Foundation of Spanish, English, French & Dutch Colonies in North America

Topics: Colonialism, New Netherland, Thirteen Colonies Pages: 12 (2410 words) Published: October 6, 2012
Unit 1: The Foundation of the Spanish, French, Dutch and English Colonies in North America * Initial Contact (Spanish)
* The French and Dutch Colonies
* The English Colonies

Part I: Initial Contact (Spanish)
#1: Who were the earliest inhabitants of the Americas? * About 14,000 years ago (12,000 BCE), people started to migrate across BERINGIA to Americas * By 8,000 BCE, they reached to Tierra del Fuego

* 3 waves came from Asia, 1 from Polynesia (to Easter Island) around 300 AD, 1 from Scandinavia (Norsemen) around 900 AD

#2: What are 2 characteristics of Neolithic American culture? * Clovis tip spear and climate change killed off most large animals (woolly mammoths—like Fred Flintstone would eat) * Some Americans converted to agriculture here (the Neolithic Revolution)—this was around 4000-1500 BCE * Was this earlier or later than other places? * Diseases: Eurasians with large population centers (cities) developed immunities; Americans with small population centers (few cities) did not—hence the later demographic catastrophe when the European arrived

#3: Name and describe 3 Major Native American Areas before Columbus * Meso to South America
* Aztecs (Tenochtitlan, chinampas, monumental architecture, human sacrifice) * Incas (non-literate, but had decimal system, superior communication system of runners, accounting device called quipu) * American Southwest

* Hohokam, Anasazi, Pueblo
* Superior irrigation systems; astronomy
* North American Mound Builders (Mississippi Valley)
* Ohio and Mississippi River regions
* Buried their rulers in these mounds, along with followers who would serve him in afterlife

#4: How did Europe compare to the rest of the world around 1400? * 1400: Europe “was at the edge of world commerce, not the center” * China was the economic power
* Europe got knowledge of China from Marco Polo
* Cheng Ho (Zheng He) explored around 1420s, but China soon stopped—Why?) * Islam was expanding
* Ottomans took Constantinople in 1453
* Islam spread to Indonesia and Southeast Asia

#5: Why did Europeans start to explore in the late 1400s?
* Improvements in technology (result of Renaissance curiosity) * Desire to spread Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism) * Desire to expand trade with East and get rich
* Circumvent Ottomans by going around Africa (Henry the Navigator); or going west (Columbus) * New nation-states/monarchies needed $ (gold/silver) to build their countries (had to pay armies and bureaucrats)

#6: What initial impact did Europeans have on the Americas?
* Enslaved Indians (encomienda system)
* Later replaced with black Africans
* Cultural misunderstandings developed
* Both sides regarded each other as barbaric
* Demographic catastrophe (90% decrease)
* Indians had no immunity to smallpox; little immunity to measles * 1520: 15 million Native Americans
* 1620: 700,000 Native Americans

#7: How did the Spanish administer their colonies?
* At first, individual conquistadores would rule an area * Then Spain asserted control
* Council of the Indies in Seville
* Spanish America divided into 3 vice-royalties (New Spain, Peru, New Grenada), which were then sub-divided into audencias * Viceroys ruled from newly built cities, like Havana, Mexico City, Lima * Centralized in theory (Spain ruled), but slow communication gave viceroys a lot of leeway * Encomienda system allowed encomendero to exploit Indians of his district for labor—and Indians were abused and killed off

#8: Why was Europe so dominant over the Native Americans?
* Geography
* Europe: east-west axis...
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