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Latin American History. From Early Empires to Conquest. Early Civilizations. Olmec (1500-400 BCE) Southern Mexico coastal Mother of Central America Mayan (100-900 CE) Southern Mexico, Guatemala Calendar, concept of 0 (zero) Aztec (1300-1525 CE) Central Mexico

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Latin american history

Latin American History

From Early Empires to Conquest


Early civilizations
Early Civilizations

  • Olmec (1500-400 BCE)

    • Southern Mexico coastal

    • Mother of Central America

  • Mayan (100-900 CE)

    • Southern Mexico, Guatemala

    • Calendar, concept of 0 (zero)

  • Aztec (1300-1525 CE)

    • Central Mexico

    • Tenochtitlan, maize markets in huge cities

  • Inca (1300-1533 CE)

    • Andes—Ecuador to Chile

    • Terrace farming, roads, earthquake resistant buildings, Quecha language


Olmec empire 1500 900 bce
Olmec Empire—1500-900 BCE


The olmec
The Olmec











The europeans arrive

And then…

The Europeans arrive


Questions to consider
Questions to Consider:

  • On Columbus…

    • Why

    • What was he looking for?

  • 1494—Treaty of Tordesillas…

    • Why were all cut out but Spain and Portugal?

    • How did Pedro Cabral claim Brazil?


The methods of conquistadores
The Methods of Conquistadores

  • Hernando Cotes

    • Deception

    • Alliances of Aztec’s enemies/rivals

    • Fear factor

    • Smallpox

  • Francisco Pissarro (Pizzarro???)

    • Deception and lies

    • Captured the Inca

    • Smallpox and the flu



Weaknesses of the empires
Weaknesses of the Empires

  • Both Aztecs and the Inca

    • Lack of immunity to common European diseases—smallpox, flu, measles, plague

    • Area too big for the ruler to handle

    • Conquered peoples treated cruelly

  • Aztecs

    • Superstitions about the horse and armor

    • Spanish weapons superior in battles

  • Inca

    • Atahualpa kidnapped; no second in command

    • Politics corrupt and easy to manuver


Latinized culture
“Latinized” Culture

  • Spanish or Portuguese imposed

  • Christian religion forced by Jesuit and Dominican missionaries

  • Class System enforces

    • Peninsulars—European-born whites

    • Creoles—whites born in the New World

    • Mestizos—white and Indian parents

    • Mulattos—white and African parents

    • Indigenous—native peoples

    • Forced Africans—slaves


Slavery in latin america
Slavery in Latin America

  • 95% of all African slaves brought to Latin America

    • Most to Caribbean

    • 1/3 to Brazil

    • 5% to English colonies (13 colonies)

  • Encomienda—large farm or ranch with forced indigenous laborers and the white owner living in the hacienda




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