U.S. History 1492-1860 Mid-term Notes

U.S. History 1492-1860 Mid-term Notes - The Study of...

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The Study of American History 1. "American . ..." as opposed to . ..? a. What is an American? What makes an American distinct? b. Typically used to describe U.S. citizen – real meaning is much deeper c. Historians know outcomes – use to shape the story d. Quest to define “America” is running trend II. Dimensions A. Vertical: the latent and the manifest – what is unseen contributes to what occurs B. Horizontal/concentric: cores and peripheries – Mother country and territory C. Interior/Exterior: ideas and their consequences III. Central Themes A. Individual v. Community: "melting pot" or "salad bowl?" B. States and Nation – In the wake of disagreement between smaller and larger groups, there will be tension C. Loose v. Strict Construction/Active v. Passive Government D. Altruism v. Self-Interest E. God loves because . .../ God loves despite . ... IV. Becoming the Land's 1. Peopling of America: -Unclear when first people came. Up to 30,000 years before Europeans. -Migration was West-to-East, not East-to-West. Glaciers created a land-bridge from Russia to Alaska – Siberian hunters crossed into America. Diverse cultures: -8000 BC: Nomads spread out throughout continent in disorganized movement -Over 300 different languages and cultures developed -Agriculture development was critical – Freed people from need to hunt and nomadic lifestyle – Art/architecture developed Key tribes: -Mayas and Toltecs had very advanced societies -Aztecs took over all of Mexico until 1492 -Algonquin Tribes: NC to Maine – prominent tribe in US East. 2. Arrival of Europeans -Greatly altered Native civilizations -Believed customs, civilizations and religion were superior
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-Baffled by refusal of natives to accept customs -Disease destroyed native tribes – New European germs wiped out tribes 3. Motivation to go west: -Atlantis: Belief that great Greek Soldiers went somewhere in the west when they died -984: Eric the Red sailed to Greenland -Leif Erikson sailed to Newfoundland -Keeping demographics and population was difficult – As population began to grow, people needed more land and food -Economic incentives – New luxuries like silk and spice -Feudal gov’t controlled Europe – Dominated village politics -Nobility were upset with increasing taxes – Nation-states on rise -Peace is brought to feudal states that had only known war -Henry VIII (England)/Louis XI (France)/Isabel and Ferdinand (Spain) unite nations – allows for funding and purpose to explore 4. New Technology: -Navigational improvements and caravels (faster-moving ships) allow for better sea travel -Measuring and calculating distance is easier -Knowledge of geography increases/better maps -Key invention: Printing Press: -accelerates dispersal of knowledge -Around 1500: Better informed group of intellectuals -More curiousity/questions -Larger group of people have access to info/ideas Worlds in Motion: 1. Reniassance : Minds in Motion: Reawakening of European mind -Printing press leads people to question beliefs/ideas/tradition
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2008 for the course HIST 203 taught by Professor Hart during the Fall '06 term at Middlebury.

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U.S. History 1492-1860 Mid-term Notes - The Study of...

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