history of latin america: ancient civilizations and european colonization

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  • History of Latin America: Ancient Civilizations and European Colonization

  • Maya CivilizationLocated in Central America and southern Mexico

  • Maya EconomyBased on trade and agriculture

  • AccomplishmentsArchitecture step pyramidFully developed written language (hieroglyphs)Astronomy & Mathematics (calendar)

  • Inca CivilizationsAt the height of its existence the Inca Empire was the largest nation on EarthLargest native state to have existed in the western hemisphereLocated in the Andes Mountains from Ecuador to Chile

  • Inca EconomyBased primarily on farmingTerrace farming made agriculture in the Andes possibleVery skilled artisans

  • Ruins at Machu Picchu show terracingPhotos by Linda Hammon

  • AccomplishmentsAdvanced road systemAstronomyHighly organized governmentIrrigation systemsSystem of languageDomesticated the llama and alpaca

  • Aztec CivilizationLocated in Central and Southern Mexico

  • Aztec EconomyBased on agriculture, fishing, and tradeCapital city Tenochtitlan was built on an island in the middle of a lake Now the center of modern Mexico City

  • AccomplishmentsCredited for the discovery of chocolateCacao beans acquired through trade Advanced political system

  • ColonizationTreaty of Tordesillas (1494): Split newly discovered territory between Spain & Portugal at about 22 degrees west What was given to Portugal?By the end of the 16th century, LA colonized mostly along the coastlines

  • European Exploration God, Gold, and Glory were motivationsMissionaries converted natives to CatholicismWorked natives as slaves (& imported Africans) to harvest natural resourcesColumbian ExchangeDiseases wiped out many of the indigenousIntermixing races was commonEuropean colonists + indigenous = mestizo African + indigenous = mulatto

  • Lasting impact of colonizationLanguages Spanish & PortugueseMost Latin Americans are Christians, mostly Roman CatholicEconomy still oriented toward exportBlack & mulatto populations (Haiti, Brazil, & the Dominican Republic)Mestizo populations (Mexico & El Salvador)Culture is a mix of European & native customs, an example of?

    *There were a number of ancient civilizations in Latin America, but we are going to focus on just three Inca, Maya, and Aztec**Traded precious stones, exotic birds, and vegetablesFarmers were key to the economy since they were the ones actually growing the food for the civilization. Many domestic animals such as cows, pigs, goats, and chickens were unknown to Mayans. The only animals they raised were turkeys, guniea pigs, ducks, and edible dogs. Bees were also raised to produce honey for themselves or for trade. Mayans hunted deer and wild boar as game meat using dogs and clubs. Blow pipes and pellets made of clay were used to hunt birds. The Mayans also fished. *Noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its art, architecture, and math/astronomy systems.

    Mayan script and language has been encouraged by the Mexican government, and is still taught in several areas with large Mayan populations.

    In the Mayan calendar, the long calendar count begins in 3,114 BC and is divided into roughly 394-year periods called Baktuns. Mayans held the number 13 sacred and the 13th Baktun ended in 2012. The so-called end day reflects a transition from one era to the next. "The Maya did not think about humanity, global warming or predict the poles would fuse together," said Alfonso Ladena, a professor from the Complutense University of Madrid. "We project our worries on them."

    *Huge geographic span (772,204 square miles in 1527), which explains its lasting impact on Andean countries At its height, there were as many as 20 million people living within the Inca Empire

    In 1529, Pizarro was ordered by the queen of Spain to conquer the Incans War that lasted until 1572, though it was essentially over in 1533 when they captured and killed the Incan Emperor Atahualpa. This is despite the Spanish request for and receipt of a huge ransom of gold (13,000 pounds) and silver (over 26,000 pounds) for his release Pirates of the Caribbean, anyone? *240 varieties of potatoes

    20 varieties of cornSquash BeansPeppersCassavaTomatoes they were the first to make salsa!

    Farmers bartered for other needed goods like textiles, pottery, and jewelry from Inca artisans

    Terrace farmingWorld Geography South America - Chapters 12 & 13llhammon**Terrace farming *There were over 14,000 miles of roads for travel by foot. One road ran almost the entire length of the South American continent.

    Their calendar was lunisolar, maintaining two calendars simultaneously one each based on the sun and moon. Their astronomy was very detailed and accurate.

    The Incas conquered a number of other civilizations in their spread and imposed their rule upon them. The empire was a federalist system with the capital at Cusco and four regions made up of several provinces. People in the Inca Empire lived in clans made up of extended family groups.

    A series of aqueducts provided irrigation for agriculture.

    A variety of spoken languages existed throughout the Inca Empire, but the official language was Quechua a spoken language only. There was no written language. Messages carried along the system of roads were deliverred through a language called quipu (kee poo), a series of knots in a colorful ropes. The ability to read quipu has been lost.

    The Inca domesticated the llama and alpaca and used their wool for clothing, as well as foodstuffs. The most common meat in the Inca diet was guinea pig.

    *84,942 square miles when Cortes arrived*Grew corn, beans, squash - Fish was a major source of protein

    Population of Tenochtitlan was 200K-300K when Cortes arrived in 1519, larger than many European cities of the same time (including the capital of Spain).

    *The demand for cacao beans made them more valuable than gold

    The government began as an alliance of three great city-states, and became a monarchy under the emperor who lived in the capital city. Cortes was aided by civil discontent (Montezuma II was stoned by his own people) as well as disease in conquering the Aztecs.What belonged to Portugal? How do you know? Brazilians speak Portuguese.

    The Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494 settled the dispute over Latin America between Spain and Portugal, drawing a line of demarcation across the continent that granted Brazil (and some islands in the Atlantic Ocean) to Portugal, and giving all land west to the Spanish.

    Also had some settlers from France & the Netherlands (in Brazil and the Caribbean). World Geography South America - Chapters 12 & 13llhammon*Roman Catholic missionaries arrived & set up missions to convert the American Indians to Christianity.Towns developed around these churches, seen especially in Mexico.

    Native cultures were conquered and/or decimated by diseases in the settlement of Latin America. Some diseases brought by Europeans were smallpox and measles. Historians cannot determine the number of natives who died due to European diseases, but some put the figures as high as 85% and as low as 25%. (In some areas, it was definitely on the higher end.) Due to the lack of written records, specific numbers are hard to verify. Many of the survivors were forced to work in European plantations and mines.

    Because the imperial powers had come here to make a fortune, they worked the native peoples as slaves. When a large majority of them died, this resulted in the importation of African slaves. You can see the results of this most clearly in Haiti and Brazil. The descendants of Europeans and native peoples are called mestizo. The descendants of Africans and native peoples are called mulatto.

    Whites were the majority in most areas, though this is not true in some places like Mexico and Guatemala.

    Most all Latin American nations were able to gain their independence in the early 1800s.

    World Geography South America - Chapters 12 & 13llhammon*Linguistic map of Latin America. Spanish is in green, Portuguese in orange, and French in blue. The Portuguese banned the Native language of Brazil, Tupi.

    Why Roman Catholic? The result of missionaries How successful were they in changing native belief systems? How prevalent is Catholicism in Latin America today?

    The largest Black and mulatto populations live in Brazil, as they had the longest history of African slavery (1532-1888, an estimated 4 million slaves). Haiti has a Black majority, and Dominican Republic has a mulatto majority.

    Mexico 60% mestizo, El Salvador 86% - Many other countries have a large mestizo populations, such as Colombia (49%) and Peru (32%)

    Cultural convergence is obvious in Latin America, with evidence of both European and native influences in arts, music, celebrations, etc.



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