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Objectives. Expand on why we study history. Identify dating methods. Understand the differences between BC and AD. Identify the link between history and geography – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Bellwork

  • Consider the two questions below (you do not need
    to write them down, but be ready to talk about
  • Why do we study history? What is the purpose?
  • What do you expect to gain out of this class
    (U.S. History)?

American History
  • Unit 1, Section 1
  • Introduction to U.S. History Early Civilizations

  • Expand on why we study history.
  • Understand the differences between BC and AD.
  • Discuss the link between history and geography
  • Identify important characteristics and
    achievements of Paleo-Indian cultures
  • Identify how geographic regions affected certain
    North American Native cultures
  • Review over Mesoamerica
  • Discuss Native American religions
  • Analyze and present Native American cultural

  • Take one minute and be prepared to answer these
  • What do you want to gain from this class?
  • What concerns do you have about the class?
  • What do you expect will happen in this class?

Why do we study history?
  • To learn from our mistakes and successes
  • We dont want to make the same mistakes our
    ancestors did, but we do want to learn what made
    many civilizations so powerful.
  • To understand the perspectives of the people of
    our past.
  • Historians Fallacy
  • To know what shaped modern society
  • Laws, art, literature, etc.

  • History is generally broken into two sections to
    describe its age
  • B.C.- Before Christ- History that occurred prior
    to Christs birth.
  • This system works backwards. The higher the
    number in BC, the older it is (500 BC was before
    400 BC).
  • A.D.- Anno Domini- History that occurred after
    Christs birth.
  • The higher numbers here indicate how recent it
    occurred (so, 1994 was before 2014).

Alternative Dating Methods
  • However, some scholars have began to utilize a
    different dating method due to religious
  • CE- Common Era alternative to AD
  • BCE- Before Common Era- alternative to BC
  • Both are exactly the same as BC/AD, but for this
    class, I will be using BC and AD.
  • For the purposes of this class, we will be mostly
    focusing on history in the last 2000 years.

Calendars (cont.)
  • For this class, we will be identifying history
    using what is called the Gregorian Calendar.
  • This calendar is the modern calendar used in many
    international nations with the standard 365 day

Pope Gregory XIII
History and Geography
  • Another part of this class will be heavily
    studying the geography of the area(s) in
  • Geography studies how physical environments
    affected human events and how humans effect their
  • In this class, when we study a new culture or
    group, we will identify how the geography has
    affected aforementioned group.

History and Geography (cont)
  • As well, when certain events occur in human
    history, the environment around them can change.
    This can include
  • A change in territories
  • Interaction such as irrigation, clearing forests,
    building cities
  • Using and reading maps will prove vital in this

What to expect from this class
  • Lets start with what we will not do (generally)
    rote memorization.
  • What we will do
  • Understand how America changed over time
  • Determining cause and effect when it comes to
    events in U.S. history
  • Analyze how people experienced these events
    through reading their experiences
  • Practicing research skills, debate skills,
    discussion skills, and reading/writing skills
  • Synthesizing materials
  • And, finally, gaining a greater appreciation of
    history through earnest interest

  • Expect to do quite a few of the following
  • Reading primary and secondary sources. We want to
    get an understanding of a time from those who
    lived it. This give us the greatest insight.
  • Comparing and contrasting sources is also a major
    part of this class. History is too complex to
    believe there is only one viewpoint in most
  • Projects. There are various kinds of projects in
    this class, such as creating presentations,
    posters, researching, writing, etc.
  • Debating. There are a few debates littered
    throughout the class. Debates help us critically
    think about major issues from sides that we dont
    always agree with. Its an important skill to be
    able to defend your beliefs.
  • Intermittent tests and quizzes we have to be
    able to remember what we learn. This summative
    assessments help me know what you know.
  • Socratic Discussions. These are designed to
    better understand sources or events.

Breakdown of the Course
  • The class will cover the following points in
    American history
  • Prehistory
  • Discovery, Colonization, Revolution
  • Expansion
  • Formation of the Union
  • New states
  • Civil War
  • Restoration Era
  • Early 20th Century
  • World War II and The Great Depression
  • Post WWII Era
  • Civil Rights
  • Cold War
  • Technologies
  • Modern United States

Any questions?
  • Do you have any questions about this class or
    what to expect?
  • What do you take notes on?
  • What is underlined is the most important
    information to take notes on.
  • How will information be presented?
  • Generally speaking, you will learn between the
    use of PowerPoints and reading activities.
  • Will we watch videos or do activities?
  • Yes. Where applicable, I do try to show short
    videos. However, it is unlikely we will watch
    whole movies.

  • How do you think early Native American peoples
    arrived to this continent?
  • Why do you think they came here?

The Bering Land Bridge
  • Approximately 12,000-60,000 years ago, most
    archeologists agree that the first Americans-
    Paleo-Indians- crossed into America using the
    Bering Land Bridge.

  • Many archaeologists do not know much about the
  • There is no written records of their existence,
    so researchers have to rely heavily on animal
    remains or artifacts, which does not give any
    precise date to their arrival or how they moved
    across the Americas.

Changing Environment
  • Sometime around 10,000 to 5,000 B.C., the climate
    of the Americas grew hotter and drier.
  • As the climate changed, the groups of
    Paleo-Indians would have moved south, a process
    that would have taken thousands of years.
  • As they moved south, they most likely would have
    followed herds of animals.

How did the Native Peoples move across the
Changing Environment
  • However, big game eventually died out (such as
    mammoths), perhaps being hunted to extinction.
  • Some humans began to utilize fire to help them
    hunt smaller prey, such as clearing whole
    forests. Others learned new ways to hunt and
    capture animals, such as fish and birds.

  • The most revolutionary change made by the
    Paleo-Indians would have been a shift from
    hunting to domestication of plants and animals.

Question How would this change greatly affect
the Paleo-Indians?
  • The shift to farming happened gradually over the
    entire planet, first in the Africa, Asia, Europe,
    and then the Americas.
  • Historians are not entirely certain when
    domestication first began, but by 1500 B.C.,
    farming was well established throughout the

  • Because farming became so prevalent, the
    Paleo-Indians were able to increase their
    populations as there was more food.
  • The natives of North America never created
    large-scale societies.

  • Take 1 minute to breath and be able to answer the
    following questions
  • Where is Mesoamerica?
  • Who were the Maya and the Aztecs?

  • Central America, and the southern and central
    regions of Mexico is the area that archaeologists
    refer to as Mesoamerica. It was home to some of
    the largest of the early cultures. It is
    estimated that at the height of the region, the
    population would have been almost 25 million
    people who all shared a common cultural heritage.

  • The Olmecs were the first great culture of
    Mesoamerica and would have thrived near the Gulf
    of Mexico between 1200 to 400 B.C.
  • The Olmecs were farmers and that influenced their
  • They prayed to a rain god
  • Development of a calendar to predict seasons
  • The farms even circled important ceremonial areas
    in their cities.

Olmecs (cont.)
  • However, around 400 B.C., the Olmec civilization
    began to crumble.
  • However, their way of life was adopted by others
    in Mesoamerica and would lead into the growth of
    the Mayan civilization.

  • The Mayans improved upon the Olmecs
    accomplishments, including developing a far more
    accurate calendar than the one used in Europe.
  • They even adopted the concept of zero before the
  • The Mayans also developed a water-management
    system for their farming, which allowed them to
    vastly increase their population

Mayan Civilization Falls
  • Despite a population of millions, around 900
    A.D., the Mayans had abandoned almost all of
    their cities and merged with other cultures in
    the area.
  • Why this happened is unknown.

  • In a century prior to the decline of the Maya,
    the Toltecs came to dominate the region known as
    the Valley of Mexico.
  • Adopting the cultures of the people they
    conquered, they built a vast empire.
  • However, due to internal conflicts, they fell to
    invading groups to the north in around the 12th

  • Of the groups that came from the north, the
    Aztecs (Mexicas) proved powerful enough to
    control the vast empire of the Toltecs.
  • Over the course of two centuries, they would come
    to dominate a region of over 5 million people.
  • Human sacrifice was central to their religion.
  • As we will discuss later, the Aztecs in 1500s
    would fall to Spanish conquest.

Why such a brief overview?
  • We did not go into a very in-depth discuss on the
    Mesoamerican peoples. Why?
  • Theyre not the focus of this class.
  • And there should have been a discussion of them
    in World History.

Cultures of North America
  • Unlike the Mesoamerican cultures, who were all
    centralized in one location, North American
    natives were far too spread out to reach the size
    and complexity of the Native Mesoamericans.
  • However, despite this, many Native American
    cultures were similar to one another, despite
    geographic separation.

Southwestern cultures
  • Native Americans who settled in the Southwest
    began to cultivate corn (maize) and other crops
    by around 3500 B.C.
  • Between 800 and 1100 AD, the Anasazi began to
    build multistory rock and adobe dwellings-
    usually nested against cliffs.
  • However, around 1400, the Anasazi ceased to exist
    as a distinct people.

Eastern Cultures
  • The Adena and Hopewell cultures in the east
    dominated the region for about 1,700 years.
  • They are often referred to as the Mound Builders
    because of the distinctive earthworks they
  • The Hopewell dominated the area.

Eastern Cultures
  • The Mississippian people occupied much of the
    Southeast and Midwest.
  • Huge temple mounds dominated their villages.
  • The populations reach almost 40,000. However,
    overtime, the Mississippian people abandoned some
    of their larger cities.

Iroquois League
  • Eastern tribes (those near or along the eastern
    coast) had much in common with the Mississippian
    peoples, including a similar environment.
    However, woodland groups of the east developed a
    variety of cultures and spoke very distinct
    languages- Algonquian, Iroquoian, and Muskogean.
  • Many of these groups fought one another for land.
  • However, some groups would come together and form

Iroquois League
  • The Iroquois League was a political alliance
    amongst five tribes Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga,
    Cayuga, and Seneca.
  • The league promoted a joint defense and
    cooperation among the tribes the confederacy
    lasted for almost 200 years.

Cultural Connections
  • The relationship between the Iroquois nations-
    and tribes outside of the league- was both
    economic and cultural.
  • While the varying geography defined Native
    cultures, groups began to share cultural concepts
    through trade.
  • They would have similar religious beliefs, and
    shared social patterns.

Cultural Connections
  • Trade was very important to the Native peoples.
  • Trade centers and traveling merchants were found
    throughout North America.
  • For example the Chinook of Oregon established a
    lively marketplace that brought goods from all
    over the west.
  • In some places, goods would travel hundreds (if
    not thousands) of miles from the original source.
  • This was especially true for exotic goods like
    colored feathers and jewelry.

  • Many Native Americans shared a similar belief
  • Nearly all Native American groups believed that
    the world was filled with nature spirits- and the
    native peoples recognized these spirits.

The Spirits
  • Some groups of Native Americans believed in a
    supreme being, or the Great Spirit (Wakan Tanka).
  • North American peoples believed that the spirits
    gave them rituals and customs to guide their
  • If people practiced these rituals, they would
    live in peace and harmony.

Question If so many Native American groups
believe the same thing or similar things what
does that tell you about their society/societies?
  • Native American religious beliefs also included a
    great respect for the land as a source of life
    and rarely altered it.
  • They didnt believe land could be bought and sold
    like Europeans.

Native Americans
  • As we will see when we move forward, Native
    American groups continued to influence the
    American political and social landscape for
    centuries to come even after European arrival.

Review Objectives
  • Expand on why we study history.
  • Understand the differences between BC and AD.
  • Discuss the link between history and geography
  • Identify important characteristics and
    achievements of Paleo-Indian cultures
  • Identify how geographic regions affected certain
    North American Native cultures
  • Review over Mesoamerica
  • Discuss Native American religions
  • Analyze and present Native American cultural

  • If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Next Lesson
  • In the next lesson, we are going to briefly
    discuss Europe prior to the contact with the new

Closure Activity
  • Find one partner to work with there has to be
    7-8 groups.
  • You will need the two worksheets titled Native
    American Cultures
  • The goal of this assignment is for each group to
    research and present some information (poster,
    pamphlet, PowerPoint, etc.) about a particular
    Native American culture region and map it on the
    next slide.

Cultural Areas
  • Northwest Coast- coastal dwellers, fishers,
    developed complex culture
  • Plateau- river dwellers, primarily fishers,
    relatively low populations
  • Great Plains- grasslands dwellers, nomadic
    buffalo hunters after the introduction of horses
  • Northeast- forest dwellers- primarily
    hunter-gatherers but also farmed and fished.
  • Great Basin- desert basic dwellers primarily
    gathering society- low population
  • California- desert, mountain, river, or coastal
    dwellers- primarily gatherers and fishers
  • Southwest- canyon, mountain, and desert dwellers
    usually farmers or nomadic hunters
  • Southeast- river-valley dwellers primarily
    farmers, but also hunted and gathered.

Final Questions
  1. What two main crops did Native Americans produce?
  2. Why didnt North American natives create large
    scale societies?
  3. Why do Native Americans share so many cultural
  4. How did people get to the Americas?
  5. Why did people come to the Americas?