Power Point Civs of the Americas

Key Facts:
Between A.D 300 and A.D. 900, Mayan civilization
f lourished from southern Mexico through Central
America. In the 1400s, the Aztecs conquered most of
Mexico and built a highly developed civilization.
By the 1500s, the Incas established a centralized
government in Peru
Eight culture groups developed in north America.
Their diverse ways of life were strongly inf luenced by
 The Olmec's were the first American Civilization that
began in the tropical forest along the Mexican Gulf
 They lasted from about 1400 B.C. to 500 B.C.
Nomadic hunters who migrated across a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska gradually populated
two vast continents.
Between 8500 B.C. and 2000 B.C., Neolithic people in Mexico or farther south began to raise crops
and learned to tame animals.
Mayan city-states of Central America.
 They cleared the rain forests to produce corn to feed their cities.
 They were divided into social classes
 Each city-state had a ruling chief
 Priests held great power
 Pyramid temples and palaces served as alters and burial places
 Developed a hieroglyphic writing system and accurate calendar
 Many people, today, speak Mayan languages in Central America
The Aztecs
 Long after the decline of Mayan civilization, Aztecs conquered most of Mexico
 By 1500, their empire numbered 30 million people.
 War and power to the Aztecs brought wealth
 Tribute helped the Aztecs turn their capital into a magnificent city.
 Complex social structure
 Single ruler or emperor at top
 Priests performed rituals and sacrifices to please the Aztec gods
 Conquered people supplied tribute and human sacrifices for religious rituals
 In the 1400’s the Incas came from the Andes mountains of Peru.
 Led by Pachacuti, skilled warrior and leader
 Conquered an empire that stretched 2,500 miles down the Andes and
along Pacific Coast
 By 1500s, they had established central government in Peru.
 Ruled by a god-king and a powerful class of Priests
 Incan Government
 Emperor had absolute power
 Ran an efficient Government
 Chain of command reached to every village
 Incan Achievements
 Worked to unite conquered people
 Had their own language, Quechua, and their own religion
 Created one of the great road systems in history
 Roads wound more than 12,000 miles through mountains and deserts
 The Anasazi
 Best-known society of the desert southwest
 The people built large villages, called pueblos by the Spanish people
 At the center was the kiva
 Late 1100s, they began to build housing complexes in the shadow of canyon
 Late 1200s, drought forced them to leave the cliff dwellings.
 Today, their traditions survive among the Hopi and other Pueblo Indians.
 The Mound Builders
 In the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys, other farming cultures emerged as
early as 700 B.C.
Hopewell people left giant mounds in different shapes
Objects found in Hopewell mounds suggest that trade networks stretched from
the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes.
By about A.D. 800, this culture was replaced by the Mississippians, who grew
corn and other crops.
They built large towns and ceremonial centers.
 What was the first civilization in the Americas, it was in the Tropical Forests of
Mexico? The Olmecs
What warrior tribe had conquered the valley of Mexico by the 1500s, and built its
capital where Mexico City is located today? The Aztecs
What is a Tribute? Payment from conquered peoples.
Nomadic hunters came to North America across what? The Land Bridge
What civilization grew up in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, used flat top
pyramids, and had an accurate calendar? Tourists still visit the pyramids built by
this civilization. The Mayans
What is the name of the capital city that Mexico City sits on? Tenochtitlan
What Spanish Conquistador killed Montezuma and conquered the above
civilization? Hernandez Cortez
 What civilization grew up in the Andes Mountains of South America? Incas
 What was the capital city of the above civilization in South America?
 What Spanish Conquistador defeated the civilization in South America?
Francisco Pizarro

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