Worlds Collide: Europe, Africa, and America – 1450-1620

New World Beginnings
33,000 B.C. to 1789
Chapter 1
Native American Worlds
The first Americans
migrated from Asia
between 13,000
B.C. - 11,000 B.C.
across a land bridge
between Siberia &
Alaska following
herds of big game
Native Americans
developed horticulture
around 3000 B.C.
The Agricultural surplus
led to the development of
wealthy societies in
Mexico, Peru, and the
Mississippi River Valley
How did horticulture
change Native American
culture? (discuss w/
The Mayans
The flowering of civ. began
among the Mayan people of the
Yucatan peninsula
They built large
religious/urban centers,
pyramids, advances in
astronomy, predicted solar &
lunar eclipses, & a more
advanced calendar than
Europeans at the time. By 800
A.D. Mayan civilization
The Aztecs
A 2nd major civilization, the
Aztecs, built city of Tenochtitlan
(Mexico City) in 1325 A.D. &
established a hierarchical social
order & subjugated most of
central Mexico
Priests/Warrior-nobles ruled over
20 clans of commoners
Aztec = strong political/military
institutions & were difficult to
After the next slide, with a
partner, explain some of the
accomplishments of the Mayans
and Aztecs.
The Aztec Rain & Lightening
God Cocijo
Indians North
of the Rio Grande
These groups = less coercive, smaller and
composed of clans
Plains Indians depended on the Buffalo
Arapaho, Hopewell, and Sioux were among
some of the tribes in Plains
In So.West the Hohokan, Mogollon,
cultures dev. In 600 A.D., & Anasazi in 900
Drought brought on collapse of these
Traditional European Society
in 1450
90% of population in Europe in 1450 =
peasants – mortality rates = high
Co-operative farming – bartered for
Most peasants wanted to be yeoman farmers
(vs. serfs/peasasnts) to have a more
comfortable lifestyle, few were able to
European life followed seasonal pattern, like
Native Americans
The Power of Religion
Roman Catholic Church served as one of the
great unifying forces in Western Euro. Society
– Church provided authority & discipline
Christian doctrine permeated peasant lives; to
avoid famine & plague, Christians offered
prayer & turned to priests for advice
Rulers crushed other religions or heretics and
between 1096 and 1291, successive armies of
Christians embarked on Crusades; Muslims
were the prime target for Crusaders
Europe encounters Africa &
the Americas, 1450-1550
Contact with Arab scholars, combined w/ reintroduction of
Greek/Roman ideas, propelled Europe into a “rebirth” of
learning known as the renaissance
Civic humanism, which celebrated virtue and public service, was
sponsored by the new ruling class of merchants
The new found wealth of the nation states propelled Europe into
expansion’ Portugal led European expansion overseas, and
Spain soon followed; Explorers came in contact with West
Africa in the 1400s.
Many African societies were hierarchical; ruled by princes
similar to Aztec/Mayan; most farmed & lived w/ extended
families. Identified themselves according to lineage; ie – the
Mande along the upper Niger
With a partner, compare and contrast Native American
culture, European culture, and African culture.
The Protestant Reformation
and the Rise of England
Began in Germany in early 1500’s when Martin
Luther posted his 95 theses on a church in
Wittenburg – his major problem w/ the church =
sale of indulgences
New religious doctrines, increased literacy, &
corruption in the Church divided society into
Catholics and Protestants
John Calvin introduced idea of predestination – idea
God determines who will be saved before they are
Calvinists & Lutherans won converts across Europe
Henry the VIII
Henry VIII (in 1533) wanted to divorce his wife Catherine and
the Catholic pope denied his request
The king broke with the Catholic Church and established the
Church of England, or the Anglican Church and made himself
Head of the Church
Elizabeth I, Henry VIII’s daughter, combined Lutheranism and
Calvinism and firmly established Protestantism in England,
while his other daughter, Mary, held on to Catholicism
Some Protestants wanted to further purify the Church of
England and called themselves Puritans
With a partner, explain how the reformation started in
Germany and in England. How did it impact the Catholic
The Dutch & English
Challenge Spain
King Phillip II wanted to eliminate Protestantism
from the Netherlands
In 1581 the 7 northern provinces of the Spanish
Netherlands declared their independence and
became Holland
In 1588 the Spanish Armada sailed to re-impose
Catholic rule on England and was defeated
Dutch republic became leading commercial power
in Europe
England’s economy stimulated by rising
population and mercantilism
The Social Causes of English
The “price revolution” and inflation caused social changes in
In 2 generations the price of goods tripled
The Enclosure Movement forced many peasants off their
The House of Commons gained influence & rich commoners
and small property owners had a voice – consequences for
English and American political history
Religious differences between Anglicans and Puritans caused
much tension prompting many Puritans to leave England.
What were some motivating factors behind English
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