Creating America (Survey)

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1 Creating America (Survey) Chapter 1: The World in 1500, Beginnings to 1500 Section 1: Crossing to the Americas Main Idea: Ancient peoples came from Asia to the Americas and over time developed complex civilizations. There are two theories about how the first Americans migrated, or moved, to the Americas from Asia. One theory is that ancient people came during the last Ice Age some 12,000 years ago. They crossed the Bering Strait a land bridge between Asia and Alaska that is now covered by water. A second theory is that humans came by many routes over thousands of years. The first Americans lived in hunting and gathering cultures. Some cultures became civilizations. A civilization has five features. First, it has cities with trade centers; second, there are specialized jobs; third there is organized government and religion; fourth a system of record keeping; and fifth people use advanced tools. Two advanced civilizations in early Mesoamerica were the Olmec and the Maya. The Mayans had cities in southern Mexico and Guatemala. They kept accurate calendars, they created a number system, and they had a written language. Other early civilizations include the Hohokam in what is now Arizona, and the Anasazi, who settled in the area where Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico meet. Some early Native Americans built large earthen mounds. These groups include the Adena and the Hopewell. The last group of Mound Builders, the Mississippians, built some of the first cities in North America. Section 2: Societies of North America Main Idea: By 1500, a variety of Native American groups each with a distinct culture lived in North America. 1

2 The environment shaped each of the Native American cultures. The Aleut and the Inuit lived in the far North. They hunted sea mammals and caribou. Northwest Coast people caught salmon and hunted. The peoples of the West included tribes in California, the Colombia Plateau, and the Great Basin. They were hunters and gatherers, and they also fished. Their spiritual beliefs were linked to nature. The Aztecs ruled a great civilization in central Mexico. In 1325, they began building their capital city, Tenochtitlán. They eventually created a strong empire. In the American Southwest, the Pueblo practiced irrigation, while the Navajo and the Apache were hunter-gatherers. The Plains Indians lived on the Great Plains. Some were nomads. Others lived in villages. In summer, they hunted buffalo. In the Southeast, Native Americans became farmers. Their societies were matrilineal, tracing their family ties through women. The Iroquois lived in the Northeast, which was largely forest. They practiced slash-andburn agriculture. In the late 1500s, five northern Iroquois nations formed the Iroquois League. By 1500, hundreds of Native American groups existed. Although different, all Native American groups felt connected to nature. Trade also linked them. Section 3: Societies of West Africa Main Idea: The Peoples of West Africa developed sophisticated kingdoms, trade networks, and they created great works of art. 2

3 Africa, the second largest continent, contains dense rainforests, broad savannas, and the world s largest desert, the Sahara. By 1500 A.D., trade linked Africa with the world. Ghana was the first West African kingdom to grow wealthy by controlling trade in gold and salt. Muslims, or followers of Islam, came from North Africa to trade. In 1076, a Muslim army conquered Ghana s capital. By the 1200s, the kingdom of Mali was West Africa s most powerful state. Sundiata, Mali s first great leader, was a Muslim who conquered many important trading centers. In 1312, Mansa Musa, another Muslim, began to rule Mali. Soon Mali became one of the world s largest empires. The Songhai lived by the Niger River. They broke away from Mali, and Sunni Ali became their ruler. Although a Muslim, Sunni Ali also practiced African religions. After his death in 1492, some Muslims wanted Islam to be Songhai s only religion. Their leader, Askia Muhammad, became Songhai s second great ruler. In 1591, North Africa defeated the Songhai. After 1000 A.D., the Hausa states emerged in what is now northern Nigeria. These states thrived on trade. Southwest of the Niger River were the Yoruba states. Statues created by Yoruba artists are still considered great works of art. Benin, located on the Niger River, was also famous for its art. Section 4: Societies of Europe Main Idea: By 1500, Europe was going through a period of social change that sparked interest in learning and exploration. Vikings raided Europe during the Middle Ages. To survive, Europeans turned to feudalism. Feudalism is a political system in which a king allows nobles, or lords, to use his lands in return for military service. Europeans also developed the manor system. Serfs 3

4 farmed the manors these were the large estates of the lords. In return, they were given protection. The Catholic Church became a unifying force during this time. By the 1000s, feudalism brought stability to European society. Merchants were safe to travel and trade increased. New towns emerged. Serfs left the manors to become craftspeople and merchants. They became the middle class. In 1096, European Christians launched the Crusades, a series of wars to capture the Holy Land. Although the Crusades failed, they spurred trade. A book by Marco Polo increased interest in Asia. Feudalism grew weak because serfs left the manors. In 1347, a deadly disease, the bubonic plague, killed about one fourth of the population. The plague reduced the number of workers and further weakened feudalism. The Renaissance was a time of growing interest in art and learning. It began in Italy and spread through Europe, lasting from the 1300s to People began to study the classical Greeks and Romans. In 1455, the printing press was invented, which helped spread new ideas that ultimately weakened the Church. Martin Luther began the Reformation, a movement to correct problems in the Church. The Reformation split the Church into two groups, Catholics and Protestants. Italian merchants made huge profits by trading in Asian goods. To prevent other Europeans from trading with Asia, the Italians controlled the Mediterranean Sea. Other Europeans began to search for another water route to Asia. Bartolomeu Dias, a Portuguese explorer, reached the southern tip of Africa in Ten years later, Vasco de Gama found an all-water route to Asia. As a result, Portugal took over the spice trade. 4

5 Section 5: Early European Explorers Main Idea: As Europeans searched for sea routes to Asia, Christopher Columbus reached the Americas. An Italian sailor, Christopher Columbus, thought he knew a faster way to Asia. Columbus asked Spain s rulers, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, to pay for his voyage. They wanted to share in the rich Asian trade. Queen Isabella also wanted to spread Christianity. In 1492, they agreed to his request. Columbus began his voyage in August of His three ships sailed southwest toward the Canary Islands. By October 10th, the crew lost confidence in Columbus. To avoid mutiny, Columbus agreed to turn back if they did not sight land within three days. On October 12, they sighted land. The ships landed on a Caribbean island. Columbus thought he had reached the Indies islands in Southeast Asia. He called the islanders Indians. Columbus named the island San Salvador. Believing he had found an all-water route to Asia, Columbus sailed back to Spain. Columbus made three more voyages to the Americas. He neither brought back treasure nor spread Christianity. Instead, he enslaved the people of Hispaniola. After his fourth voyage, Spain s rulers refused to help him further. The voyages of Columbus changed European views of the world. People realized that Columbus had reached continents not known to them before. They began to see the Atlantic Ocean as a bridge that linked Europe, Africa, and the Americas. 5

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