America A Narrative History: Chapter 1

America A Narrative History: Chapter 1

Aztec Empire
Arrived in Basin of Mexico in late 1200s; founded city Tenochtitlán in 1325. Mesoamerican people who were conquered by the Spanish under Hernando Cortes, 1519-1528.
Pueblos
The Spanish term for the adobe cliff dwellings of the indigenous people of the southwestern US.
VIkings
Norse people from Scandinavia who sailed to Newfoundland about A.D. 1001. They were the world’s most intrepid explorers and the most feared warriors. Strongest iron, sharpest swords, sturdiest and fastest warships.
Reformation
European religious movement that challenged the Catholic Church and resulted in the beginnings of Protestant Christianity. During this period, Catholics and Protestants persecuted, tortured, imprisoned, and killed each other in large numbers.
Christopher Columbus
The Italian sailor who persuaded King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain to found his expedition across the Atlantic to discover a new trade route to Asia. Instead of arriving at China or Japan, he reached the Bahamas in 1492.
Amerigo Vespucci
Italian explorer who reached the New World in 1499 and was the first to suggest that South America was a new continent. Afterward, European mapmakers used a varient of his first name, America, to label the New World.
Hernan Cortes
The Spanish conquistador who conquered the Aztec Empire and set the preceedent for other plundering conquistadores.
conquistadores
Spanish term for “conqueror”, applied to European leaders of campaigns against indigenous peoples in central and southern America.
Tenochtitlán
The capital city of the Aztec Empire. The city was built on marshy islands on the western side of Lake Tetzcoco, which is the site of present-day Mexico City.
Francisco Pizzaro
In 1531, he lead his Spanish soldiers to Peru and conquered the Inca Empire.
Encomienda
System under which officers of the Spanish conquistadores gained ownership of Indian land.
Bartolome de las Casas
A Catholic missionary who renounced the Spanish practice of coercively converting Indians and advocated the better treatment for them. In 1552, he wrote “A Brief Relation of the Destruction of the Indies”, which described the Spanish’s cruel treatment of the Indians.
Hernando de Soto
A conquistador who explored the west coast of Florida, western North Carolina and along the Arkansas River from his 1539 till his death in 1542.
Martin Luther
A German monk who founded the Lutheran church. He protested abuses in the Catholic Church by posting his Ninety-five Thesis, which began the Protestant Reformation.
Queen Elizabeth I of England
The Protestant daughter of Henry VIII, she was Queen of England from 1558-1603 and played a major role in the Protestant Reformation. During her long reign, the doctrines and services of the Chirch of England were defined and the Spanish Armada was defeated.
Jacques Cartier
He led the first French effort to colonize North America and explored the Gulf of St. Lawrence and reached as far as present day Montreal on the St. Lawrence River.
Raleigh’s Roanoke Island Colony
English expedition of 117 settlers, including Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World; colony disappeared from Roanoke Island in the Outer banks sometime between 1587 and 1590.
Pre-Colombian America.
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At the time of contact, Native American tribes, such as the Aztecs and Mayas of Central America, had developed empires sustained by large-scale agriculture and long-distance trade. N American Indians were less organized. The Anasazi and the Indians in Ohio & Miss. Valleys established important trading centers sustained by intensive agriculture.
Age of Exploration.
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By the 1940s, Europe was experiencing a renewed curiosity about the world. New technology led to the creation of better maps and navigation techniques. Nation-states searching for gold and glory emerged; and Europeans desired skills and spices from Asia.
Great Biological Exchange.
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Contact resulted in a great biological exchange. Crops such as maize, beans, and potatoes became staples in the Old World. Indians incorporated into their culture such Eurasian animals as the horse and pig. The invaders carried pathogens that set off pandemics of smallpox, plague, and other illnesses to which Native Americans had no immunity.
Colonizing the Americas.
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When the Spanish began to Colonize the New World, the conversion of Native Americans to Catholicism was important, but the search for gold and silver was primary. In that search, the Spanish demanded goods and labor from their new subjects. As the Indian population declined, the Spanish began to “import” enslaved Africans.
Spanish Legacy.
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Spain left a lasting legacy in the borderlands from California to Florida. Catholic missionaries contributed to the destruction of the old ways of life by actively exterminating “heathen” beliefs in the southwest, a practice that led to open rebellion in 1598 and 1680.
Protestant Reformation.
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The Protestant Reformation shattered the unity of Catholic Europe. By the time of Elizabeth I of England, religious differences had led to state-supported plunder of Spanish treasure ships, then to open hostility with Spain. England’s defeat of the Spanish Armada cleared the path for English dominance in North America.