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American Civilizations

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					American Civilizations

Madnick/Global History 9
                        The Basics

Geographic Location: North and South America
Time Period: Pre Columbian Era (before 1492)
            --before contact with Europeans

Major civilizations rose in Central and South America
• Central America/Mexico: Maya and Aztec
• South America/Peru: Inca

They were very different from Afro Eurasian civilizations
          American Civilizations Shared Similar Features

1.   Agriculture
•    Crops: corn, bean, squash, potatoes, cocoa, coffee
•    Large numbers of organized farm workers
•    Farm Technology: irrigation and terrace farming
•    Food supply led to large populations
     ex: 25 million Aztecs in the city of Tenochtitlan, 1300’s
       American Civilizations Shared Similar Features

2. Trade
• Turquoise Road: turquoise traded from Mexico to
   Canada
• Long Incan Empire trade routes
• Taxes on trade items
        American Civilizations Shared Similar Features

3. Belief Systems

•   Polytheistic
•   Animistic-gods took animal forms
•   Divine Rulers-leaders were thought to be gods
        American Civilizations Shared Similar Features

4. Science and Architecture

•   Maya= “0”, 365 day calendar, Earth is round
•   Mayan Pyramids
•   Inca Stone Buildings, Machu Picchu
•   Aztec Pyramids, city of Tenochtitlan
       American Civilizations Shared Similar Features

5. Social/Political Systems
• Am. civilizations fought wars, organized
   workers, and taxed their people
• to fight, organize, and tax, you need powerful
   rulers

We do not know all the
details but we do know that
Amerindian rulers were
very powerful
 American Civilizations differed from Afro Eurasian Civilizations

1. Technology Gap

• No use of metals
• Wood and stone weapons
• No wheel




How does that compare to Afro Eurasia?
 American Civilizations differed from Afro Eurasian Civilizations

2.   Animal Gap
•    had guinea pigs, dogs, turkeys lamas
•    did not have cows, horses, sheep
•    no domesticated animals to provide food or
     work

How does that compare to Afro Eurasia?
 American Civilizations differed from Afro Eurasian Civilizations

2. Disease Gap
• No exposure to Afro Eurasian diseases
   --smallpox, measles, chickenpox
• No natural immunity when they came into
   contact with Europeans


How does that compare with Afro Eurasia and what will
  be one effect of contact?
 If you were one of the first Europeans to arrive in the Americas,
what similarities and differences would you see between American
                    civilizations and your own?

				
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posted:8/2/2012
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