-built pueblos. * Most tribes were agricultural.
* Historians disagree with each other mainly because they interpret the events that occurred in the past differently. * Events in the present can influence how a historian analyzes history. * There is no truth; history is based on different interpretations of events. * In the Northeastern tribes, land was exploited quickly and then left-man tribes were linked by linguistic roots-different language groups were: the Algonquin tribes, the Iroquois Confederation, and the Muskogee. * When Europeans arrived and threatened the way of life for the Natives, they thought of themselves as individual tribes rather than an “Indian nation.” IV. Tribal Cultures
* Before the Europeans arrived in America, the Native Americans were having agricultural revolution - tribes developing new ways to get food, clothing and shelter * Jobs were assigned based on gender; different tribes and cultures gave each gender different job. (ex. The Iroquois gave women the job of tending fields, while men would be involved in hunting, warfare, and clearing land.) * Because women were often left alone while men went to battle, they controlled the social and economic organization of the settlements and played powerful roles within families. V. Europe Looks Westward
* Most Europeans were unaware of the existence of the Americas before the 15th century. * During the middle ages, Europe was not an adventurous nation. VI. Commerce and Nationalism
* One reason Europeans began to look toward new lands was the huge population increase. * Rich people began to want to trade with more people, so advances in navigation and shipbuilding made long-distance sea travel more possible. * Also, new governments arose and these monarchs became more eager to enhance the commercial growth of their nations. * The first nation to attempt to travel to the east were the Portuguese - their success as a maritime power in the fifteenth century was due a lot to the work of Prince Henry the Navigator, who was interested in exploring the western coast of Africa to find gold. VII. Christopher Columbus
* Christopher Columbus was born and raised in Italy and most of his sea experience was for the Portuguese. * He believed that Asia could be reached by traveling east instead of going west. * Portugal refused to fund his voyage, so he turned to Spain, the strongest monarchy of Europe, ruled by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella-agreed to the voyage in 1942. * Columbus...
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