SOCIAL STUDIES REMEDIATION FOR THE ALABAMA HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION EXAM. THE PRE-COLONIAL AND COLONIAL ERAS. THE CRUSADES.
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The Crusades (1095-1270) were Holy Wars waged by Europeans on the Muslims in the Middle East to regain the Holy Land of Christianity’s founder, Jesus Christ. Europeans discovered Asian foods, spices, and clothing in the East and brought them back to Europe, which created a desire for these items among Europeans. Because of taxes brought on by passing through small countries by land with goods, Europeans began looking for sea routes to Asia. This led to the establishment of a school for navigation (the science of sailing ships) by Prince Henry of Portugal.
At this school, Prince Henry gathered Europe’s leading map makers, sailors, and shipbuilders. They built a new and very strong sailing ship called a caravel. Other instruments used to develop their skills were the astrolabe and compass. An astrolabe is an instrument used to determine location by using the stars. A compass is a magnetized needle which points north. Portugal soon became rich from trading gold and slaves. Though he made no voyages himself, but supported navigation, the prince is known as Henry the Navigator.
The term Renaissance literally means “rebirth” and refers to the great cultural developments and societal changes that began in 14th-century Italy and spread to the rest of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. The intellectuals of the Renaissance believed they were beginning a new age of history, a rebirth of the great civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome. The Renaissance ideals encouraged people to read things like the Bible with a critical eye. Scholars did not rely on the Catholic Church’s Latin translation of the Bible, but returned to the sources, the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. As people studied the Bible, they wanted to reform the church by abolishing any religious practices that were not found in the Bible.
Beginning with Martin Luther (1483-1546), the movement to reform the Catholic Church, the Protestant Reformation, quickly met opposition from Catholic Church leaders. As a result, leaders of these reform movements broke away from the Catholic Church and formed their own churches. In England, the religious turmoil caused by the Reformation led many to try living in the New World where they could practice their beliefs without interference. In Spain, zeal to defend the Catholic faith and to evangelize others led many Spanish missionaries to the New World in search of conversions among the Native Americans
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), an Italian explorer representing Spain, set out in 1492 to find a new route to Asia. After his historic voyage, the native cultures in the newly discovered Western Hemisphere began to mix with European cultures. This mixture of cultures, called the Columbian Exchange, had several results:
Europeans brought tea, sugar, and coffee to he New World.
The New World offered tobacco, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, and chocolate to Europe.
Europeans brought over animals such as horses and cattle as well as plants that were not native to the New World.
The Europeans and Native Americans exchanged words from their languages.
Europeans brought their communicable diseases to the New World. In some Native American cultures, European diseases killed as many as 80% of Native Americans. Their immune systems were not accustomed to these diseases
Native American societies were destabilized as Europeans began interacting with them. Because of European diseases and advanced weaponry, the population of the Native Americans declined. In addition, Spanish conquests destroyed whole Native American societies such as the Aztec and the Inca nations.
For many European rulers and merchants, the New World offered opportunities for wealth, power, and adventure. The rulers of Spain, Portugal, France, and England wanted more territory so their power and importance would surpass those of other nations.
Spain and Portugal – Explorers from these countries wanted gold and riches. They also imported slaves to work on plantations. In addition, Catholic missionaries came to bring Christianity to the Native Americans of Mexico and South America.
France and England – Explorers from these countries visited eastern North America about 1500. They also became fur traders, but after 1600, they established permanent settlements. The French settlements were mainly in Canada. The English settlements centered on the thirteen colonies in eastern North America which later became the United States.
The Crusades increased European desire for Asian spices and cloth.
Europeans desired new trade routes to India and China.
Navigation skills improved through better use of instruments like the compass (magnetic direction indicator) and astrolabe (determined location by stars), and the construction of the caravel (a stronger ship).
Methods of warfare improved through the use of guns, cannons, and horses.
Leaders desired land, power, wealth, and conversions – “Gold, Glory, and Gospel.”
People were searching for religious or political freedom.
Spain was the first European nation to discover the New World. Quickly, Spain mobilized its resources and began conquering these new lands. These Spanish explorers were called conquistadors (Spanish for “conquerors”).
The Spanish had better weapons. They could use guns and cannons against Native American bows, arrows, and spears.
The Aztecs and Incas had never seen fair-skinned people or horses, so they were frightened.
The native peoples thought the Spanish were gods fulfilling the prophecies of their religion.
Lacking immunity to European diseases, entire native populations were destroyed by measles and small pox.
Other Spanish explorers claimed many parts of North America for Spain. Francisco Coronado explored the area of present-day New Mexico in 1540 in search of the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. From 1539-1542, Hernando de Soto explored the areas of present-day Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi in search of these same legendary cities. Both of these explorations ended in failure, but they provided information about the native cultures and land in these areas. In 1513, another explorer named Juan Ponce de Leon explored Florida looking for The Fountain of Youth. Once again, this mission ended in failure, but it did provide information that aided later Spanish conquests in Florida.
St. Augustine was a settlement on the Florida coast. It was the first European city in North America and was founded by the Spanish in 1565.
St. Augustine was vital to maintaining control of Florida and the Spanish trade from Mexico.
When the explorers and conquistadors explored these new areas, they were generally greeted warmly by the Native Americans. However, when the Spaniards began to kill, rob, or enslave these native peoples, the Native Americans fought back fiercely. As a result, the Spanish refrained from taking control of all of North America.
With the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, other European powers began setting up their own colonies in areas not yet claimed by Spain in North America. The three main nations involved in this new colonization were France, the Netherlands, and England.
The Dutch began exploring the Hudson River in 1609. Seventeen years later, Dutch settlers bought the island of Manhattan from the local Native Americans. Soon, the Dutch had a thriving colony called New Netherland based out of the port city of New Amsterdam, later to be renamed New York. In 1664, England conquered this Dutch colony. Many words from the Dutch entered the English language at this point, including Santa Claus, spook, and boss.
The English established colonies on the eastern seaboard of North America. There were three regions of English colonization along the Atlantic seaboard of North America: the Southern Colonies, the New England Colonies, and the Middle Colonies.
The first English attempt at colonizing the present-day United States occurred in the South. In 1587, Sit Walter Raleigh sponsored a group of 100 settlers on the island of Roanoke in present-day North Carolina. The governor of the settlement, John White, returned to England for supplies. He told the settlers that if they were not there when he returned the following year, they should leave a cross carved in the tree symbolizing attack by the Native Americans or leave the name of the location if they had to move. When he returned he found the word CROATOAN carved into a tree. White knew this to be the name of a nearby island but he was unable to reach the island and returned to England. This first colony is called The Lost Colony.
The first successful attempt at colonizing in the South occurred at Jamestown. The Virginia Company founded Jamestown as a charted colony in 1607. This company was a joint-stock company (a private company that sells shares to investors). The purpose in founding the colony was to produce a profit for the investors in England. Because the investors were not there at the colonies, they sent a governor to represent their interests and gave the settlers the right to elect burgesses (representatives). These representatives began meeting in the House of Burgesses in 1619.
The House of Burgesses limited royal authority and increased citizen participation in the colonial government. This experimental democracy became the living example for how to create a democratic government for the United States. It became a model for other English colonies to follow.
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
In 1663, King Charles II granted land to eight proprietors of North and South Carolina. These proprietors sold large tracts of land for plantations (vast farm land devoted to one main crop). These colonies attracted wealthy landowners from the Church of England, French Protestants called Huguenots, and indentured servants (people who became servants for seven years to pay for their passage to the colonies).
The economy of the Southern Colonies was based on crops of tobacco, rice, indigo, and cotton. The plantation owners imported African slaves as laborers on these plantations.
Traders from the Southern Colonies established a triangular trade route. From the Caribbean, they brought molasses to New York to be made into rum. Traders then took some of the rum to West Africa to be exchanged for slaves. Then traders brought the slaves to plantations in the Caribbean or the Southern Colonies where they bought molasses again.
New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania
Dutch, Swedish, and British colonists settled here. William Penn who was a Quaker (a persecuted religious group) was proprietor of Pennsylvania. Many persecuted religious groups settled in his colony. In Maryland, Roman Catholics enjoyed religious freedom.
Farming, fishing, shipping, and trading were important in the Middle Colonies. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the city of brotherly love, was the largest city in the thirteen colonies.
Emphasis on individual freedom, hard work, andself-reliance.
Mercantilism was the main economic system. In this system, a nation’s power is measured by its gold reserves. If a country exports more than it imports, this country will possess a surplus of gold in exchange for its exported goods. Great Britain used its colonies as a place to export its goods and receive gold in exchange.