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A.P. U.S. History Chapter 1 Notes New World Beginnings


Scientists estimate that when Columbus arrived in 1492, some 54 million people ... Christopher Columbus (Italian) persuaded Isabella and Ferdinand to outfit a crew ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A.P. U.S. History Chapter 1 Notes New World Beginnings

A.P. U.S. History Chapter 1 Notes New World
  • 33,000 B.C.-A.D. 1769

  • 33,000 B.C.-A.D. 1769
  • Recorded history of the Western World began
    around 4,000 B.C.
  • Recent history is only very brief in terms of how
    old the Earth is.

  • The continents split apart from a single, giant
    land mass about 225 million years ago.
  • The basic geological shape of North America was
    born about 10 million years ago.

  • Several Ice Ages have hit North America in the
    past 2 million years, even as recent as 10,000
    years ago (not really that long ago)
  • Beginning about 35,000 nomadic hunters from Asia
    crossed an Ice Bridge from Siberia to North
    America, peopling the Western Hemisphere.
  • There were several other migrations over the next
    several thousand years.

  • The sea level was much lower then with much of
    the ocean water packed into massive ice caps.
  • When the Ice Age ended, the melting ice caused
    the ocean level to rise, trapping these waves
    of traveling hunters.

  • So Native Americans were isolated from contact
    with the rest of the world until the Vikings came
    and Columbus.
  • Scientists estimate that when Columbus arrived in
    1492, some 54 million people occupied North and
    South America.
  • These Native Americans evolved into thousands of
    different tribes speaking some 2,000 separate

(Look at map of North America from 1540 on page
7…….How far off were they?)
  • Certain cultures like the Inca and Aztec are very
    sophisticated considering they didnt have draft
    animals or the wheel.
  • Yet they were excellent mathematicians, city
    builders, farmers, and had a population of 20
    million people.

  • When maize was cultivated in Mexico around 5,000
    B.C. tribes began to be less nomadic and could
    rely on this staple crop.
  • Cultivation of corn spread to almost all areas of
    North and South America.
  • Corn planting reached the present day American
    Southwest by about 1,200 B.C.
  • The Pueblo tribes in the Rio Grande valley had a
    sophisticated system of irrigation, multistoried
    housing, pottery, etc.

  • When Europeans first arrived, the only real
    nation-states in the modern sense existing in the
    new world were the Aztec and Inca.

  • The would-be U.S. was inhabited by tribes that
    also grew other crops besides corn
  • The 3 sisters corn, beans, and squash. (the
    corn gave the beans something to climb up on, and
    the squash with its broad leaves retained
  • The Iriquois Confederation was the closest
    approximation to the European version of a
    nation state which dominated in the Northeast
    over neighboring tribes and early French and
    English traders and settlers.

  • Many Native American societies were matrilineal,
    where power and possessions passed down the
    female side of the family line.
  • In general, Native Americans were sparsely
    populated across the landscape.
  • Native Americans did not feel that they could
    own the land as Europeans did.
  • It is estimated that only about 4 million Native
    Americans inhabited what would eventually become
    the U.S. in 1492, compared to nearly 300 million

  • Vikings from Scandinavia reached Eastern Canada
    (Newfoundland) in 1000 A.D. but the settlements
    did not last long.

  • Europeans accidentally discovered the Americas
    because they were actually looking for a shorter
    and cheaper trade route to Asia by sailing West,
    to get East.
  • The lure for Asian trade goods was started during
    the Crusades of the 11th-14th centuries.

  • Portuguese sailors began coming up with new
    sailing ships (caravels) and techniques to reach
    sub-Saharan Africa, that led to the technology
    that brought European sailors to the Americas.

  • Christopher Columbus (Italian) persuaded Isabella
    and Ferdinand to outfit a crew and 3 small ships
    to sail west for the Indies.
  • They discovered America on Oct 12, 1492 in the
    Bahamas thinking they were in India.

3 Worlds Collided
  • Europe provided the markets, the capital, and the
    technology Africa furnished the labor and the
    New World offered its raw materials.
  • New World crops like potatoes, corn, tobacco,
    tomatoes, and cocoa made their way back to the
    Old World.
  • (About 3/5ths of the worlds crops today
    originated in the New World).

  • Old World crops and animals transformed the
    Americas and their people with items like cattle,
    horses, guns, metal tools and materials, the
    wheel, and many diseases.
  • (See Chart of Old/New World Exchange on page 15)

  • Many millions more Native Americans were killed
    by European diseases (whether intentional or
    accident) than from guns.
  • Spanish Conquistadors explored and discovered
    most of North and South America in the 1500s.

  • The gold bullion from the Americas flowing to
    Europe and the trade that went along with it may
    have created the modern economic system of
  • Spanish Conquistadors conquered vast empires in
    the new world over millions of Native Americans
    with just a few hundred men.
  • It helped having horses, guns, and most Indians
    fell to diseases before the Europeans even
    reached them.

  • Most of the Spanish conquistadors and later
    settlers were single men. Many of them married
    native women and produced a new mestizo or
    mixed race of Latin Americans.

Hernando Cortes
  • Conquered the Aztec Empire in 1521.
  • He had the help of a young girl named Malinche
    who spoke the Aztec language and eventually
    learned Spanish, serving as interpreter.
  • Cortes burned all of his ships when he landed in
    Mexico so that his men could not go back.

Cortes and the Aztecs
  • Other Native tribes did most of the fighting
    against the Aztecs.
  • Cortes was extremely lucky in that the Aztecs
    confused him with Quetzalcoatl, a god who was
    supposed to return at the same time as him and
    from the same direction.
  • In less than a century, would be Mexico shrank
    from a population of 20 million to less than 2
    million due mostly as a result of warfare and
    European diseases.

  • The English and French sent explorers to the New
    World too in the 15th and 16th centuries
    establishing the roots of future colonies.
  • The Spanish established a fort at St. Augustine
    Florida in 1565, making it the oldest
    continuously occupied town in the U.S.

New Mexico
  • New Mexico was established as a province in 1609.
    The Spanish were particularly cruel to the
    Native Americans in this region.
  • Popes Rebellion 1680 in New Mexico (Taos). The
    Indians destroyed every Catholic church in the
    province, killed a number of priests and hundreds
    of Spanish settlers.
  • The Spanish returned a decade later and overtook
    their lost claims and didnt fully regain control
    of the region for another 50 years.

  • New Mexico was almost always weak, sparsely
    populated and very distant from colonial Mexico
    and Spain.
  • (See maps on pages 22 and 23)

  • Ironically the Spanish should have ended up being
    the riches European nation through colonization
    in the New World, but ended up one of the
  • The Spanish got their first, stole the most gold,
    had by far the largest empire and plantation
  • The French and English got started exploring and
    colonizing much later, had smaller holdings, in
    less mineral rich areas.
  • See timeline on page 24.

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