After you read and analyze this chapter, you should be able to:
10. Describe the evolution and achievements of Native American cultures from their beginnings to the eve of Columbus’s discovery of America.
20. Explain why Europeans turned to overseas expansion and how they dealt with the many obstacles that stood in their way.
30. Describe how the meeting of American Indians, Europeans, and Africans in the aftermath of Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the Western hemisphere affected and changed each.
I0. A World of Change
A0. American Origins
10. While upheaval was shaping the western portion of the Western Hemisphere, erosion was the sculptor in the East.
20. Human evolution has proceeded against a backdrop of the great Ice Ages.
a0) Recent archaeological finds and isolated discoveries, such as the Kenniwick Man, suggest that many different groups of migrating people may have arrived and either coexisted or succeeded each other over this 60,000-year period.
b0) The majority of North America’s original residents are descended from three separate migrating groups: Paleo-Indians, the Na-Dene people, and the Eskimos.
c0) A warming trend 9,000 years ago led American Indians to shift from game hunting to other forms of existence.
30. Maize (corn), along with other engineered plants like beans, squash, and chilies, formed the basis for an agricultural revolution in North America, allowing many people to settle in villages for longer periods.
a0) Successful adaptation and population growth led some North American Indians to build large, ornate cities.
B0. Change and Restlessness in the Atlantic World
10. During the few centuries following Mohammed’s death in 632, Muslim Arabs, Turks, and Moors made major inroads into western Asia and northern Africa, eventually encroaching on Europe’s southern and eastern frontiers.
20. The Vikings explored Europe’s eastern and western regions and sailed westward, first sighting North America in 986.
30. The arrival of the Vikings in the Western Hemisphere may have influenced the balance of power among Native American groups.
40. European interest in global exploration and trade developed long before Columbus’s voyage in 1492.
a0) The Crusades gave Europeans knowledge of international conditions and greater commercial skills.
b0) The emergence of unified nation-states contributed to European expansion.
c0) In Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella achieved national unification by marrying in 1469 and by continuing the struggle against the Moslem presence until their complete expulsion in 1492.
d0) France achieved unification under Louis XI around 1480.
e0) England achieved unification under Henry Tudor in 1485 after a century of civil war.
C0. The Complex World of Indian America
10. Native American societies were every bit as progressive, adaptable, and historically dynamic as those that would invade their homes.
a0) Mississippian urban development, pyramid building, and political organization were most directly influenced by contacts with traders from Mexico.
b0) In the Eastern Woodlands, people lived in smaller villages and combined agriculture with hunting and gathering.
c0) Living in substantial insulated houses, Indians from the Great Plains divided their time between hunting, raising crops, and trading.
d0) American Indians in the Southwest constructed cliff dwellings and irrigation systems for their maize cultivation.
e0) The Aztecs established a tributary empire that would rival the great empires of Europe.
20. Variations in daily life and social and political arrangements in native North America reflected variations in climate, social conditions, food supplies, and cultural heritages.
30. Despite the enormous size of the continent and variety of cultures spread across it, economic and social connections within and between ecological regions tied the people together in complex ways.
D0. A World of Change in Africa
10. Like North America, Africa was home to an array of societies but had maintained more regular contact with Europe and Asia.
a0) Trade between the Mediterranean area and sub-Saharan Africa can be traced back to ancient Egypt.
b0) The creation of the Sahara Desert, resulting from a 1,500-year-long drought, cut most of Africa off from the fertile areas of the Mediterranean coast.
c0) As a result, African peoples followed an adaptive strategy in both their means of survival and social organization.
20. Much of the technology in place in sub-Saharan Africa can be traced to common roots predating the formation of the desert.
a0) Large cities developed near sources of iron and other ores.
b0) These trading centers became particularly important when Islamic expansion brought new, outside sources for trade.
II0. Exploiting Atlantic Opportunities
A0. The Portuguese, Africa, and Plantation Slavery
10. Portugal was the first unified European nation to undertake exploration in search of new commercial opportunities.
a0) Prince Henry the Navigator encouraged exploration by establishing a school for navigation.
20. Exploration southward brought the Portuguese into contact with the Songhai Empire of sub-Saharan Africa.
a0) From there, the Portuguese shipped African goods to Europe.
b0) The Songhai introduced the Portuguese to the commercial possibilities of slavery.
B0. The Continued Quest for Asian Trade
10. Portuguese contact with Africa gradually reached around the Cape of Good Hope and across the Indian Ocean to Asia.
20. Spain, England, and France sought to duplicate Portugal’s commerce with Asia by finding their own routes to India and China.
a0) Spanish and English seamen adopted the use of the compass from China and the astrolabe from the Arabs, and they improved ship construction.
30. Christopher Columbus proposed to reach the markets of Asia by sailing west from Europe.
40. Other European governments sent out new expeditions to the West in order to reach Asia, but these instead resulted in further discoveries in the New World.
a0) Sailing for England, John Cabot reached the coast of present-day Canada in 1497.
b0) Amerigo Vespucci, sailing for Spain, traveled along the northeastern coast of South America and into the Caribbean.
c0) Giovanni de Verrazano, on behalf of France, explored the eastern coast of North America.
C0. A New Transatlantic World
10. Although European monarchs were disappointed that the new world was not Asia and tried to find ways around it, they gradually learned that the new land had attractions of its own.
a0) Fishermen from England, France, Spain, and Portugal began exploring the fertile fishing grounds off the northern shores of North America.
20. Warfare increased among the Northeastern Indians as various groups scrambled to expand.
30. Groups grew more inclined to form formal alliances, such as the Iroquois Confederacy.
40. Indians found it beneficial to welcome Europeans as trading partners and as allies.
III0. The Challenges of Mutual Discovery
A0. A Meeting of Minds in America
10. Columbus’s discovery of the Western Hemisphere and the people there challenged Europeans to find a place for them in their conception of the world.
a0) To some, the American Indians were simple, pure, and free of civilization’s corruptions.
b0) To others, they were barbaric, savage, and immoral.
c0) Most that Europeans found objectionable about Native American people was the result of their trying to understand different cultures in their own terms.
20. American Indians had little difficulty in fitting Europeans into their view of the world.
a0) American Indian religion taught that everyone (Europeans included) and everything belonged to a universal spiritual force.
b0) European trading goods duplicated or closely matched the ones American Indians traded among themselves.
c0) Misunderstandings accompanied this trade and became a source of great tension.
B0. The Columbian Exchange
10. The interactions among American Indians, Europeans, and Africans in the aftermath of Columbus’s discovery are referred to as the Columbian Exchange.
a0) Each continent introduced new diseases and new plants to the other; the Europeans introduced new domesticated animals to the Western Hemisphere.
20. The result of these exchanges was profound change in all three continents.
a0) Diseases wiped out a huge proportion of the American Indian population.
b0) New cash crops stimulated economic development.
c0) New foods from the Western Hemisphere contributed to population increases in Africa and Europe, which in turn led to further emigration to the New World.
d0) New plants and animals in the Western Hemisphere altered the environment.
C0. New Worlds in Africa and America
10. The Columbian Exchange proved highly disruptive to American Indian life and society.
a0) Disease reduced the labor force and many of the traditional teachers of cultural and practical knowledge.
b0) To address these problems, formerly isolated groups formed villages and confederations.
20. The Columbian Exchange also severely disrupted life in Africa.
a0) Europeans organized an even larger business in slaves than had Moslem traders.
b0) New centralized states appeared along the Slave Coast.
c0) African peoples captured millions in the interior for sale as slaves to European traders on the coasts.
10. The Columbian Exchange affected life and society in Europe.
a0) New food crops from the Western Hemisphere contributed to a marked increase in population.
20. At the same time the Western Hemisphere was being discovered, Europe underwent a century of religious crisis.
a0) Martin Luther began the assault on the Catholic Church; other theological reformers, like John Calvin, joined the attack on Catholicism.
b0) Many members of the middle and ruling classes broke away from Catholicism.
c0) In England, King Henry VIII broke with Catholicism for dynastic and economic reasons; trouble between Catholics and Protestants continued through the reigns of his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth.
Identify the following items and explain the significance of each. While you should include any relevant historical terms, using your own words to write these definitions will help you better remember these items for your next exam.0
a0. African slaves whom they armed and led into battle.
b0. Muslim traders who supplied them with guns and ammunition.
c0. a long drought in the 1500s that wiped out the food supplies of most American Indians.
d0. epidemics that ravaged American Indians.
50. Cahokia is associated with
a0. Columbus’s landfall in the New World.
b0. a major African city in the era of contact with the Portuguese.
c0. the Hopewell culture that flourished in the interior of North America.
d0. the discovery of maize by the Plains Indians.
60. People who did NOT participate in the enslavement of Africans were
a0. the ancient Egyptians.
b0. Muslims in North Africa.
c0. the Vikings.
d0. African tribes like the Ashanti.
70. Before Columbus arrived in the Americas, the Native American populations
a0. established wide, elaborate trading networks.
b0. always consigned women to positions of inferiority in the social structure.
c0. never developed a knowledge of agriculture.
d0. adhered to ideas of land ownership identical to European concepts.
80. The Crusades by European Christians against Muslim strongholds in the Middle East had the effect of
a0. creating demand for new products in Europe.
b0. introducing the Islamic religion in many regions in Europe.
c0. creating the Protestant movement.
d0. strengthening the hold of Henry VIII in England.
90. Henry VII of England and Louis XI of France
a0. personally led crusades to the Holy Land.
b0. were monarchs who took decisive steps to unify their nations.
c0. were Protestant monarchs who led movements against the Catholic Church.
d0. claimed part of the Americas after Columbus’s discovery.
100. Like the Crusades, the Reconquista was directed against
a0. the Songhai Empire.
b0. Muslim rule in an area contested by Europeans.
c0. the Vikings.
d0. the monarchy of Ferdinand and Isabella.
110. Anonymous European fishermen proved important soon after Columbus’s discovery by
a0. starting trade with Native Americans in North America.
b0. developing the whaling industry off the coast of California.
c0. discovering great pearl beds in the Caribbean.
d0. None of these
120. The climate change known as the Little Ice Age
a0. led to more peaceful relationships among Native American peoples.
b0. raised the demand in Europe for American furs.
c0. had a negligible effect on the peoples of North America.
d0. probably caused the Vikings to abandon North America.
130. In contemplating the Indian peoples of the Americas, Europeans
a0. all agreed that they were cruel and vicious savages.
b0. concluded that they probably descended from the ancient Egyptians.
c0. had different opinions as to their nature and customs.
d0. resolved to exterminate them.
140. Protestants, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin,
a0. advocated breaking away from the Catholic Church.
b0. disagreed about various theological principles.
c0. attracted many followers from the middle classes.
d0. All of these
150. American Indian spiritual ideas shared
a0. a belief in the divinity of the buffalo.
b0. rituals that revolved around the worship of idols.
c0. the view that everything in the universe belongs to a single, interconnected whole.
d0. beliefs in salvation similar to those of Martin Luther.
10. Following Columbus’s discovery of the Western Hemisphere, Europeans pondered the nature of the American Indians. While some described them as simple, pure, and free of the corruptions of civilization, others depicted them as barbaric and savage. Which side of this debate do you believe is the strongest, and why?
DEVELOPING YOUR ANSWER: The question requires that you express your own opinion and that you provide reasons for it. Along with the allegations made by Amerigo Vespucci, you should discuss the very different cultural beliefs of the Indians that inevitably made it possible for many Europeans to regard Native Americans with scorn.
On the other hand, the development of agriculture, the construction of elaborate mound sites, the maintenance of trading networks over great distances, and the creation of political alliances run counter to the view that Indian cultures were backward.
Perhaps, though, you would prefer to argue that it is unwise to make sweeping generalizations that claim to be universally true. After all, there were great differences between Indian cultures, such as the Iroquois and the Indians of the Southwest.
20. When Indians, Africans, and Europeans encountered each other in the process called the Columbian Exchange, none emerged unaltered. Describe the changes that each experienced, and provide an assessment of who, in your opinion, lost the most as a result of the Columbian Exchange.
DEVELOPING YOUR ANSWER: New plants, crops, and domestic animals; new epidemic diseases; and the institution of slavery were all products of the Columbian Exchange. Each should be described in detail, along with an analysis of how each affected the groups involved in the Columbian Exchange.
As for who lost the most, the question requires that you express your opinion—which must be backed by reasons and evidence to explain why you advocate it. When formulating your opinion, be sure to assess the impact of epidemic diseases on American Indians and the impact of slavery on Africans.
30. When Christopher Columbus proposed the novel idea of finding a route to Asia by sailing west, the monarchs of Spain were ready to take a chance on it. Analyze why Ferdinand and Isabella were receptive to Columbus’s idea.
DEVELOPING YOUR ANSWER: To provide the general background, first examine why Europeans desired to trade with Asia by discussing the interest in Asian products stimulated by the Vikings and by the Crusades.
Portugal, Spain’s neighbor, was already engaged in developing a route to Asia by exploring the coasts of Africa. To compete with the Portuguese, the Spanish were interested in an alternative route. The monarchs were therefore receptive to Columbus’s proposal.
Finally, in 1492, Spain had just completed its unification. No longer preoccupied by war with Spain’s Muslims, Ferdinand and Isabella were able to turn their attention to exploration for a new route to the wealth of Asia.
10. Examine the opening map in Chapter 1 to determine where the Spanish, French, and English concentrated their efforts as they explored the Western Hemisphere. Are you able to account for the fact that the Spanish and the English concentrated in widely separated areas? In any future struggle to control North America, would England be more likely to clash with France or with Spain?
20. What might explain why there are many more known prehistoric American Indian sites in the western and southwestern United States than in the northeastern section of the country? Consult Map 1.1 in your textbook.
30. Look closely at Map 1.4. Compare the interior of Africa with the coastal regions. Then, compare and contrast the numbers of people exported from each region. What do you think accounts for the differences between regions?
To answer the following questions, consult the Individual Choices section at the beginning of the chapter.0
10. What does Hienwatha mean? Does this forecast the work he will do later in his life? Why or why not?
20. Why are there conflicting accounts about his early life? What does this tell us about studying the history of this time period?
30. Who was Dekanahwideh? Tadadaho?
40. Identify the five Iroquois nations.
50. What is a confederation government?
60. Why is it significant that the Huron people formed their own alliance system?
70. After you read this chapter, put Hienwatha’s role as a peacemaker in the larger context of early American history.
Examining a Primary Source: The Five Nations Adopt the Great Law (c. 1450; recorded 1900)
To answer the following questions, consult the Individual Voices section at the end of the chapter.0
10. Why was this document not recorded in 1450?
20. Clearly, Dekanahwideh chose the image of the “great tree” for a reason. What do you see as the meaning behind this image? What do you think the four “great, long, white roots” symbolize?
30. What is Dekanahwideh advocating in this passage? How do you suppose this advice steered Five Nations policy during the three centuries after the adoption of the Great Law?
40. What does the Great Law suggest about the responsibility of each of the Five Nations to the confederacy as a whole? How would the scheme advocated here help the Iroquois deal with changing historical conditions?
RUBRIC: Research each of the Five Nations in order to complete the following rubric. As you research this information, think about the similarities that might have drawn these groups together and the differences they had to overcome in order to try to work together.
Answers to Multiple Choice Questions
1. c. The Ice Age exposed the land bridge of Beringia, making it possible to cross overland between Asia and North America. See pages 6-9.
b. There is no evidence that this was a factor that contributed to their movement from one continent to the other. See pages 6-9.
a. There is no evidence that this played a part in their migration. See pages 6-9.
d. There is no evidence religious leaders (or any other kind of leaders) led Native Americans to a new homeland. See pages 6-9.
2. d. As the climate warmed and the Ice Age ended, the large game population became extinct, and many groups gradually became agriculturalists. See pages 9-10.
a. The earliest Native Americans relied on stone tools. See page 9.
b. There is no evidence for this. See page 9 for the development of early Native American cultures.
c. There is no evidence for this. See page 9 for the development of early Native American cultures.
3. b. They did so in 1492. See page 20.
a. Their struggle against Moslems was in Spain in the late 1400s. See page 11.
c. Viking activity predated them by several centuries. See page 11.
d. They were in competition with Portugal. See pages 18-19.
4. d. Diseases introduced by Europeans to the Western Hemisphere killed millions of Native Americans because they lacked immunity to European diseases. See pages 23-24.
a. European colonists did not arm their slaves; they forced them to work in the New World. See page 25.
b. Moslem traders in Asia and Africa did not play a part in the settlement of the Western Hemisphere.
c. There is no evidence that this was a problem that afflicted Native Americans in the 1500s.
5. c. See page 10.
a. It was located in mainland North America; Columbus landed on an island in the Caribbean. See page 20.
b. It was a Native American city complex in North America. See page 10.
d. Maize cultivation was discovered and developed by Native Americans in Mexico and the American Southwest. See page 10.
6. c. Although they traveled widely, the Vikings did not engage in the African slave trade.
a. They did. See pages 25-26.
b. They reached deeply into central Africa in their slave trading. See pages 25-26.
d. The Ashanti supplied slaves to the Europeans. See pages 25-26.
7. a. Archaeological remains prove that North American Indians were bound together in trading networks. See page 23.
b. Among the Iroquois, for example, women had high status. See page 14.
c. The Native Americans of Mexico cultivated maize and from there it spread northward. See page 10.
d. They did not believe land could be bought or sold, which is central to European concepts of landholding. See Page 23.
8. a. The new products included, among others, silks and spices.
b. This was not a result of the Crusades. See pages 10-12.
c. This occurred several centuries after the Crusades, and there was no connection. See pages 27-28.
d. He lived several centuries later. See page 28.
9. b. See page 20.
a. They stayed at home (in any event long after the Crusades) and centralized their nations. See page 20.
c. They predated the Protestant movement. See page 20.