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Chapter 14: The Early Americas

By Prerana Kiran Period 2 World History

Key Terms
1. Mesoamerica: a region that includes the southern part of what is now Mexico and parts of Northern Central America 2. Pacal: He lived from about 603 AD to 683 AD. He was a Mayan king who had a temple built in the city Palenque to record his achievements as a ruler. 3. Obsidian: A sharp, glasslike volcanic rock 4. Observatories: buildings used to study astronomy, like in ancient Mayan civilization 5. Maize: corn 6. Popol Vuh: This is a book containing Mayan legends and history.

Section 1: Geography and Early Cultures

Geography of the Americas
North America: high mts, desert plateaus, grassy plains, and forests Southern North America: Mesoamerica
Steamy rainforests, volcanoes, fertile mts, valleys, rivers, and warm climate make it good for farming

South America: Andes mountains=west coast, narrow desert there, fishing in Pacific Ocean, East = Amazon river and Amazon Rainforest

The First People Arrive

Came to N. America by Beringia land bridge from Asia
May have come earlier, by sea, along western coast

Were hunter-gatherers, hunted herds of bison and mammoths, and ate fruits, nuts, and wild grains Settled in coasts and fished and gathered food. Began to experiment with seeds.

Farming and Settlement

Started farming, became sedentary First Farming Settlements In Mesoamerica, 3500 BC = domesticated maize, then beans and squash. Pop. Grew, and society advanced, became towns and cities.

First urban civilization, had large towns in 1200 BC. Religious, govt. centers, plazas, sculptures, stone heads of rulers and gods, and pyramids. Had writing, calendar, trading along pacific Ended around 400 BC, influenced other Mesoamerican peoples

Farming and the Growth of other civilizations

Mesoamericans grow maize, and S Americans grow potatoes
By 2000 BC, S As grow corn, potatoes, and beans

S A = 1st Andes- Chavin Culture from 9-200BC

City=religious and trade; had woven textiles, stone monuments, and people and animal shape potter

N A = maize farming (SW USA), it is dry, so people chose fertile soils and irrigation. Corn becomes staple food Caused more food, steady pop. growth., and civilizations because more people settle in cities.

Section 2 The Maya

Geography Affects the Early Maya
Mesoamerican lowlands in 1000 BC Cleared land for crops Grew corn, etc. Animals for food, and trees for building
Use vines, wood and mud to build houses

Small villages traded cloth and obsidian, which caused more support for populations, and villages grew. The Mayans started to build cities by AD 200s

Maya Classic Age

Reached height btwn AD 250 and 900, called the classic age; was religious Spread to Yucatan Peninsula and had 40+ cities of 5,000 50,000 people per city Trade
Highlands traded with the lowlands, so had resources from all over Lowlands = cotton, rubber, cacao (food of gods and rulers, used as money) Highlands = jade, obsidian.

Cities had pyramids, temples, and palace, some which honored Maya kings.
Example: A Palenque temple honored Pacal's achievements during his reign, and most were decorative Plazas for gatherings, and canals for water. Farmers made terraces to grow crops Ball court = stone arenas; bounced heavy ball thru hoop with heads, shoulders, and hips ONLY. Winners got jewels, losers were killed, from Olmecs City-states; no empire

Battled for land (Tikal and Calakmul); power shifted a lot Bloody; used knives, spears, and clubs; prisoners sacrificed to gods; cities are destroyed, helped end Mayans

Mayan Civilization Declines

Stopped in 900s AD; stopped building, people moved to countryside. 1. Increased warfare 2. Not enough food competition btwn cities destroyed crops 3. Kings demanded people, so they rebelled 4. Climate dry period for 150 years All of these factors combined probably led to the decline of the Mayan Classic Age

Section 3 Maya Life and Society

Roles In Mayan Society
Upper Class
Rulers: related to gods, so center of ceremonies, led battles, richest, luxury Priests: born into role, led religious ceremonies, educated, used math and astronomy to plan Pro Warriors: fought other cities, headdresses, jewelry, Jaguar caped, red and black body-dye Merchants: trade, transport of goods, controlled economy

Lower Classes
Most Mayans are part of Lower Class Girls cook, yarn, weave; women care for children Men make tools, hunted, farmed, had gardens, everyone helped farm Paid rulers with some crops, cloth, salt, and built buildings Served in army in war, became slave if captured Slaves: lowest, orphans, children of slaves, and people in debt can become slaves; served upper classes by being servants and farming Both classes helped each other

Had many gods Most important = creator, took many forms.
Sun, moon g, maize Kings communicate with Gods

Helpful or harmful, so please then by giving blood from tongue/skin, @ births, weddings, and funerals. Sometimes = extra blood, so made human sacrifices (war prisoners), priests offer their hearts to gods at temples

Made many advances in various fields Art and Architecture


Jade/gold jewelry, gods/kings carvings in cities Cities = no metal tools or wheels! Used obsidian to cut limestone blocks, then rolled them with logs, lifting them with ropes. Wow!

Science and Math

In observatories, studied stars and found out 1 yr = 365 days, learned moon cycles and eclipses Developed calendars (religious for events, farming for others; matched seasonal changes). More accurate than Europe! WOW! Number Systems with 0, and used it to record important dates

Writing and Oral Traditions

Like hieroglyphics; symbols = objects and sounds; records on rulers achievements. In stone tablets and on bark-paper books Stories & poetry = orally. After Spanish = Popol Vuh, with much Mayan Info and legends

Chapter 15The Aztec and Inca Empires

By Prerana Kiran Period 2 6/10/2013

Section 1 The Aztec Empire

The Aztecs build an Empire
The Aztecs were north Mexican farmers who moved south in the 1100s, only left with a swampy island in Lake Texoco. They became good fighters and conquered their neighbors. War, Tribute, and Trade
War: conquered towns and made alliances to build the empire, which helped them conquer areas around the lake in the 1420s Tribute: conquered people had to pay tribute to ruler in cotton, gold, or food Trade Network: merchants, craftsmen, and farmers met at markets. The merchants near the capital were spies, and reported tensions in the empire to the rulers

All of this made the empire rich; by the 1500s, the Aztecs were the most powerful in Mesoamerica.

- Tenochtitlan
Capital of empire, but was geo. challenged Travel was difficult, so they made causeways, raised roads on water/wet ground, to connect the island to the shore
Made of rocks and dirt Undrinkable waters, so made clean aqueducts Chinampas were floating gardens made of soil on rafts

Tenochtitlan had temples, markets, streets, and a palace It was a large city of about 200,000 people, but it was destroyed by Europeans

Cortes conquers the Americas

Spanish explorers and conquistadors arrive in 1400s to find gold, spread religion, and explore Cortes and Moctezuma
Hernan Cortes led group to Mexico in 1519
Aztec Emperor moctezuma II thought he was god Quetzalcoatl, b/c he looked like him Sent him gifts, so Cortes captured him; aztecs drove spanish out, and Moctezuma was killed Cortes came back in 1521 w/ Indian Allies and conquered Tenochtitlan

Cause of Aztec defeat

Malintizin was interpreter and helped Cortes make alliances with people who disliked rule under Aztecs Allies gave them supplies, info, and warriors

Spanish brought deadly disease (smallpox) that Aztecs were unimmune to so they died

Weapons and horses

Better weapons = armor, swords, and cannons: horses terrified Aztecs

- Gave Spanish a great advantage, and weakened the Aztecs

Blocked causeways, bridges, and waterways so they died of starvation

Section 2- Aztec Life and Society

Aztec Society
Calpulli groups = families sharing land, schools and temple, along with elected leader to king Kings and Nobles:
Most important, ruled empire, palace with gardens, zoo, and aviary; 3000 servants In charge of law, tribute, warfare Tax collectors and Judges = Nobles: helped king
Father to son, went to schools

Priests and Warriors

Priests: kept calendars, decided planting and ceremonies, passed down history and culture, religious ceremonies, sacrifice Warriors: Fought other lands for tribute, land, and sacrifice

Merchants and Artisans

Middle class Merchants: collected Mesoamerican goods from all over and sold them at markets. They controlled trade and became rich. They used the $ to send sons to school and for houses/ Artisans: made many goods like jewelry and headdresses and got rich. Most lived in Tenochtitlan. Others lived outside and made common goods, so they were in the lower class. Other tribes = sent crafts for tribute

Farmers and slaves

Lower class, but could study or become warriors Farmers: most people, grew maize, beans, etc. they didnt own land and were poor, because had to give much tribute. Outside = simple huts and clothes Slaves: from battle, in debt. Sold to higher class. Bad people sacrificed to gods.

Aztec Religion
Gods rule life: powers found in nature and great people.
Pleased them with sacrifice => most to war god Huitzilopochtli and rain god Tlaloc. Without them, no crops
Ceremonies on Tenos great temple: priests cut their body to give blood. Sacrificed enemy warriors blood and hearts, as much as 10,000 people.

Science, Art, and Language

Scientific Achievements
Built on others by learning from them, since they had tribute and trade. Eg: chinampas Astronomy => made calendar similar to mayans, told when to have ceremonies, battles, and farming guidelines. Many uses of plants (100 = medicines)

Artistic Traditions