people were believed to have crossed a Bering Strait into the Americas 14,000 years ago -
there were 75 million Europeans and by 1500 there were 10 million Americans -
in the late 15th century, many people came to the Americas and brought diseases that started to kill a lot of people that weren’t immune to the diseases -
Conquistadores were able to dominate because the empires were becoming weak from low population 1.
America Before Columbus
- at first people lived as hunters and gatherers, but then had agriculture - civilizations were then built and were as varied as they were in Europe a.
The Civilization of the South
the Incans built an empire in Peru and developed a complex political system and had roads that connected the many tribes o
the Mayans in Mexico had a written language, calendar, advanced agricultural system and a numerical system o
the Aztecs were the Mayans successors and had a harsh religion o
their economies were agriculture based, but they had big cities with huge buildings and temples that were beautiful b.
The Civilizations of the North
people living in Canada and the U.S. had complex societies, but they weren’t as massive as the Mayans, Incans or Aztecs that were hunting, gathering and fishing based (seals, salmon, moose, caribou) o
other communities were agriculturally based and some even had irrigational canals and substantial towns with pueblo houses o
in the east there was a big food surplus so many people lived there o
people also farmed along the Mississippi River valley and grew corn and grains o
Northeast agriculture societies would only stay at a place for 4 years at a time o
the 3 main Indian societies were the Iroquois, Algonquin and the Muskogean o
Indian tribes usually stuck to themselves even when threatened by whites c.
native Americans were at the beginnings of sedentary agriculture and were starting to create complex societies with religion, population growth and clothing o
religion was very important to them and was usually represented in nature o
usually men and women would have specific tasks, such as farming, hunting and cooking that differed in each tribe, however women played an important role in the social and economic aspect of their societies 2.
Europe Looks Westward
before the 15th century during the Middle Ages in Europe there wasn’t much interest in exploration because there wasn’t that much of a need for it -
interest in exploration changed in the late 15th century
Commerce and Nationalism
the reason for looking for new land was a population regrowth and growth o
landlords wanted resources from distant overseas land, so merchants and sailors started exploring at longer distances o
instead of the pope being the head, monarchs started coming into power and wanted to grow their kingdoms by conquering other lands o
in the late 15th century, many of the monarchs were on a race to find the quickest maritime route to Asia and the first to do so was the Portuguese with Prince Henry the Navigator o
other explorers kept building off of each other’s progresses and eventually made it to Asia b.
ever since Columbus was little he wanted to cross the Atlantic to Asia by going west, but he didn’t realize that there was another continent in between o
Spain’s new monarchs decided to support Columbus when Portugal didn’t o
Columbus left Spain in August 1492 and ten weeks later thought he made it to Japan, but it really was the Bahamas and then reached Cuba, but he thought it was China o
on the third voyage in 1468, he realized that he had found another continent o
when Columbus died he didn’t get much credit for hat he had done because Amergio Vespucci wrote a detailed book about the New World and got credit o
Columbus was a very religious man and thought finding the New World was his mission and his plan for life o
Spain soon after became the leading seafaring nation above Portuguese with Ferdinand Magellan(1519-1522) and...
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