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August 19, 2015
Unit 1 American Beginnings
 Explain the reasons for European interest in exploration in the 1400s and 1500s.
 Recognize the social, economic, and demographic impact of the Columbian
Exchange, including the demise of native cultures and the beginnings of racebased slavery in the Americas.
 Recognize the social, economic, and demographic impact of the Columbian
 Describe the beginnings of African slavery in the Americas and the reasons for it.
 Describe the reasons for establishing an English settlement at Jamestown, the
problems the colony faced, its major leaders, and how the colony was saved.
 In 1492 – Christopher
Columbus sailed under
authority of Spain.
 His goal was to reach India
in pursuit of trade.
 He actually reached an
island in the Caribbean.
 Eventually the Spanish
explorers realized that they
had discovered a vast new
 This marks a turning point
in history – Columbian
 Spain began exploring more regions of the New World and established colonies
throughout the present US south and southwest, all of Central America, and much of
South America.
 At this time Spain created the largest empire in the world at that time.
 Spanish explorers known as Conquistadors set out to conquer and claims lands for
Spain, find legendary treasures, and Christianize the Native American peoples.
 The majority of Native Americans died or were enslaved.
 Disease and steel weapons severely weakened Native Americans and their ability
to protect their lands and freedom.
 Two mighty Native American civilizations were conquered, the Aztec and the Inca.
 Spain gained huge profits from their colonies through land, crops, and mining
 The 15th and 16th centuries were times of great exploration led by Portugal and
 Portugal conquered and claimed present Brazil in South America.
 Other European monarchies became jealous of Spain’s vast empire and set their
own explorers west on the Atlantic to conquer and claim land. More importantly to
establish successful colonies.
 The Netherlands, France, and England sent explorers.
 England established the Virginia Company that’s purpose was to establish a colony.
 English settlers and their Captain John Smith set out for North America and
established Jamestown in Virginia.
 Native Americans were the first slaves on European plantations and mines.
 Due to the lack of Native American immunities to Eastern world diseases many
died and couldn’t be good slaves to the Europeans – Europeans began trading
African slaves in the New World.
 The slave trade was so profitable that it continued on into the 19th century.
 The slaves did extremely hard work in
the most harsh conditions.
Many slaves died in these circumstances.