Unit One – Seeds of Culture The Earliest Americans

Unit One – Seeds of Culture
The Earliest Americans
• Climate changes allowed people to
migrate to the Americas
o Paleo-Indians crossed the Bering Land
Bridge from Asia to present-day Alaska
during the last ice age between 38,000 and
10,000 BCE.
o Land bridge – Land that connects two
o This movement of peoples from one region
to another is called migration.
o Paleo-Indians and their descendants
moved into present-day Canada, the
United States, Mexico, and South America.
Climate and Geography
• Early peoples in the Americas were huntergatherers, who hunted animals and
gathered wild plants.
• The warming climate created new
geographical environments: climates,
landscapes that surround living things.
• Different environments influenced the
development of Native American societies
and people formed diverse cultures,
societies and civilizations
If you were to move
to another area in
the country, where
would you move
and why?
Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican
and South American Societies
• Before the arrival of Europeans, many Native
American societies built great civilizations
throughout North and South America.
• These societies had many achievements in
Math, writing, astronomy, architecture and
• They were able to adapt and modify their
environments that could support hundreds
of thousands of people
Mesoamerican Societies
• Olmec -1500 BCE and 500BCE
o Earliest Mesoamerican civilization
o Located in the river valleys near the Gulf of
o Small civilization that had organization, religion,
early hieroglyphic writings and a calendar
o They cultivated crops (maize) using the slash and
burn method
o They traded with other civilizations - their artwork
and ideas have been found throughout the area
• Flourished from the Yucatan in
southern Mexico through
much of Central America
o Slash and burn - Mayan
farmers cleared dense rain
forests and built raised fields
that caught and held
o Mayans grew beans, maize,
squash, fruit trees, cotton
and flowers.
o Religion - polytheistic:
priests performed sacrifices
and ceremonies for good
harvests and success in war
Advances in Learning
• Carvings which
showed daily life
• Hieroglyphic writing
form (written on
• Developed a 365
day calendar and
260 day ritual
• Math - concept of
• Astronomy
• Built Pyramids
• Aztecs: 1200 CE -1535
• Tenochtitlan was
capital of the empire
(present day Mexico
• City was built on an
island in the middle of
the Lake Texcoco
• As population grew,
Aztecs found new ways
to create more farmland
• Chinampas – Artificial
(man-Made) floating
• Grew corn, beans and
• Created canals for
transportation and
causeways to link the
island capital to the
• Waged war to expand
the empire and take
prisoners for sacrifice
• Polytheistic - honored the
gods of the sun and war.
• Used human sacrifice by
ripping out their hearts to
please the gods and
ensure that the sun would
• Most victims were
prisoners of war
• Inca Empire: 1200
CE - 1535 CE
o South American
Civilization in the
Mountains of
o Inca - “Children
of the Sun”
o Cuzco – capital
of the Empire
• Built 12,000 Miles of
roads, tunnels and
footbridges – helped
with communication,
military conquest and
linked the empire
• Terrace Farming farmed on
mountains; grew corn
and hundreds of
different types of
• Quipu - knotted and
beaded strings used
to keep records.
Native American Indians
• Shared religious beliefs
• Religion linked to nature – Form of Animism
• Spiritual forces were everywhere – in sun, moon, rain,
wind, plants and animals
• Religious leaders were called Shamans
• Shared beliefs about property
• Individual ownership applied only to the crops one grew.
• Land was for the use of everyone in the village.
• Believed they should preserve the land for future
Compare and contrast the
Aztec and Inca
Native American Territories
• Inuit people lived in the
Arctic region that is
present-day Alaska
and Canada
• Fished and hunted
large mammals such as
whales, seals and
• Used these animals for
food, fuel and clothing
• Built homes made of
ice, called Igloos
Great Plains
• Nomadic people that
migrated seasonally to
hunt buffalo from the
Rocky Mountains to the
Mississippi River
• There were over three
dozen or more Tribes
including the Cheyenne,
Crow, Iowa, Pawnee, Sioux
and Apache
• Used buffalo skins for
shields, clothing, and
coverings for teepees,
portable cone-shaped
• Matrilineal societies that
traced ancestry through
their mothers, not their
Eastern Woodlands People
• Stretched from the Mississippi - Ohio Valley area
eastward to the Atlantic Ocean.
• Southeastern groups, such as the Cherokee and
Creek, lived in farming villages.
• The Algonquian and Iroquois were the main
groups in the Northeast.
• Lived in wooden dwellings large enough for
extended families
• Villages were located near good fishing, hunting
and gathering sections
• Some used slash and burn agriculture techniques
Iroquois and Algonquians
Haudenosaunee – Term that
means “People of the Long
League of Iroquois –
Confederation or alliance that
consisted of the Seneca,
Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida
and Mohawk people.
The League kept peace
among tribes, unified warfare
against outsiders and were
successful in dealing with the
English and French colonists
The League of nations has
been called Americas first form
of representative government
• People that lived to the
north and east of the
• Allied themselves with the
French to control the fur
North & Northwest Culture Areas
• Inuit people in
Alaska and
• Aleut people in
• Fished and
hunted large
• Dorgrib and
• Hunters followed
migrating deer.
Pacific Northwest
• Carved images
of totems,
ancestor or
animal spirits, on
tall, wooden
• People lived in
temporary shelters
made of animal
Held feasts
Thrived on
abundant game
animals, fish,
and wild plants
West and Southwest
• Many food sources, such
as acorns, fish, and deer
• People lived in isolated
family groups of 50 to 300.
• More than 100 different
languages were spoken.
• Groups included the Pomo,
Hupa, and Yurok peoples.
Anasazi - Native Americans
from modern day Arizona and
New Mexico
Grew maize, beans, and
Developed irrigation methods
Lived in pueblos,
aboveground houses made of
heavy clay called adobo
Built kivas, underground
ceremonial chambers, for
religious ceremonies
Began to abandon villages
around AD 1300
Compare and Contrast two Native American Indian Groups
(Choices: Inuit, Eastern Woodlands, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Great
Plains, California, Arctic, Subarctic)
West African Kingdoms
• West African kingdoms
o Trans-Saharan Trade - All three kingdoms
(Ghana, Mali and Songhai) maintained
vast trading networks across the Sahara
Desert and into the Middle East and North
o Salt – used as a preserver of food and also
important to prevent dehydration
o Plenty of salt in the Sahara and
Mediterranean regions, but very little in the
o Salt was worth its weight in gold
Mansa Musa and Timbuktu
• Mansa Musa - ruled 1312-1332
o Hajj to Mecca - Brought Islamic culture to Mali
achieved international fame when he went on a
lavish pilgrimage to Mecca, bringing over 12,000
slaves and giving away so much gold that the
price of gold fell in the world market.
o Impact of Islam - brought back an architects to
build mosques and scholars to teach Timbuktu
o Sharia - Based his system of justice on Islamic law
o Timbuktu - center of learning where Islamic
scholars traveled around the Muslim world to
study and teach at the University of Timbuktu.
Impact of trade
o As these networks grew and became more
prosperous, they expanded to Mediterranean
and Europe.
o Cultural diffusion – Islamic culture was brought
from Northern Africa to West Africa and
influenced its government, economy and
o Negative effect – The start of the slave trade.
Europeans raided the West African Coasts when
they needed a cheap labor source for their New
World colonies
Evaluate the Impact that the gold for
salt trade had on West Africa
Positive Impact
Negative Impact
• 1)
• 1)
• 2)
• 2)
• 3)
• 3)
European Society
• Middle Ages – for the last 900 years (500 CE – 1400 CE),
European society struggled as it was plagued by
warfare, illiteracy, famine and plague.
• Turning Point - However, certain events change the
course of European fortune. An increase in trade and a
renewed interest in education improved European
• Renaissance – Around the year 1400 CE, there was a
renewed interest in learning led to an outburst of
creativity and education.
• Artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo captured the
mind of people’s interest in art and writers like
Shakespeare and Machiavelli produced classic literature
Revival of European Trade
Impact of the Crusades - European interest in goods
from the east (Asia) was stimulated by returning
Crusaders who brought back many things.
Revival of Trade – Ships that used to carry soldiers to
the Middle East, now carried trade goods.
Asian Goods - The resurgence of trade after the
Crusades resulted in a demand for Asian goods such
as spices, sugar and fabrics
Spices – such as cinnamon and pepper were very
valuable during the Middle Ages. They were used to
preserve and flavor foods. These spices came from
India, SE Asia and the Middle East.
Italian city states – Merchants from Venice, Florence
and Genoa dominated this trade. Goods would arrive
in Italian City-States, before following newly
established trade routes to the rest of Europe.
Revival of European
Cutting out the “Middle
Man” – The fastest trade
routes to Asia were
established across the
Mediterranean and
through the Middle East.
Ottoman Empire
controlled the Eastern
Mediterranean Trade
Europeans were forced to
seek alternative trade
Alternative water routes to Asia
eventually led to the discovery
of the Americas by the
Portugal - In the early 1400s,
Portuguese explorers sailed
along the west coast of Africa in
search of an all water route to
• Bartholomeu Dias - In 1488
rounded the Cape of Good
Hope at the southern tip of
• Vasco Da Gama - In 1498
established an all water
route to India.
Explorers searched the world to find faster and shorter routes to gain
spices. Spices such as pepper and cinnamon were worth their weight
in gold. What resources are valuable today?
Valuable resource
Why is this resource valued?
• Exploration and
Overseas Expansion
o Impact and use of
• Gutenberg’s
printing press able to spread
ideas and
discoveries quickly
• Gunpowder - used
in guns and
cannons to defeat
civilizations who
lacked this
How are the internet and the Printing Press
similar? How are they different?
Sailing Technology
o Cartography - new and
improved maps to aid in
o Lateen Sail – Triangular
shaped sailed used to sail
into and against the wind.
Used multiple masts for
speed and stability
o Grid system based on the
coordinates of latitude
and longitude
Navigational Devices:
o Compass - determined
geographical direction
o Astrolabe - determined
your latitude by the angle
of the sun
What tools or technology
do people use today to
help them get from one
area to another?
• Columbus’ Voyage
o In 1492, Ferdinand and
Isabella agreed to fund the
expedition of Christopher
Columbus who wanted to
sail west to reach the east
o Landing in the Bahamas,
Columbus felt he had
discovered a new route to
India and called the
inhabitants of the island
o Line of Demarcation imaginary line drawn down
the Atlantic Ocean by the
pope - all land to the West
belonged to Spain, all land
to the east belonged to
Columbian Exchange
The Columbian Exchange - The vast trading system that resulted
from Columbus’ voyages to the new world; the exchange of
goods, ideas, people, animals, plants, and disease from the Old
World to the New World and vice versa.
Some cultures are associated with certain types of foods. For
example it is hard to think of Italian food without tomato sauce or
French Vanilla Ice Cream. What “Old World” foods that were
brought to the New World can you not imagine living without?
Please draw 3 examples
European Imperialism
o Colony - ruled directly by “mother
o Sphere of influence - region of a
country in which an imperialist
power held exclusive investment or
trading rights.
European Imperialism
• Mercantilism (economic
o Mother countries imported
raw materials from their
colonies and sold expensive,
manufactured goods to the
colonies. This was a
favorable balance of trade
for the European countries)
o Spain and Portugal
controlled Latin America and
the islands in the Caribbean
o England, France and the
Dutch have colonies in North
Spanish Colonization
• Spanish Colonization
and the Encomienda
Treaty of Tordesilla –
Moves the Line of
Demarcation west to
Give Portugal Brazil in the
New World
• The Encomienda system
- The Spanish treated
the natives like slaves,
forcing them to work the
mines and on the farms
The Spanish colonies had their own
o Peninsulares - highest classofficials sent from Spain to rule
colonies; took jobs in the
government and the church
o Creoles - American born
descendants of Spanish settlers;
they were not guaranteed any
high ranking jobs
o Mestizos - A mix of European
and Indian descent; they held
jobs as shop owners, artisans
and farmers
o Mulattos - European and African
mix (Mostly in Brazil)
o African Slaves and Native
Americans - worked as slaves for
colonists on their farms and were
forced to become Christian.
Spanish Conquests
o Slavery, the practice of one person owning another was an
ancient practice that went back thousands of years
o When the Spanish and Portuguese founded colonies in the
Americas in the 1400 and 1500s, they brought this practice
with them.
o By 1600, slavery firmly established in the Americas as Sugar
Plantations were being cultivated in Caribbean Islands
o While a small portion of enslaved Africans went to the
southern colonies of North America, most of the slave trade
was in South America and the Caribbean.
Disease and Treatment of Native
Americans and the African Slave
o The population of the Americas decreased rapidly due
to these new diseases and the harsh treatment by the
Spanish and Portuguese conquerors.
o To replace dying Native American workers, the
Europeans looked used African slaves as a new source
of labor
o Europe looked to use African slaves for several
• Racism – Europeans thought of themselves as
superior to other races
• Immunity - Africans had built up immunity to old
world diseases and were familiar with certain
farming techniques
• New Lands - Africans did not have friends or family
to help them escape in the Americas
• $$ - Enslaved Africans were a cheap, permanent
labor. Their children would also be held in
• Farming - African had knowledge of farming
techniques used in the Old World
Triangular Slave Trade
Triangular Slave Trade – Europe sent manufactured goods to
Africa in exchange for slaves. The slaves were sent to the
Americas to produce raw materials. The raw materials were
sent to Europe to make finished or manufactured goods.
Middle Passage
African Diaspora - It is estimated that as
many as 12-20 million Africans were
enslaved and sent to the Americas
The Middle Passage - The voyage from
Africa to the Americas. Called the Middle
Passage because it was the middle leg of
the Triangular Trade.
• Men, women and children who were
captured, bought or traded into slavery
were chained and carried onto slave
• Several hundred men were crammed
into small spaces. It was so crammed
that people couldn’t even stand up.
• Disease and malnutrition were
• Millions died to the poor treatment. It is
estimated that 15-20 percent died in
the voyage

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