World History Americas on the eve of Invasion - I Introduction A By 1500 Americas densely populated by Indians misnomer Columbus\/Indies 1 Term has

World History Americas on the eve of Invasion - I...

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I. Introduction A. By 1500, Americas densely populated by Indians – misnomer – Columbus/Indies 1. Term has meaning only when used to apply to non- Indians B. Mesoamerica and Andean heartland 1. Imperial states in place when Europe arrives 2. Few areas influenced by two main centers 3. Areas that developed independently II. Postclassic Mesoamerica A. Introduction 1. Toltecs/Aztecs replace Mayas of 8 th century CE a. By 15 th century Aztecs created extensive empire – war, religion, agrarian 2. Downfall of Mayans – Teotihuacan a. Nomads from North come down b. Toltec Culture – 968 established capital Tula 1. Sedentary/agrarian peoples with militaristic ethic 2. Cult of sacrifice/war 3. Aztecs saw Toltecs as givers of civilization B. The Toltec Heritage 1. Leader Topilitzin followed Quetzalcoatl – feathered serpent 2. Empire spread over much of central Mexico 3. 1000 Conquered Chichen Itza – Mayans under control of Toltecs 4. Toltec influence northward a. Trade turquoise with American Southwest b. How far – to Mississippi/Ohio – debatable

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