History Chapter 1 Notes

History Chapter 1 Notes - Chapter 1: New World Beginnings...

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Chapter 1: New World Beginnings The Shaping of North America - 35,000 years ago, the last ice age lowered the ocean’s level, revealing a path between the Alaska and Siberia from Eurasia to the New World, until 10,000 years ago, the ocean began its rise as glaciers began melting. Attracted by migratory herds of game, the earliest Native Americans could be characterized as nomadic Asian hunters who started their journey across this strip of land that took 250 centuries to cross. - The melting of the glaciers caused the Native Americans who had traveled across the bridge to be isolated in the New World where they would eventually travel southward and eastward all the way to the tip of South America as well as develop diverse languages, tribes, and cultures. - The successes of the Incas in Peru, Mayans in Central American, and Aztecs in Mexico can all be attributed to their advanced agricultural practices of Indian corn; maize proved vital to New World civilizations for it was the very means that civilizations like the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs expanded. - Even though New World civilization at the time lacked basic technologies, like the wheel and “large draft animals such as horses and oxen”, they created spectacular cities with their unique human minds, “carried on far-flung commerce”, and made strikingly accurate astronomical observations. The Earliest Americans - Agriculture, namely the cultivation of corn, accounted for the large Native American populations of Mexico and South America. Originating from the Mexican highlands and first cultivated by hunter-gatherers, corn eventually spread throughout North America from the Southeast to the Southwest - In the Southwest, Pueblo natives, who adopted corn in 1200 B.C., were known to have built extensive irrigation systems for their corn, in addition to “multistoried, terraced buildings when Spanish explorers made contact with them in the sixteenth century.” - Europeans conquered the Indians with ease because Indian communities except for advanced ones like the Pueblos adopted an agricultural lifestyle much later after the Pueblos did. As a result, the total Indian population failed to compete with the actively growing European population. - Later, around 1000 B.C., Indians living along the Atlantic Ocean began their cultivation of corn along with beans, corn, and squash which they employed into the “three-sister” farming method; this method involved growing beans around the cornstalks and using squash plants to maintain the soil’s moisture. The Creek, Choctaw, and Cherokee
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peoples possessed the highest population densities at the time because of their use of this farming technique. -
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History Chapter 1 Notes - Chapter 1: New World Beginnings...

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