Norton People and a Nation Chapter 1 Terms

Topics: Americas, Christopher Columbus, Colonialism Pages: 4 (1547 words) Published: September 22, 2013
Paleo-indians: These were the first Americans, nomadic hunters and gatherers, they dispersed throughout N and S America after crossing Beringia. By 11,500 years ago, they were making stone tools. By 900 years ago, they began to cultivate crops. Some began to establish permanent settlements. They reached their peaks of success after they mastered agriculture. Mayans: The Maya established an empire about 2000 years ago in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Their city, Teotihuacan housed 100,000 people by the 5th century. They built urban centers, studied astronomy, and created an elaborate writing system. Constant warfare with neighboring tribes and an inadequate food supply lead to their demise in the 9th century. Cahokia: Mississippian culture refers to the combined tribes of the Mississippi valley of the south-eastern US. They relied heavily on maize, squash, pumpkins and nuts. They established a hierarchal society with their largest city, Cahokia, covering 5 square miles near modern St. Louis. By its peak in the 11th and 12th centuries Cahokia housed 20,000, more than London at the same time. They developed an accurate calendar but by 1250 Cahokia was deserted, possibly due to climate change and overpopulation. Aztecs: The Aztecs migrated from further south to the central valley of Mexico during the 12th century. The Aztecs were fearsome, conquering their neighbors and forcing them to pay tributes in textiles, food, and human sacrifices. Spanish conquered this, and this was crucial, because it gave Spain the largest land empire since Rome and the Aztec’s vast gold reserves. Huitzilopochtli: This was the primary war god of the Aztec religion. Legend says that he directed the Aztecs to establish their capital on an island where they saw an eagle eating a serpent. This island became Tenochtitlan. Sexual division of labor: Pre-Columbian societies assigned different tasks to women and men. Men were traditionally tasked with hunting, allotting gathering, food...
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