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Ancient History of Latin America. Ch. 9 Sec. 2. Ancient Empires. Olmecs: 1400 BC-500 BC Mxn Gulf Coast Ruled by priests & royals/elite No mention of military? Known for giant stone heads (40 tons) Mastered crafts- rubber, jade, stone carving. Ancient Empires. Mayan: 250-900

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Ancient history of latin america

Ancient History of Latin America

Ch. 9 Sec. 2

Ancient empires
Ancient Empires

  • Olmecs: 1400 BC-500 BC

    • Mxn Gulf Coast

    • Ruled by priests & royals/elite

      • No mention of military?

    • Known for giant stone heads (40 tons)

    • Mastered crafts- rubber, jade, stone carving

Ancient empires1
Ancient Empires

  • Mayan: 250-900

    • Southern MX/ Northern CA

      (Guatemala/ Yucatan Pen.)

      • Tikal & Chichen Itza major cities

    • Ruled by priests & nobles

      • Priests performed sacrifices for good harvests, war success

Ancient empires2
Ancient Empires

  • Mayan cont’d

    • Extensive farming techniques/terracing

      • Lots of maize pop. grew quickly

    • Dev. glyphs for recording hist. & honoring gods (Spanish burned most books many left untranslated)

    • 365 day solar calendar

Tikal (Guatemala)

Chichen Itza

Ancient empires3
Ancient Empires

  • Aztecs: 1300s-1520s

    • Founded Tenochtitlán in C. MX Island in Lake Texcoco

      • Chinampas- floating islands

      • Foods shared with world

        • maize (corn)

        • chocolate (xocoatl)- only for elite though- “Food of the gods”

        • tomatoes

Ancient empires4
Ancient Empires

  • Aztecs cont’d

    • Ruled by emperor military, then majority (farmers), last were criminals & slaves

    • Priests had own class

      • Human sacrifices to sun

        god to rise ea. day

        • Tens of thousands:

          mostly P.O.W.s and some

          noble family members

Ancient empires5
Ancient Empires

  • Inca: 1430s-1530s

    • Andes Mtns, Ecuador  Chile

    • Ruled by emperor (Sapa Inca)

      • Then military (very oppressive)

    • Extensive road network thru mtns (rivals Romans)

      • Runners to warn of rebellion, invaders

      • All roads went thru Cuzco

Original Incan road

Machu Picchu

Ancient empires6
Ancient Empires

  • Inca cont’d

    • Used quipu for record keeping (for traders)

    • Spoke Quechua (dev. into ethnic grp.)

      • No written lang.

    • Masters of terracing & irrigation from Pac. Ocn.

    • Domesticated alpacas & llamas



Decline of empires
Decline of Empires

  • Olmecs: ?? (volcano, absorbed)

  • Mayan: ?? (frequent war??, overpop. over farm??, plagues??)

  • Aztecs: Span. conquistador Hernán Cortés (1521)

  • Inca: Span. conquistador Francisco Pizarro (1535)

European conquests
European Conquests

  • From 1500s-1700s

    • Colonizing for power and resources for home country

      • Columbian Exchange

    • As disease killed many Natives, they began enslaving Africans to meet labor shortages

Sources of discontent late 1700s
Sources of Discontent- Late 1700s

  • Viceroys- Spanish governors

  • Peninsulares- Spaniards living in LA

  • Creoles- straight Euro. descent

  • Mestizos- Native + Euro.

  • Mulattoes- Afn. + Euro.

  • Zambos- Native + Afn.

  • Amerindians- Natives

    ALL distrusted one another

Sources of discontent
Sources of Discontent

  • Peninsulares/Viceroys wanted self-rule

  • Creoles read works of Enlightenment thinkers; All looked to Amn & Fr. Rev wanted more rights

  • Nat. & Afns wanted freedom from slavery

  • Finally acted when Napoleon defeated Spain (made weaker)

Haiti s struggle
Haiti’s Struggle

  • French-ruled

  • Sugar & coffee plantations = 1/2 million slaves lots of $ for France

  • 25,000 free (but not equal) mulattoes

Haiti s struggle1
Haiti’s Struggle

  • Revolted in 1791

  • Led by Toussaint L’Ouverture

    • Former slave, but educated

  • Napoleon went in to regain, but Pres. TJ aided rebels

  • 1804: Complete independence

  • Haiti is first non-slave nation in Western Hemisphere

Mexico s fight
Mexico’s Fight

  • Father Hidalgo: El Grito de Dolores

    • 1810: cry for independence

    • encouraged lower class (mestizos) to fight for indep. and more rights

    • Hidalgo was executed Fr. Jose Morales led fight (later executed)

  • Creoles (pure Span. descent) against rebels at 1st

Mexico s fight1
Mexico’s Fight

  • 1820: new govn’t in Spain  scared Creoles  fought with rebels  won in 1821

  • Set up monarchy 1st, later a republic never stable

Sim n bol var
Simón Bolívar

  • 1810: Bolivar led revolt in Venezuela  form republic (did not last)

  • Went on to Ecuador, Peru, & Bolivia republics

  • Joined Jose de San Martin

    • Leader in Argentina & Chile

Sim n bol var1
Simón Bolívar

  • Wars ended in 1824

  • Tried to unite lands into Gran Colombia 

    • Biggest problem: Power struggles caused huge civil wars turn to military


  • Napoleon beat Portugal 

  • Royals fled to Brazil 

  • King made reforms 

  • Left son Dom Pedro to rule…

  • But new powers in Portugal were against Dom Pedro…


  • He made Brazil independent constitutional monarchy

  • Freedom of press & religion; elected legislature

  • 1889: became republic w/o any violence


  • As the countries fought for indep., power went to new people

  • European & indigenous hist. stressed rank & privilege

  • So ppl of power and strength were natural fit

  • Enter the era of CAUDILLOS (dictators)


  • Haiti:

    • Instability stays

      • Blacks vs. mulattoes- assassination of each other’s leaders

      • Many military coups (even of democratically elected pres!), US occupancy, military dictatorships

      • UN peacekeepers present since 2004


  • Mexico:

    • Series of military dictatorships

      • beginning with Santa Anna

    • 1920s: Had “ify” multi-party elections (PRI ruled for 70+ yrs)

      • Charged with fraud, unfair elections

  • Venezuela

    • From Bolivar on, dictatorships gave into military regimes


  • Brazil:

    • Dom Pedro’s son helped econ. and ended slavery landowners revolted to oust emperor

      • Set up fed. Republic

    • Lack of democratic tradition brought about decades of dictatorships, Nazi, & Communist uprisings

    • 1985 marked 1st civilian president


  • People are unhappy REVOLT

  • Option A: the military puts out revolt and resumes power to keep order

  • Option B: rebels win & put in someone military/wealthy don’t like  military coup

Caribbean independence
Caribbean Independence

  • 1898: Cuba from Spain

  • 1900s: Jamaica & Barbados from Britain

  • Some still under foreign control

Panama canal
Panama Canal

  • Isthmus perfect place to connect oceans

  • Ferdinand de Lesseps (Suez Canal) tried but failed

    • Disease, geography, $

  • Bunau-Varilla asked US pres TR (1901) to aid building

Panama canal1
Panama Canal

  • Panama was part of Colombia at time

    • Col. refused to give up land

  • Panamanians revolted, US helped them

  • Panama gained independence (1903)

  • Canal began in 1904, until 1914

  • US owned until 1999


  • Like others, ppl were discontent with govn’t

  • Cuba- gap b/w rich and poor

    • Revolution led by Fidel Castro set up Communist State with military dictator (1959)

    • Ruled until 06-08 left Raul (brother) in power


  • Mexico:

    • Mid-90s gave rise to Zapatista rebels

      • Fight for indigenous rights spreads

    • 2000 marked PAN take over (Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderon)

  • Venezuela:

    • Coups lasted into 90s, one even by current leftist Pres. Chavez

    • Electorate voted him in b/c he was a strong ruler in a time a of crisis