Prior to 1492, Amerindians in the Western Hemisphere had developed a wide variety of civilizations and cultural groups ranging from the highly developed Inca and Aztec civilizations in South America and Mesoamerica to the relatively less developed nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes in NorthAmerica.
By 1600 Europeans had created the world’s first trulyglobal economy.
The "age of discovery" resulted in the greatest humancatastrophe the world has ever known: 90% of Amerindians died by 1600; slavery of tens of millions ofAfricans.
Cultural differences between European and Amerindians wereso immense that major conflicts occurred in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
Spain sought to Christianize and control the Indians(through the encomienda and missionsystems)
The French sought to establish strong trade relations with the Amerindians; Jesuits sought to convertthem.
English settlers often sought to either move Indianswestward or annihilatethem.
Population in 1491: approximately 50-70 million (about 10 million in present-dayU.S.)
Arrived more than 40,000 years ago via the Bering Strait(called Beringia when it was above land) and eventually spread to tipof South America (by 8,000BCE)
First immigrants hunted animals for meat and furs; probablybuilt small fishingvessels.
New research on origins ofAmerindians.
Old Crow site in Yukon may be 50,000 yearsold.
French team in northeastern Brazil working on site that mightbe 48,000 yearsold.
1992, new archeological research suggests oldest inhabitants may have come from south Asia or even Europe beforenorthern
Use the space below for notes:
The DBQ and the Long Exam (LE) will NOT deal exclusively with material prior to 1607. However, material in this unit may be tested on Short Exam Questions or as part of broader questions on the DBQ orLE.