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Unformatted text preview: CLASS NOTES US History survey 1 st half (10,000 BC-Reconstruction) R K Horky 1.0. GENERAL NOTES, AMERICAN HISTORY When did American history start? What area does it encompass? (What is “history?” What is “America?”) Why is history a required course? This is a “survey” class. Undergraduates are transitioning from gathering facts to combining them and analyzing them/interpreting their meaning. Maps are important—geography influences history! American history explains why we’re all here at thisplace at this time—it’s the story of the Cultural contact between peoples 2.0. NATIVE AMERICANS Origins of the word “Indian:” a mistake by Columbus, looking for “Los Indios” in India. The mistake continues, leading to confusion between East and West Indies, &c. First Indians came from Asia over land bridge called “Beringia:” modern Bering Strait between Russia/Siberia and North America. Land bridge appeared during Ice Age 80,000-10,000 BC when water tied up in glaciers, lowering sea level. Filled in both S and N America pretty quickly. Some pulled by desire to wander, some pushed by population pressure. End of Ice Age. Climate changed. Large animals died off in North America. Indians or climate change or combo to blame? Concept of “economies”—various ways for Indians to “make a living” based on natural resources available. Indians filled continent. Some regions easier to live in then others. Competition for best locations led weaker peoples to marginal environments. 2.1. NORTH AMERICA. 2.1.1. ESKIMOS Modern-day Siberia, North America, Greenland. Very hostile environment. Fish, seals, whales to eat (don’t eat Polar Bear liver!). No stone or wood. Ice houses (igloos). Not much else to say. 2.1.2. PACIFIC NORTHWEST Modern day Oregon, Washington, British Columbia. Area is known for mountains, trees, heavy rain, and fog. No need to farm because Nature very generous providing fish and whales. Dense population. NW Indians had material abundance—lots of “stuff” (mostly wooden items). Social status was a function of material wealth. Chiefs would hold “potlatch” (party) to distribute stuff. 2.1.3. PLATEAU INDIANS Plateau area: northern Rocky Mountains between Pacific Northwest and Great Plains (modern day Montana and Idaho). Nature was generous—plentiful game, fish, trees. Despite this, Indians Were nomadic; did not settle down. Lived in tepees, generally in mountain valleys. Indians were Mostly hunter-gatherers and fishermen, some agriculture. 2.1.4. GREAT PLAINS INDIANS Environment neither friendly nor hostile. No trees or stone. Lots of grass, BUFFALO, other game. Water plentiful, usually. Two groups. 22.214.171.124. First group sedentary. Lived along rivers. Practiced agriculture. Often had surplus, making elaborate trade networks possible. Had elaborate social/political structures....
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- Fall '07
- Reconstruction, trade routes