The *New World* 1491-1607

The “New World”
Essential Questions:
• What impact did the Columbian Exchange
have on both American Indian and European
• How did Spanish, French, Dutch, and British
differ in their treatment of American Indians?
Cultures of Central & South America
• Archeologists believe first migrants
arrived 40,000 ago from Asia via
Bering land bridge
• Advanced civilizations: Maya (AD
300-800) in Yucatan Peninsula,
Aztecs in central Mexico –
Tenochtitlan pop. of 200,000, Incas
in Peruvian Andes
• Highly organized, trade routes,
calendars, and agricultural systems
Cultures of North America
• Population of N. America (U.S. & Canada) in 1490s
historians est. between 1 to 10 million or higher
• Mostly small societies of 300 people or less – hunting
(men) & gathering, & farming (female)m, many
matriarchal, and were animists
• Language: diverse more than 20 language families and
400 languages – largest Algonquin in Northeast
• Southwest: Pueblo – farming, cliff caves, brick
• Northwest: longhouses – hunting & gathering, fishing
• Great Plains: nomadic, tepees, buffalo hunters – horse
from Spanish in 1600s
• East: woodland – hunting & gathering, fishing, farming
permanent settlements – fur trade. Iroquois
Confederacy in Mohawk Valley of NY most powerful
Causes of European Exploration
• Technology improvements: gunpowder
(China), sailing compass (China via Arabs),
shipbuilding, mapmaking, printing press.
• Religion: Spreading of Catholic faith (Spain
& Portugal) after conquest of Spain by
1492. Protestant Reformation (England &
Holland) -spreading rival versions of
• Expanding trade routes to Asia &
development of slave trade for labor
• Development of nation-states that relied
on trade and the church
Early Exploration & Contact
Columbus 1492 (Ferdinand & Isabella of Spain)
arrived in Bahamas the “Indies”
Columbus controversial legacy?
Columbian Exchange: transfer of plants, animals,
and germs/diseases. From America: beans, corn,
potatoes, tomatoes, tobacco & syphilis. From
Europeans: sugarcane, pigs, horses, wheels, iron
tools, guns & variety of diseases smallpox,
Treaty of Tordesillas 1494 Spain & Portugal
Spanish conquistadores – search for gold
Encomienda system: land grants & natives to
Asiento system: slave trade from W. Africa taxes
supported monarch
English, French & Dutch
• Both England & France behind Spain
occupied by European wars &
internal religious conflict
• England: John Cabot explores
Newfoundland 1497. Queen
Elizabeth I in 1580s Sir Francis Drake
raids Spanish ships, Sir Walter
Raleigh failed colony of Roanoke in
1587. Jamestown in 1607.
• France: Jacques Cartier (1534-1542)
explored St. Lawrence river
(Canada), Samuel de Champlain
“Father of New France” founds
Quebec in 1608 settlements extend
down Mississippi River down to
Louisiana by 1682 – fur trade
“coureurs de bois”
• Dutch: Henry Hudson in 1609
“Hudson River” establish “New
Netherlands” and “New Amsterdam”
trade of Dutch West India Company
(joint-stock company)
Spanish Settlements in N. America
• Florida: St. Augustine founded 1565
oldest permanent European
• New Mexico: Santa Fe 1610, imposing
Christianity led to Pueblo Revolt led
by Pope in 1680 controlled until 1693
• Forced Spanish to compromise
• Texas: small settlements – grow in
early 1700s
• California: San Diego 1769, San
Francisco 1776, Mission system set up
by 1784 Father Junipero Sera
European Treatment of Native Americans
• Clashing views of nature & land: animism vs.
culture of capitalism
• Spain: rigid caste “casta” system. Bartolome de
Las Casas critical of treatment led to “New Laws
of 1542” end Native American slavery.
Valladolid Debate: Las Casas vs. Juan Gines de
Sepulveda 1550-1551
• England: initial coexistence and trade in certain
areas but eventual warfare & expulsion of
“savages” – some “praying towns”
• French: coexistence – fur trade, intermarriage,
alliances – Jesuit missionaries.
• Dutch developed trade alliances especially with
the Iroquois – fur trade.
• Native American reaction: some tribes opened
trade networks, some formed alliances with
Europeans against other tribes, some resisted
or migrated west away from Europeans