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Unformatted text preview: WORLDS COLLIDE: EUROPE, AFRICA AND AMERICA (1450-1620) NATIVE AMERICAN WORLDS THE FIRST AMERICANS- First people living in western Hemisphere believed to have come from Asia- First Americans lived as hunter-gatherers 3000 B.C., began horticulture (planting) THE MAYAS AND THE AZTECS- Mayas built large religious centers, communities with elaborate system of irrigation + water storage- Mayans declined around 800 A.D. (theory: 200 year dry period caused economic crisis)- Aztecs mastered irrigation system and establish hierarchical social order priests and warrior nobles ruled over commoners, slaves and serfs; Artisans worked in stone, pottery, cloth, leather- Aztecs were aggressive tribe and demanded economic and human tribute from scores of subject tribes- Believed in human sacrifice and Aztec merchants developed long trading routes (fur, gold, obsidian) THE INDIANS OF THE NORTH- Indians who resided north of Rio Grande were organized in self-governing clans led by local chiefs- Individual ownership of land virtually unknown clan leader resolved nearly every problem- Over centuries, tribes exerted influence over neighbors through trade/conquest- Hopewell tribe: large burial bounds surrounded with earthworks and ornaments- Pueblo tribe: lived in elaborate stone structures, grew crops via irrigation- Mississippian tribe: agricultural surplus, small cities, advanced farming techniques by 1350 A.D., in rapid decline, undermined by warfare over fertile grounds and affected by disease- Civilized tribes: Choctaws, Creeks, Chickasaws, Cherokees and Seminoles: agricultural, stable way of life- Woman were mainly horticulturists and mothers religious ceremonies based on cycle of agriculture TRADITIONAL EUROPEAN SOCIETY IN 1450 THE PEASANTRY- Very few large cities before 1450 A.D. (Paris, London, Naples) most of population were peasants living in small, rural communities: families owned/leased smell dwelling in village center and had right to farm strips of land in surround fields: no fences cooperative farming- Most peasants wanted to be yeomen: no obligation to landlord and owned enough land to support family- Peasants followed seasonal pattern; survival required unremitting labor and margin of existence thin HIEARCHY AND AUTHORITY- Kings (owned land, conscripted men for military) Nobles (large estates and controlled hundreds of peasant families) Peasants (worked to support themselves and give tax to nobles/king)- Nobles had power to challenge king: had legislative institutions (ex. French Parliament, English House of Lords)- Men in peasant families ruled over women and children women subordinate to husband- Fathers chose marriage partners for children and gave most land to oldest son primogeniture THE POWER OF RELIGION- Roman Catholic Church great unifier in Western European society Pope directed vast hierarchy- Church provided bulwark of authority and discipline in society: every village had church- Christian doctrine deeply affected lives of peasants: followed Catholic calendar...
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