The word "discovery" is no longer used to describe the European exploration, conquest, and colonization of the hemisphere.
When Christopher Columbus arrived in the West Indian islands in 1492, he set in motion some of the most important developments in human history.
The consequences of changes in the Old and New Worlds are still with us today.
Humans have been interacting since the dawn of civilization.
No society is representative of a single culture or people.
The idea of Europe as a distinct community arose out of encounters between Europeans and Muslims in North Africa and Eurasia.
Since the voyages of Columbus, cultures and peoples have come together on a global scale.
The peoples of the American continents and Europe were thrown into constant contact.
Crops new to each hemisphere crossed the Atlantic.
The inhabitants of North and South America had no immunity to the germs that came with the colonizers.
The greatest population catastrophe in human history was caused by a series of epidemics.
Africa was drawn into the new system of trade and population movement within a decade of Columbus's voyage.
Europeans were able to exploit the fertile lands of the Western Hemisphere because of a supply of unfree labor in Africa.
The vast majority of those who crossed from the Old World to the New were African slaves.
The emergence of the Atlantic as the world's major avenue for trade and population movement allowed millions of Europeans to increase their enjoyment of life.
The settlement of America meant a descent into slavery for millions of Africans.
Europeans had dreamed of a land of abundance, wealth, and ease beyond the western horizon.
Once the "discovery" of this New World had taken place, they invented an America of the imagination, projecting onto it their hopes for a better life.
Many believed that there would be great opportunities for wealth and liberation from poverty here.
America was seen by Europeans as a religious refuge, a society of equals, and a source of power and glory.
They were looking for fountains of eternal youth.
Some wanted to establish ideal communities based on the lives of early Christian saints.
Some of these dreams would be fulfilled.
America gave settlers a chance to own land and worship as they pleased, with its rigid, equal social order and official churches.
The debasement of millions of others made possible the conditions that allowed millions of settlers to take control of their own destinies.
The New World was the site of many forms of unfree labor, including indentured servitude, forced labor, and one of the most brutal and unjust systems ever devised by man.
New chapters in the histories of freedom and slavery were opened when the Western Hemisphere was conquered.
There was a lot of human diversity in the New World.
In an era of constant warfare among European nations, exploration and settlement took place.
Many groups of Native Americans and Africans have their own languages.
They were very likely to fight each other.
The people were changed by their integration into the new economy.
American history would be shaped by the complex interactions of Europeans, American Indians, and Africans.
Europeans and Africans were not the only groups in the Americas.
They lived in many kinds of societies and spoke hundreds of different languages.
Most were descended from bands of hunters and fishers who crossed the Bering Strait via a land bridge between 15,000 and 60,000 years ago.
Some may have arrived by sea.
When glaciers began to melt at the end of the last Ice Age, the land link became submerged under water and separated the Western Hemisphere from Asia.
The first Americans settled the Western Hemisphere between 15,000 and 60,000 years ago.
The history of North and South America did not start with Europeans.
The New World was an ancient homeland to those who had already lived there.
The human history of the hemisphere has seen many changes.
The early inhabitants and their descendants spread across the two continents, reaching the tip of South America 11,000 years ago.
As the climate warmed, they faced a food crisis as the huge animals they hunted, including woolly mammoths and giant bison, became extinct.
At the same time that agriculture was being developed in the Near East, it also emerged in modern-day Mexico and the Andes, and then spread to other parts of the Americas.
The basis of agriculture was corn, squash, and beans.
The lack of livestock in the Western Hemisphere limited farming by preventing the plowing of fields and the application of naturalfertilizer.
When Europeans arrived in the Americas, they found cities, roads, irrigation systems, extensive trade networks, and large structures such as pyramid-temples.
Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire in Mexico, was one of the largest cities in the world.
One of the first Europeans to visit the 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 The Inca kingdom is centered in modern-day Peru.
A system of roads and bridges spanned 2,000 miles and linked its population of 12 million.
Europeans encountered many native peoples in the United States.
The scale, grandeur, and centralized organization of the Aztec and Inca societies to their south were not developed by the Indian civilization in North America.
Europeans had the technology that North American Indians lacked, such as gunpowder, metal tools and machines.
European conquest was based on their "backwardness".
Indian societies had mastered techniques of farming, hunting, and fishing, developed structures of political power and religious belief, and engaged in farreaching networks of trade and communication.
Some of the early civilizations in North America still have physical remains.
Native Americans built a large community on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River around 3,500 years ago.
The residents of Poverty Point established trade routes throughout the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys.
Archaeologists have found copper and flint there.
The Indians of the Ohio River valley were called "mound builders" by the settlers who encountered the large burial mounds they created.
The city of Cahokia in the Mississippi River valley had between 10,000 and 30,000 inhabitants in the year 1200.
The biggest of which was 100 feet high and 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 Cahokia's political and economic structure is not known.
Until New York and Philadelphia overtook it in population around 1800, it was the largest settled community in the United States.
The remains can be seen today.
The Hopi and Zuni and their ancestors lived in a settled village in the northeastern part of Arizona for over 3000 years.
During the peak of the region's culture between 900 and 1200, these peoples built great planned towns with large multiple- family dwellings in local canyons, constructed dams and canals to gather and distribute water, and conducted trade with groups as far away as central Mexico and the Mississippi Valley.
The largest of their structures was in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, and had more than 600 rooms.
The United States had a dwelling of the same size that was constructed in the 1880s.
After the decline of these communities, survivors moved to the south and east, where they established villages and mastered the techniques of desert farming, complete with irrigation systems to provide water for crops of corn, beans, and cotton.
Hundreds of distinct groups resided in independent villages on the Pacific coast and lived primarily by fishing, hunting sea mammals, and gathering wild plants and nuts.
25 million salmon swam up the Columbia River each year, giving Indians plentiful food.
Many Indians hunted buffalo on foot before the arrival of horses with the Spanish, while others lived in agricultural communities.
Hundreds of tribes inhabited towns and villages scattered from the Gulf of Mexico to present-day Canada.
They hunted deer, turkeys, and other animals while living on corn, squash, and beans.
The eastern part of the continent has Indian trade routes.
The tribes often fought to get goods, seize captives, or take revenge for the killing of relatives.
They made peace.
In an effort to bring order to local regions, various leagues or confederations emerged in the fifteenth century.
The Great League of Peace was formed by five peoples in New York and Pennsylvania.
Representatives from the five groupings meet each year to coordinate dealings with outsiders.
Native American society was very diverse at the time Europeans arrived.
North America was home to hundreds of mutually unintelligible languages, and each group had its own political system and set of religious beliefs.
Indians didn't see "America" as a hemisphere or a continent.
Europeans invented the idea of a single people, but Indians adopted it many years later.
A tribe, village, chiefdom, or confederacy is the immediate social group.
Europeans were seen as one group among many Indians.
Their first thought was how to use the newcomers to improve their standing in relation to other native peoples.
The dichotomy between Indians and whites did not emerge until later in the colonial era.
The diverse Indian societies of North America share some of the same characteristics.
Their lives were filled with religious ceremonies related to farming and hunting.
They used religious ceremonies to harness the power of supernatural forces to serve the interests of man.
To appease the spirits of animals they had killed, hunters in some tribes performed rituals.
The spiritual power of nature was sought to be engaged in by religious ceremonies.
In Indian villages, participation in religious rituals helped define the boundaries of community membership.
shamans, medicine men, and other religious leaders held positions of respect and authority because of their special abilities.
At the time of first contact with Europeans, the native population of North America had many tribes with their own languages, religious beliefs, and economic and social structures.
The map shows many ways of life at the time.
Natural and supernatural activities were not separated from secular and religious activities by Indian religion.
Indian religion was not that different from popular spiritual beliefs in Europe.
Most Indians believed that a single creator ruled the spiritual hierarchy.
Europeans arriving in the New World quickly concluded that Indians were in dire need of being converted to Christianity.
There were a lot of land systems among Native Americans.
Typically, the village leaders assigned plots of land to individual families to use for a season or more, and tribes claimed specific areas for hunting.
The unclaimed land was free for anyone to use.
Families owned the right to use the land, but not the land itself.
The basis of economic life for both hunting and farming societies was land.
Few Indian societies were aware of the idea of a fenced-off piece of land belonging to a single individual or family.
Before Europeans came, there was no real estate market.
Indians were not devoted to accumulating wealth and material goods.
East of the Mississippi River, where villages moved every few years when soil or game became poor, acquiring many possessions made little sense.
Status was important in Indian societies.
The chiefs lived better than average members of society because they came from a small number of families.
Their reputation depended on their willingness to share goods with others.
Some Indian societies had rigid social distinctions.
The descendants of the Mississippian culture, known as the "Great Sun," occupied the top of the social order, with nobles below him and the common people below them.
In general, wealth mattered less in Indian society than it did in European society.
Generosity and gift giving were essential to Indian society.
Trade was accompanied by elaborate ceremonies of gift exchange.
Under normal circumstances, no one in Indian societies went hungry or experienced the extreme inequalities of Europe, even though Indians had no experience of the wealth enjoyed at the top of European society.
Roger Williams reported that there were no beggars in New England's Indians.
The houses are surrounded by corn.
Indians are dancing in a religious ceremony.
Most Indian societies have a different system of gender relations than Europe.
Women who were members of a family were more likely to engage in premarital sexual relations and even divorce their husbands.
Indian societies were centered on clans or kinship groups in which children became members of the mother's family, not the father's.
Women played an important role in certain religious ceremonies, and female elders often helped to select male village leaders, as well as taking part in tribal meetings.
English law states that a married man has control of the family's property and a wife has no legal identity.
Indian women owned dwellings and tools, while a husband moved to live with his wife's family.
In Indian societies, men contributed to the community's well-being by being successful in hunting or fishing and demonstrating their masculinity by doing so.
Because men were often away on the hunt, women took responsibility for most agricultural work as well.
Men were the primary growers in the Southwest where there was less hunting than in the East.
Indians were viewed in extreme terms by Europeans.
They were seen as either noble savages or uncivilized barbarians.
Negative images of Indians came to overshadow positive ones.
Religion, land use, and gender relations were the areas in which North American Indians were described as barbaric.
Europeans concluded that Indians lacked genuine religion or worshiped the devil.
Christianity gave no obstacle to the commercial use of the land, and in some ways encouraged it, since true religion was thought to promote the progress of civilization.
Europeans saw nature as a collection of potential commodities, a source of economic opportunity, as opposed to the Indians who saw nature as a world of spirits and souls.
The English, French, and Dutch came to rely on the idea that Indians had not used the land as claimed by the Spanish, and thus had no claim to it.
Europeans characterized the Indians as nomads without settled communities despite their developed agriculture and well-established towns.
The land was ready to be claimed by newcomers who would cultivate and improve it.
Europeans believed that mixing one's labor with the earth gave one title to the soil.
Europeans saw weak men and mistreated women in the Indians' gender division of labor and matrilineal family structures.
Hunting and fishing, the primary occupations of Indian men, were not considered real work in Europe.
Europeans described Indian women as lacking freedom because they worked in the fields.
One English commentator said that they were not much better than slaves.
Europeans considered Indian men too weak to exercise authority within their families and too lazy to restrain their wives' open sexuality, so they forced their wives to do most of the productive labor.
Europeans promoted the idea that women should confine themselves to household work and that men should have more authority in their families.
Europeans insisted that by subduing the Indians, they were actually freeing them from uncivilized and unchristian gender roles.
The site of present-day Mexico City was built on marshy islands on the western side of Lake Tetzcoco.
The Spanish conquered the mexican people in 1519-1528.
Between 1450 and 1600, an alliance of the Iroquois tribes used their combined strength to force Europeans to work with them in the fur trade and to wage war across eastern North America.
Europeans were seen as embodying freedom by many.
The idea of "freedom" was alien to Indian societies.
Europeans considered Indians to be barbaric because they did not seem to live under established governments and had no respect for authority.
One religious missionary wrote that they are born, live, and die in a liberty without restraint.
Giovanni da Verrazano did not intend to compliment the Indians when he described them as living in "absolute freedom".
Most Indian societies had little meaning to the modern understanding of freedom as personal independence, based on ownership of private property.
Indians had their own ideas of freedom.
Small-scale slavery existed in some Indian societies.
Personal liberty was the opposite of being held as a slave.
Indians would not approve of Europeans reducing them to slavery.
Although individuals were expected to think for themselves and did not always have to go along with collective decision making, Indian men and women judged one another according to their ability to live up to widely understood ideas of appropriate behavior.
kinship ties, the ability to follow one's spiritual values, and the well-being and security of one's community were more important than individual autonomy.
Group autonomy and self-determination, as well as the mutual obligations that came with a sense of belonging and connectedness, took precedence over individual freedom in Indian culture.
The coming of Europeans with their own language of liberty would make freedom a preoccupation of American Indians, as part and parcel of the process by which they were reduced to dependence on the colonizers.
Europeans had many ideas of freedom on the eve of colonization.
As old as the city-states of ancient Greece, some arose during the political struggles of the early modern era.
Some of the foundations for freedom were laid by others.
Freedom was a collection of rights and privileges that were enjoyed by a small portion of the population.
In Europe, freedom was seen as less of a political or social status than a moral or spiritual condition.
Abandoning the life of sin was part of freedom.
There was no connection between "Christian liberty" and the later ideas of religious toleration.
In the premodern world, religion was more than just a matter of beliefs and practices, it was a system of belief.
Secular matters, such as who enjoyed basic rights, were inseparable from religious beliefs.
A person's religion was tied to his or her economic, political, and social position.
In Europe, every nation had a church that decided what types of worship and belief were acceptable.
Dissenters were condemned by church authorities.
The modern idea that a person's religious beliefs and practices are a matter of private choice, not legal obligation, was almost unknown, despite the fact that religious uniformity was thought to be essential to public order.
The religious wars that raged Europe in the 16th and 17th century centered on which religion would dominate in a kingdom or region, not the right of individuals to choose which church to worship.
The equating of liberty with devotion to a higher authority suggested that freedom meant obeying the law.
The law was described as liberty's salvation.
The rule of law does not mean that all subjects of the crown enjoy the same degree of freedom.
The social status of early modern European societies ranged from the king and hereditary aristocracy down to the urban and rural poor.
Almost every social relationship had inequality built into it.
The king claimed to have the authority of God.
People of high rank wanted to be respected by those below them.
Men in families exercised authority over their wives and children.
When a woman married, she surrendered her legal identity, which became covered by her husband, according to the legal doctrine known as "coverture."
She couldn't own property or sign contracts in her own name, she couldn't control her wages if she worked, and she couldn't go to court to seek a divorce.
The husband testified in court for the entire family.
Domestic labor and sexual relations were included in his wife's company.
Family life in Europe was dependent on male dominance and female submission.
The king's authority over his subjects was compared to his wife's authority over his family by political writers in the 16th century.
Both were made by God.
The fabric of social order could not be challenged without threatening it.
Liberty came from knowing one's social place and fulfilling the duties appropriate to one's rank in this society.
Economic independence gave most men the freedom they lacked.
The electorate was limited to a small part of the adult male population because of property qualifications.
Penalties for labor contract breeches carried criminal penalties.
The Middle Ages were a time when "liberties" meant formal privileges such as self-government, exemption from taxation, or the right to practice a particular trade, granted to individuals or groups by contract, royal decree, or purchase.
One legal dictionary defined a liberty as a privilege.
Those who enjoyed the freedom of the city could only engage in certain economic activities.
There were not many modern civil liberties.
The government suppressed publications it didn't like and criticism of authority could lead to imprisonment.
One of the reasons why authorities found "masterless men" was because they were outside the control of their social superiors.
European countries that colonized the New World claimed to be spreading freedom for their own population and for Native Americans.
The world known to Europeans was limited to Europe, parts of Africa, and Asia.
Explorers from Portugal wanted to find a sea route to the East in order to circumvent the Italian city-states and Middle Eastern rulers who controlled the overland trade.
The discovery by Portuguese navigators of a sea route from Europe to Asia around the southern tip of Africa is the second important event that Adam Smith linked to Columbus's voyage.
Silk, tea, spices, porcelain, and other luxury goods were the source of international trade in the early modern era, and the European conquest of America began as a result of the quest for a sea route to India, China, and the islands of the East Indies.
From China and South Asia to the Middle East and the Mediterranean region, this commerce had taken place for hundreds of years.
The desire to eliminate Islamic middlemen and win control of the lucrative trade for Christian western Europe combined to inspire the quest for a direct route to Asia.
The world's first global empire could have been predicted at the beginning of the fifteenth century.
Between 1405 and 1433, there were seven large naval expeditions in the Indian Ocean.
The first convoy consisted of larger ships than any European nation and more than 25,000 men.
He explored the coast of East Africa on his sixth voyage.
China was the world's most important trading economy, with trade routes through the Indian Ocean.
To impress other people with China's might was what Zheng's purpose was.
His ships could have traveled to North and South America.
After 1433, the Chinese government ended support for long-distance maritime expeditions because they did not feel the need for overseas expansion.
It fell to Portugal, located on the western corner of the Iberian Peninsula, to take advantage of new techniques of sailing and navigation to begin exploring the Atlantic.
Review flashcards and saved quizzes
Getting your flashcards
You're all caught up!
Looks like there aren't any notifications for you to check up on. Come back when you see a red dot on the bell!