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The Americas Before and After the Europeans. An Introduction to the Colonial Unit. American Settlement Timeline. Native American Tribes. Who was here? Mound Builders—Built about 1000 years before the Egyptian pyramids. Anasazi Cliff Dwellers (Utah, NM, Colorado, Arizona).

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the americas before and after the europeans

The Americas Before and After the Europeans

An Introduction to the Colonial Unit

So from thousands of years ago until Columbus, America had thousands of Indian tribes and subgroups…. MEANWHILE IN EUROPE …
europe s governments were mostly feudal
Europe’s governments were mostly feudal…
  • Kings ruled the countries
  • Kings gave land to lords to help them run the country
  • Lords hired knights to protect the land
  • Peasants farmed the land in exchange for a place to stay.



the catholic church
The Catholic Church
  • The only unifying power among the people in the kingdoms
  • Everyone believed what the Church said
then at the end of the middle ages
Then, at the end of the Middle Ages…
  • The Renaissance Period (1400-1600): the rebirth of humanism
    • The Printing Press and increased literacy
    • Advances in science, mathematics, and arts
    • Excitement to learn about the world
still the church has a lot of power
Still, the Church has a lot of power!
  • The Spanish Inquisition-
    • Began in Spain in 1480
    • Spread of Catholicism; Persecution of Jews and Muslims
    • Idea that wealth and power is key to heaven
    • Cruel Punishments: People who were suspected of ‘criminal’ acts, depending on the crime, faced severe punishment. The most merciful was being hanged. Other punishments ranged from cutting off criminals’ heads, arms, legs, hands, or feet to being burned at the stake in front of large audiences.

Christófo Colón [1451-1506]

Italian who sailed for Spain. Trip was financed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Sailed the Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

the native peoples of the first voyage the arawaks
The Native peoples of the first voyage…the Arawaks

According to the journal

Columbus kept:

October 12, 1492:

They were very well-built people, with handsome bodies and very fine faces, though their appearance is marred somewhat by very broad heads and foreheads…Their eyes are large and very pretty, and their skin is the color of Canary Islanders…They are in fact well proportioned.

October 13, 1492:

I cannot get over how docile these people are. They have so little to give but will give it all for whatever we give them, if only broken pieces of glass and crockery.

although columbus viewed the natives favorably his motives for them were not
Although Columbus viewed the Natives favorably, his motives for them were not

October 12, 1492:

They ought to make good and skilled servants, for they repeat very quickly what we say to them. I think they can easily be made Christians, for they seem to have no religion. If it pleases Our Lord, I will take six of them to your Highness when I depart


Now Other Explorers…Ferdinand Magellan & the First Circumnavigation of the World: Early 16c (1500’s)

what was the impact of all of these voyages
What was the impact of all of these voyages?
  • Set up a new global, interdependent economy:
    • Europe: provided markets, money and technology
    • Africa: labor (slaves)
    • New World: Raw materials
“A New World” for those Europeans in search of riches, freedom and a new life to settle in has been discovered
settlements form sometimes it went well
Settlements form…Sometimes It Went Well…

The First Thanksgiving, Plymouth Colony, 1621


Sometimes it Didn’t…

Jamestown Massacre, 1622