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New World
33,000 B.C. - 1769 A.D.
The First Discoverers
The Bering Land Bridge
was formed during the Ice
Age by glacial ice caps
lowering the sea level.
Ice Age Migrations
Siberia crossed the land
bridge following wild game
and settled in the New
intrepid travelers
became the ancestors of the
Native Americans – in this
sense they were the true
discovers of America.
The Corridor Closes
 Around
10,000 B.C. the ice
caps began to melt and the
land bridge disappeared
cutting off the migrations.
The Filling of the New World
 By the time of
the European
contact in 1492 it
is estimated that
72 million people
inhabited the two
Diversity of Culture
The Native Americans
developed a great
diversity of culture
with over two thousand
separate languages.
 Civilizations ranged from hunter-
gathers to complex urbanized
agricultural civilizations.
The Native Americans established large,
bustling cities, made strikingly accurate
astronomical observations and had highly
developed systems of mathematics.
Development of Agriculture
 The
size and
sophistication of
Native American
civilizations in
Mexico and South
America can best
be attributed to the
development of
Agrarian systems were based on
the “three sisters” planting
system of corn (maize), beans
and squash – with corn being the
most important staple crop.
Development Patterns
 Native
civilization was
more highly
developed in
Central and
South America.
By the arrival of
the Europeans
much of North
America was
thinly populated
with vast areas
 Most
Americans in
the North
lived in small,
scattered, and
The Iroquois Confederacy
One major exception to
this in North America
was the Iroquois
Confederacy which was
able to dominate its
neighbors through
military alliances,
sustained by political
and organizational
Indirect Discoverers
colonies of
Vinland in
Nova Scotia c. 1000 A.D.
Scandinavians lacked a
centralized Nation-State and
so did not support these
The Crusaders
 The
crusaders were
indirectly responsible
for the discovery of
America because they
brought back news of
valuable Far Eastern
spices, drugs, and silk
Marco Polo
 The
trader Marco
Polo also
brought back
stories of the
wealth of the
Reasons for Exploration
The Renaissance
unification and
the rise of absolute
and Counter-
Italian spice monopoly and
the fall of Constantinople
to the Muslims.
Spanish Reconquista
 Europeans
wanted to discover a
new, shorter route to eastern Asia
in order to
the hold that Muslim
merchants had on trade with Asia,
reduce the price of goods from
Asia and
gain more profits for themselves.
Early Exploration
 Portugal
Prince Henry the
wanted to
establish a trade
route to the East
around Africa.
The Caravel
 The development
of the new sailing
ship the Caravel
allowed for closer
sailing to the
The new technology
allowed the Portuguese to
begin sailing south along
the coast of Africa.
Navigational Tools
Bartholomew Diaz
 In
1487, Diaz
rounded the Cape
of Good Hope at
the southern tip of
Africa, but the fear
of mutiny forced
him to return to
Vasco da Gama
 Da
Gama, with the aid of an
Arab pilot, made a successful
journey across the Arabian Sea
to the Indian port of Calicut.
 He
with a great
profit in
The Plantation System
 Plantation
slavery is
established in
Africa by the
Spain and Glory
 Spain
was united
into a single
nation-state when
the African
Moors were
expelled from the
 This
event (the Reconquista) was
brought about by the unification of
the Houses of Aragon and Castile
with the marriage of Isabella of
Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon.
Christopher Columbus
 Genovese
sailor /
navigator - he
persuaded Queen
Isabella of Castille of
the possibility of
finding a direct route
to Asia by the west
across the Atlantic.
set sail on August 3,
1492 with three ships - the
Niña, The Pinta, and the
Santa Maria.
 He
landed on San Salvador island
on October 12 believing he had
reached the outskirts of the Indies.
Columbus would go
to his death believing
he had found a new
route to the Indies.
 His name for the
native peoples,
Indians, would stick.
Catholic Conflict
 The
Spanish and the Portuguese
sought intercession from the
Pope to avoid conflict over the
new lands.
 Treaty of Tordesillas divided
the new lands between Spain in
the west and Portugal in the
Economic Contact
 A new
interdependent global
economic system emerged after
Columbus's discovery
 Europe provided markets,
technology and capital.
 While the New World provided
the raw materials.
The Old and New World
Plants and animals from
distant ecosystems were
introduced and
From America: beans,
peppers, maize (corn),
pumpkin and squash,
tomato, potato and
From Europe: apple,
peach, citrus, eggplant,
olive, sugar cane.
Population Explosion
introduction of
American plants around
the world resulted in
rapid population growth
in Europe.
Price Revolution
The flood of precious metal
from the New World to
Europe resulted in a price
revolution that raised prices
causing inflation.
and Silver
from the New
World also led
to the growth of
Animals were brought
from Europe:
 Pigs
 Cattle
Europeans also brought diseases.
 Malaria
 Yellow
Native American
populations were quickly
 It is estimated that 90%
of the native population
died within a century.
Explorers and Conquistadors
Spain became the leading
European explorer and
colonizer of the New World
Major Explorers
de Leon
explored Florida
in search of the
“Fountain of
explored the
desert southwest in
search of the “Seven
Cities of Cibola.”
de Soto
explored the South and
crossed the Mississippi
crossed the
Isthmus of
Panama and
saw the Pacific
Ferdinand Magellan sailed
around the tip of South
America and his crew
finished the first
circumnavigation of the
Conquistadors both
explored and conquered
parts of the Caribbean,
Central America, South
America and Mexico.
Notable Conquistadors
Cortes destroyed the
Aztec Empire in 1521.
Pizarro defeated
the Incas in 1532.
The Encomienda System
institution of
encomienda allowed the
European governments to
give Indians to colonists if
they promised to
Christianize them.
The Spanish soldiers and
missionaries mistreated
and killed thousands of
Native Americans.
The Spread of Spanish Culture.
By the end of the 16th century
Spain began to fortify and settle
its northern borderlands in
order to protect its southern
domains from encroachments
by England and France.
 A Spanish
established the settlement
of New Mexico in 1609.
 By this time Mexico had
many large cities.
Pope’s Rebellion
1680 the Pueblo Indians
destroyed every Catholic
church in the province of
New Mexico , but the
Spanish returned by the
Texas and California
The Spanish began to
establish strings of forts
and missions in Texas
and California during the