From Ancient times to 1492 Early Inhabitants of America - US History

  • Settled 15-40 thousand years ago
  • Crossed the Bering strait during the ice age when it was covered with ice.
  • People crossed into Alaska while hunting the mammoths. It is called a great game.
  • Clovis People are the earliest inhabitants which disappeared 12,900 years ago.
  • They were agricultural society

Early Empires

Empires of Mesoamerica

  • They were advanced and powerful
  • They had highly populated cities
  • They were advanced in technology and social politics.

Mayan Civilization

  • Settled in Yucatan Peninsula - Present-day Mexico
  • During 2000 BCE Mayans evolved into a complex society and developed a distinct identity
  • Independent City-states were founded.
  • The whole civilization was unified under a religion that was based on astronomy.
  • Planet venus held a significant place among Mayans
  • Mayan art became intricate and beautiful
  • During the 8th and 9th century Mayan civilization started to decline.
  • Mayans remain regional power until the arrival of Spanish conquistadors.
  • Mayan culture has been preserved in the Yucatan region

Aztec Civilization

  • Established by Mexica people when they migrated to present-day central Mexico
  • They formed alliances among tribes and conquested and assimilated more land
  • The main heart of power among Aztec was economy
  • Tenochtitlan was the capital city of the Aztec empire
  • The lands conquered by Aztec used to pay tribute to the empire
  • Spanish conquistadors conquered the Aztecs in 1521.
  • At that time Tenochtitlan was the fourth largest city in the world with 212,500 population
  • Temple De Mayo (Twin towered pyramid) is the main monument of Aztecs and was used to perform human sacrifices.
  • Montezuma was the ruler when the Spanish attacked with the help of Tlaxcala tribe

Incan Empire

  • Established in Cuzco region, present-day Peru around 1200 CE by Mano Copac.
  • The religion held a significant place among Incan people
  • The royal family had absolute authority because they were believed to the descendant of the Incan God of Sun. 
  • They had a complex and enormous bureaucratic structure.
  • A complex infrastructure of transportation and communication was developed.
  • A person used to run from village to village to deliver the message.
  • In 1438, Pachacuti rebuilt the capital city Cuzco.
  • Pachacuti was a military genius and is called the Napolean of the Andes.
  • They had a prestigious education system
  • The Incan empire extended to present-day Ecuador and Argentina.
  • Inca Empire fell in 1533 by the Spanish army

Early Empires of Southwest

  • The whole region of the southwest is mostly arid desert.
  • The considerable wet conditions during a short period of time made it possible for the rise of culture in the region
  • An extensive irrigation system was developed. 
  • Adobe and sandstone were used to build the structures.
  • Eventually, Drought ended the civilization

Anasazi Empire

Established in present-day Northeastern Arizona. 
The region was mostly aired, plain desert with mesas in between them
They used the caves built in the steeps of mesas to protect themselves from the storms.
They diverted the small streams to plots of maize, squash, and beans
They were highly skilled in pottery
During 900-1300 BCE the Anasazi people flourished.
Eventually, 300 years-long droughts called the Great drought ended the Anasazi civilization

Hohokam Empire

  • Established in the South to Anasazi.
  • They perfected the hydro- technology.
  • Large agricultural communities emerged. The Gila river valley is an example of it.
  • The bigger towns had a Great House in the center. (Casa Grande village)
  • The drought ended the civilization

Empires of Mississipi

  • They are also called the Mound building people.
  • Established in North America around 1000BCE
  • They built mounds for religious and burial purposes
  • The Grave Creek Mound in present-day west Virginia is 70 feet tall.
  • The mounds were built using astronomical alignments.
  • Their culture was comparable to the post-roman culture
  • Slavery was present.
  • They extended the trade up to the Mexico gulf.
  • Adena in Ohio and Hopewell in the eastern US are the remains of this culture.
  • Cahokia was one of the great centers
  • The focal points in the city were called the Monk's Mound
  • The temples were built upon the Monk's mound
  • Almost 40,000 used to live in one city.
  • Viral diseases due to European people ended the Mississippian culture.

Contact with European

  • Brought Diseases such as smallpox
  • Wiped a large amount of population
  • Introduced horses
  • Corn was brought back to Europe. 

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