The National Experience: a History of the United States Outline

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Maemae Moloney

The National Experience: A History of the United States Outline

Chapter 1: Making Use of a New World

• The first American came from the Bearing Strait 20-40 thousand years ago and was followed by many to disperse into the various parts

• The tribes of the Americas were very diverse
• Those in South America were more advanced due to advancements in agriculture (corn), architecture, astronomy and established governments and economies

• North American Indians were less advanced loosely organized into tribes • Combined with their dignity, self-reliance and peaceful natures, they would struggle to fight against strangers more organized


• Vikings settled in Newfoundland Canada in the eleventh century left

The Rise of Kings and Commerce

• The timing of Columbus’ arrival contributed to its great historical impact • Wealthy merchant class emerged by 1492 from selling Asian goods
Spices, dyes, textiles
• Europe was searching for a less-risky sea route to Asia

• Portugal led the way with the sleek caravel ship
• The focused on Africa-for trade and to travel around
Prince Henry (Azores), Diaz (Cape Good Hope), de Gama (rounded tip)

• The rise of kings of larger kingdoms meant more power and wealth to sponsor journeys

• Portugal, later Spain, dominated exploration and was the only one interested and able

Columbus and the Spanish

• Christopher Columbus wanted to sail west to Asia
• Despite being told he was wrong about the size of the world by experts and Portugal, Queen Isabella of Spain financed him

• Columbus was in the Caribbean from October 12, 1492-March 15, 1493 • Though he never found Asia there, his biggest discovery was gold

• Spain was one of a few countries that saw the America’s as more than an obstacle to Asia • With Portugal and the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), they split the land and received the west half

• Though outnumbered, explorers were determined to find gold, working to death the Caribbean Natives for it and later African slaves to bring profit from sugar

• Cortez took over the Aztecs of Mexico and Pizarro the Incas of Peru • These natives were divided and saw them as godly figures they’d served before

• The conquistadors found gold and silver, but most valuably cheap labor from the Natives

• The govt. and Catholic Church tried to prevent their exploitation but were unable to prevent their enslavement

• Indians were enslaved or put into the encomienda system for forced labor and were exploited even after the system was made illegal

• Indians made great profits from the silver mines and fields in the first century but declined rapidly within a century

• European disease killed most Indians, making room for mestizos-mixed race-Creoles-European descent- and Africans in Latin America

• The Spanish were not interested North America until the last half of the 1500s

• When the Spanish started to settle in Florida, New Mexico and Arizona, they planted missions and presidios-military outposts, and later in Texas and California • Missions would teach the natives Christianity, farming and crafting techniques

The Europeans in North America

• John Cabot, working for England, was the first to report of North America in 1497, seeing it as an obstacle

• The French sent da Verrazano and Cartier to Canada, returning and forgetting about it when there were no real riches and harsh winters

• Summer fishers, from all countries, were the first to make use of North America

• Europeans started to see more resources and traded metals for furs with Indians

• France, Holland and Sweden set up trading posts all over North America, mainly the northeast

• The French and Dutch remained friendly with the Indians, despite some setbacks, and only made settlements to push...
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