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 Ill. 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 xisted 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 settlements i. Nature didn’t feel a heavy hand of the Native Americans. Roughly only 4 million Native Americans inhabited NA when the Europeans arrived – they were unaware of their isolation IV. Indirect Discoverers of the New World a. Norsemen – N. E.
NA about 1000AD – discovery only known in saga and song b. Europeans accidental discovery of the New World – motivated by trade to get to Asia consumers and distributors were looking for a less expensive route to the riches of Asia V. Europeans enter Africa a. Macro Polo – regarded as the indirect discoverer of the New World because of the stories of his travels b. Portuguese developed a ship called the caravel that could sail into the winds – eventually leading to the ability to make their way into sub-Saharan Africa c. Portuguese set up trading posts along the shore for slaves and gold.
Arabs and Africans had traded slaves for centuries before the Europeans (From the earliest days slavery inhibited the expression of regional African cultures and tribal identities) d. Portuguese began to use slaves in their sugar plantations – their ppetite for slaves was huge compared to pre-European trade (40,000 Africans were carried to the Atlantic sugar islands in the last half of the 15th century) ** This kind of plantation economy would shape the destiny of the new world e. Unification of Spain under Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile led to an increased competition with the Portuguese.
Spain looked westward VI. Columbus Comes upon a New World a. 3 Ships/mutinous crew (remember the map of what Europeans knew of the world?? ) b. October 12, 1492 – the Bahamas! c. Indians – a mistake the stuck (he thought he hit the Indies) d. Thanks to his discoveries an interdependent global economic system emerged e. Europe- markets/ capital/technology Africa – Labor New World – resources VI’. When Worlds Collide a. Native crops fed the growing population of the Old World (potatoes, tomatoes, tobacco) b. Introduction of the horse, cattle and pigs.
Within 2 centuries they made their way to Canada **Transformation of Indian cultures into highly mobile, wide- ranging hunter societies that roamed the grassy Great Plains c. Also the CC brought sugar cane seedlings (What will this lead to? ) Transformation of European diet and African slave trade d. Kentucky bluegrass, daises and dandelions from the dirt on their boots e. The worst of all – smallpox, yellow fever and malaria came from their bodies – Indians died in droves – **ln the centuries following CC 90% of Native Americans perished – without parallel in human history f.
Indians introduced syphilis into the European population VIII. The Spanish Conquistadores a. Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) divided the lands of the new world (mainly S America) b. Spain became the dominant exploring and colonizing power in the new world in the 1500s c. Balboa – discovered the Pacific d. Magellan’s voyage was the first to circumnavigate the New World (he didn’t make it) e. Ponce de’ Leon explored Florida possibly looking for the “fountain of youth” f. Hernando de Soto – Mississippi River – brutal mistreatment of the Indians h. Pizzaro (SA) crushed the Incas i.
Discovery and control of precious minerals (silver) increased consumer costs by as much as 500% in the hundred years after the mid sixteenth century ** Some see this as the fuel that feed the new and growing idea of capitalism J. Led to modern commercial banking spread of commerce and manufacturing international trade with Asia k. Institution of the encomienda – allowed the gov’t to “commend” (give) Indians to certain colonists in return for the promise to Christianize them – In all by name it was slavery ‘X. The Conquest of Mexico (remember map on 17 – routes of Spanish explorers) a.
Cortes set out for Mexico in 1519 b. Picked up two translators along the way to give me the advantage of language c. Learns of discontent in the Aztec Empire and hears stories of gold d. Attacks Tenochtitlan (Aztec capital) – their leader Moctezuma believed Cortes was the god Quetzalcoatl (based on their legends) e. Battle began over the Spanish lust for gold – all of the Aztecs – 3 centuries of Spanish rule – their city destroyed to make way for Catholic churches – present day Mexico City: laws, customs, religion, crops and animals all were adaptable to the Mexicans f.