New World Beginnings

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Chapter 1 – New World Beginnings, 33,00B.C – A.D. 1769

New World Beginnings – the human history of the new world began during the ice-age when, because of lower sea levels, Asiatic tribes were able to cross the Bering Strait and populate the Americas. Eventually, these peoples migrated and dispersed to form tribes and some advanced civilizations on almost every corner of these two continents.

Bering Strait – a land bridge connecting modern-day Alaska and Russia. During the Ice Age, low ocean levels made this bridge tractable for Asaitic tribes, who crossed over and populated the Americas. However, after the Ice Age, rising ocean levels inundated the land bridge, thereby isolating the new America peoples.

Pueblos – primitive Indian culture in the Rio Grande valley, who were able form villages of multistoried buildings and build intricate irrigation systems to water cornfields.

Mound Builders – tribe of Indians from the Ohio river valley who sustained large settlements because the incorporation of the agriculture of corn.

Creeks, Choctaw, Cherokee, Chicasaw , Seminole – these tribes in the Eastern United States were able to maintain high-population densities because of their “three-sister” farming technique, which allowed for a rich diet of corn, beans, and squash.

Importance of Corn – this revolution in agriculture transformed nomadic tribes in Central and South America into complex intricate societies by 5000 BC. Eventually, reaching southern North America in 1200 BC and even Eastern United States by the first millennia AD, it transformed nomadic tribes into societies and enriched the diets of Indians.

“Three sisters” planting – farming technique found on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States which consisted of corn, beans, and squash planted on the same field. This triplicate enriched the diet of Indians and even kept the soil nutritious.

Iroquois – tribe in the North Eastern Woodlands with legendary leader, Hiawatha, who formed a complex Confederacy with political and organizational skills and a strong military. They were able to menace Europeans and Native Americans alike.

Where were the different concentrations of Indians? – the different concentrations of Indians were found in small, scattered impermanent village across the Americas. Other more organized civilizations were found where the Natives had adopted agriculture.

Matrilineal Culture – in the agricultural societies, women tended to the crops, giving them substantial authority. Consequently, many Native American cultures passed power and possessions down the female side of the family.

Vasco da Gama – first European to reach India by ship around Africa in 1498.

Ferdinand and Isabella – Catholic monarchs of Spain, who through their marriage in 1469 were able to defeat the last of Moors in 1492. Eager to stymie the Portuguese sea dominance, they funded many expeditions to the “Indies”, including that of Christopher Columbus.

How did European contact impact Indian Civilizations? – The Columbian Exchange brought new crops and animals to the Americas, which were incorporated into their culture. However, new diseases weakened the Native populations and forced labor many tribes were virtually wiped out.

Incas – very advanced tribe in Peru, who were crushed by Francisco Pizarro in 1532 in his search for silver.

Mayans – ancient, advanced culture in Central America. The Aztecs spoke this language.

Aztecs – advanced tribe in Mexico with capital at Tenochtitlan and leader Montezuma who were conquered by Cortez in 1521 in his search for gold and power.

Christopher Columbus – discoverer of New World in 1492 in his search for a Western Route to the Far East. However, he believed at first that the new World was the Indies, hence the name. Discovery prompted a new global economy between the 4 continents.

Conquistadors – becoming the dominant exploring and sea-faring nation, Spain sent out these explorers in search of...
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