A.P. U.S. History Notes
Chapter 1: “New World Beginnings”
225 million years ago, Earth was one supercontinent (Pangaea) and ocean.
million years ago, the North America that we know today was formed (geographical shape).
first discoverers of North America were nomadic Asians who wandered over here by way of an
exposed land bridge from Russia to Alaska during the Ice Age.
Though they were hunters at
first, by 5000 BC, they had become hunter-gatherers with a diet of basically corn.
European Indian cultures included the Pueblos, the Iroquois, the Mound Builders, the Mayans,
the Incas, the Aztec, and the Sioux, among others
(map of tribes on pg. 8)
The Indians revered
nature and land, and didn’t carelessly destroy it.
Everything was put to use.
In 1000 AD, Vikings discovered Newfoundland, but later abandoned it due to
Europeans, though, slowly began to proliferate into non-European
worlds starting around the 1400s.
After Marco Polo came back with stories of China and its
riches, Europeans began to explore.
First, they set up settlements in Africa, near the coast, where
they used African slaves to work on plantations.
In 1498, Vasco da Gama reached India,
opening a sea route to the Far East.
Complications and dangers of this eastern sea route influenced Christopher Columbus to
In doing so, he inadvertently discovered the Americas, though he never knew it.
Portuguese were first to settle in America, but the Spanish later became the dominant nation in
swept through Latin and South America, destroying the
Aztecs and the Incas.
Meanwhile, Magellan’s crew sailed around the world in 1519, becoming
the first voyage to do so.
As the chapter ended, Spain was very much in control of much of the
Americas, though other countries were beginning to challenge the Spanish dominance.
Native Americans who that lived in what is now Mexico and routinely offered their gods human
sacrifices, these people were violent, yet built amazing pyramids and built a great civilization
without having a wheel.
The Mound Builders-