A.P. U.S. History Chapter 1 Notes New World Beginnings • 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 languages. • Certain cultures like the Inca and Aztec are very sophisticated considering they didn’t have draft animals or the wheel. • Yet they were excellent mathematicians, city builders, farmers, and had a population of 20 million people. • When corn (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 in central and South America. Sophisticated agriculture allowed for large populations and permanent cities • They also had advanced commerce, studied mathematics that resulted in very accurate astronomical observations, they differed from European empires through lack of ocean voyages • 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 moisture) allowed for a better diet to support larger populations • 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 and lived in small, scattered, mostly impermanent settlements 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 today. • Native American civilization was least highly developed (city states and permanent structures) in North America (present day U.S. and Canada) • Vikings from Scandinavia reached Eastern Canada (Newfoundland) in 1000 A.D. but the settlements did not last long. • Without a central government at home driving imperialism, there was little support for colonizing so far away. • 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. They wanted to cut out Muslim Traders and keep more profit for themselves. – The lure for Asian trade goods was started during the Crusades of the 11th14th 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. • Here they discovered economies based on slave labor developed by the Arabs and the Africans (long before European Imperialists) • 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 East 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. 3 Worlds Collided • New World crops like potatoes, corn, tobacco, tomatoes, and cocoa made their way back to the Old World. • (About 3/5ths of the world’s crops today originated in the New World). • These new crops lead to a huge population growth in Europe thanks to increased nutrition • 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 capitalism. • 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 seeking adventure, fortune, to gain Gods favor (in case they were fleeing a bad situation at home) GOD, GOLD & GLORY. 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. • Assimilation to Spanish culture was a focus • The Spanish wanted more souls for the Catholic church so they practiced encomienda, the practice of giving natives to conquistador households on the condition that the household Christianizes them 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. • Europeans who followed Columbus to America continued to see themselves as Europeans there to conquer a lesser people. • The English and French sent explorers to the New World too in the 15th and 16th centuries establishing the roots of future colonies. • To protect her rich interests, 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. • Pope’s 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. And Kept the spanish out for over 10 years. • The Spanish returned a decade later and overtook their lost claims and didn’t 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 poorest. • The Spanish got their first, stole the most gold, had by far the largest empire and plantation system. • The French and English got started exploring and colonizing much later, had smaller holdings, in less mineral rich areas. – See timeline on page 24.