Chapter 1: New World Beginnings
500 years ago Europeans came across the Americas
I. The Shaping of North America
a. Existence of a super continent
b. 10 million years ago the basic geological shape of N America emerged c. 2 million years ago - The Great Ice Age
d. When the glaciers retreated (10,000) N America’s current landscape for formed e. Only the Great Salt Lake exists as remains from Lake Bonneville
II. Peopling the Americas
a. The Great Ice Age also led to populating of N America
b. Map pg 6
c. A land bridge once connected N America to the Asian continent where the Bering Sea now exists. Humans used this bridge for some 250 centuries - populating the Americas d. By 1492, 54 million people inhabited the Americas
e. Maize helped to sustain the population
f. Development of civilization: large cities, technology of the wheel, commerce g. Aztecs: religion - human sacrifice
III. The Earliest Americans
a. The crop of corn in the highlands of Mexico (5000 BC) became the staple of the growing Aztec civ b. This transformed nomadic herders into agricultural villagers c. Corn reached NA - Pueblos had intricate ways of watering their crops d. No dense concentrations of population or complex nation-states comparable to the Aztecs existed in NA prior to the arrival of Europeans e. Mound Builders of the Ohio River Valley/Mississippian Culture/Anasazi of the Southwest (Map pg 9 p NA Indians and the first arrival of the Europeans) - ancient cultures fell by 1300 AD (drought??) f. “Three-Sister” farming in the SE Atlantic (beans, corn and squash) - led to some of the highest populations in NA (Creek, Choctaw and Cherokee) g. Iroquois (NE Woodlands) under their leader Hiawatha created the closest nation-state comparable to the Aztecs in Mexico.
- Development of the Iroquois Confederacy: political and military alliance h. For the most part on the eve of Europeans, Native Americans were living in small, scattered, impermanent...
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