Apush period one key concepts review (1491-1607) This review refers to some examples we did not go over in class – so don’t stress about those!



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APUSH PERIOD ONE KEY CONCEPTS REVIEW (1491-1607)
This review refers to some examples we did not go over in class – so don’t stress about those!


Key Concept 1.1

As native population migrated and settled across the vast expanse of North America over time, they developed distinct and increasingly complex societies by adapting to and transforming their diverse environments.

I. Different native societies adapted to and transformed their environments through innovations in agriculture, resource use, and social structure.

  1. The spread of maize cultivation from present-day Mexico northward into the present-day American Southwest and beyond supported economic development, settlement, advanced irrigation, and social diversification among societies.

* Three Sisters – corn, beans, and squash

* Corn provided starches, beans proteins, and squash vitamins

* Allows for food surplus, which increases population and frees up people to be more than farmers – allows for artisans, soldiers, priests, kings, etc.

* Without Three Sisters, little chance for anything above hunter-gatherer level

* Supported Aztec and Mayan pyramid building, Mississippi Valley moundbuilders (Cahokia), Pueblo cultures of Chaco Canyon



  1. Societies responded to the aridity of the Great Basin and the grasslands of the western Great Plains by developing largely mobile lifestyles.

* Spanish introduction of the horse transformed Plains Indians, allowing them to become better warriors, raiders, and hunters

* Comanche and Sioux exerted control over large territories as a result

* Bison herds more easily hunted, increasing food and supplies


  1. In the Northeast, the Mississippi River Valley, and along the Atlantic seaboard some societies developed mixed agricultural and hunter-gatherer economies that favored the development of permanent villages.

* Three Sisters allowed for moundbuilding (Cahokia) in Mississippi Valley

* Eastern Woodlands tribes of Northeast didn’t build mounds, and kept hunting and fishing as well (colder climates meant shorter, less productive growing seasons)

* Food surpluses allowed for permanent villages and leaders, like Powhatan, or councils of sachems, like Iroquois Confederacy

* Villages still moved within an area periodically, as soils were depleted.




  1. Societies in the Northwest and present day California supported themselves by hunting and gathering, and in some areas developed settled communities supported by the vast resources of the ocean.

* California had little surplus, so tribes remained small, hunter-gatherer groups

* Pacific Northwest had tremendous abundance from fishing, using large dugout canoes

* Pacific Northwest had large populations, with status determined by giving away wealth at potlatch feasts



Key Concept 1.2

Contact among Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans resulted in the Columbian Exchange and significant social, cultural, and political changes on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

I. European expansion into the Western Hemisphere generated intense social, religious, political, and economic competition and changes within European societies.

  1. European nations’ efforts to explore and conquer the New World stemmed from a search for new sources of wealth, economic and military competition, and a desire to spread Christianity.

* Crusades connected Europe to Asia, for silks, spices, tea, china

* Mediterranean trade networks dominated by Arabs and Italy

* Portugal began slowly moving down and around African coast

* Spain completed Reconquista, began inquisition, and supported a crazy, mathematically challenged Italian named Christopher Columbus in his desire to sail West to find the orient

* Columbus’ discovery unleashed a slew of explorers

* Portugal’s acquisition of slaves, gold, ivory, and trade with India led to other countries challenging them for control

* Cortés’ and Pizarro’s successes over Aztecs and Incas drove desire to copy them, both for gold and to convert natives to both Protestant and Catholic faiths

* Spain and Philip II tried hard to prevent competition, especially with the Spanish Armada and the Counter-Reformation



  1. The Columbian Exchange brought new crops to Europe from the Americas, stimulating European population growth, and new sources of mineral wealth, which facilitated the European shift from feudalism to capitalism.

* Corn and potato caused European population explosion, which then led to increased migration, colonization, and imperialism

* Gold and silver created enough surplus to allow for the development of capitalism in Europe and China, facilitating a global trading network – first true money supply since Roman Empire




  1. Improvements in maritime technology and more organized methods for conducting such international trade, such as joint-stock companies, helped drive changes to the economies in Europe and the Americas.

* Portuguese developed the caravel, using a triangular sail called a lateen to allow for tacking into the wind

* Adapted Muslim astrolabe for better navigation, by calculating latitude, and Chinese compass

* Development of cash crops like sugar drove the desire to expand exploration and trade

* African slave trade provided capital and labor source

* Granting of monopolies provided profit incentive to companies

* Creation of joint-stock companies decreased risk for individuals, and made colonization possible for English and Dutch (Jamestown, Plymouth, New Amsterdam, Boston, etc.)




II. The Columbian Exchange and development of the Spanish Empire in the Western Hemisphere resulted in extensive demographic, economic, and social changes.

  1. Spanish exploration and conquest of the Americas were accompanied and furthered by widespread deadly epidemics that devastated native populations and by the introduction of crops and animals not found in the Americas.

* Disease was the single most important factor allowing Cortés and Pizarro to conquer vast Aztec and Incan empires, making resistance to invasion very difficult

* Approximately 90% of Native Americans died from European diseases, especially smallpox

* Horses and large dogs were used as weapons against Native Americans

* Pigs were set loose; they devoured Native American crops

* European weeds infested Native American fields, making agriculture more difficult

* Cattle also destroyed native vegetation, and eventually replaced bison




  1. In the encomienda system, Spanish colonial economies marshaled Native American labor to support plantation-based agriculture and extract precious metals and other resources.

* The encomienda system tried to replicate feudalism in the Americas, placing the Spanish at the top the social hierarchy, and forcing Native Americans to be peasants, grow crops, and tend animals in service to the Spanish lords

* Native Americans were used as labor force in mines as well

* The encomienda system was used by Father Junipero Serra to construct the chain of missions up the California coast (began 1769, so out of Period 1)


  1. European traders partnered with some West African groups who practiced slavery to forcibly extract slave labor for the Americas. The Spanish imported enslaved Africans to labor in plantation agriculture and mining.

* Portuguese replaced Arabs in the slave trade (and were in turn replaced by the Dutch and then the English)

* West Africans willingly captured other Africans to sell them to the Europeans, thus leading to widespread devastation of several cultures and kingdoms

* When Native Americans proved to be particularly susceptible to disease, Spain shifted to Africans who were immune to most European and tropical diseases (at the urging of Bartolomé de las Casas in particular, who thought using African slaves would protect Native Americans from exploitation)



  1. The Spanish developed a caste system that incorporated, and carefully defined the status of, the diverse population of Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans in their empire.

* The “casta” system had specifically labeled categories which placed every kind of person on a social hierarchy that pinned them to a specific status.

* Top rank were pure Spaniards born in Spain, called peninsulares; in descending rank, creoles (pure Spaniards born in the Americas), mestizos (Spanish and Native American), mulattos (European and African), zambos (African and Native American), Native Americans, and enslaved Africans.

*Catholicism was required, as was the Spanish language


III. In their interactions, Europeans and Native Americans asserted divergent worldviews regarding issues such as religion, gender roles, family, land use, and power.

  1. Mutual misunderstandings between Europeans and Native Americans often defined the early years of interaction and trade as each group sought to make sense of the other. Over time, Europeans and Native Americans adopted some useful aspects of each other’s culture.

* Columbus thought Native Americans were Indians

* Moctezuma thought Cortés was the god Quetzlcoatl

* Native Americans didn’t understand the concept of owning the land; when they “sold” the land, they didn’t think it was permanent (Manhattan sold to the Dutch); Europeans insisted the sales were permanent

* Plains Indian fought by counting coup, while Europeans fought to kill

* Native American men hunted, while women often did the farming; Europeans appalled by this division of labor

* Europeans adopted the Three Sisters, particularly in New England and the Chesapeake, which allowed them to stay alive

* Native Americans adopted European technology, including knives, pots, and weapons

* Native Americans often learned European languages and converted to Christianity, particularly in the Spanish empire




  1. As European encroachments on Native Americans’ lands and demands on their labor increased, native peoples sought to defend and maintain their political sovereignty, economic prosperity, religious beliefs, and concepts of gender relations through diplomatic negotiations and military resistance.

* The Aztecs resisted Cortés and the Spanish by bribing them to go away, and then by fighting against them until disease wore them down

* The Incas fought back against Pizarro and the Aztecs

* Our Lady of Guadalupe shows a religious vision which insisted the Virgin Mary had visited, showing dark skin

* Native American males refused to become farmers, choosing instead ranching or herding

* Powhatan “adopted” John Smith [after 1607]

* Pocahontas became Rebecca and married John Rolfe [after 1607]

* Opechancanough arranged a sneak attack on Jamestown and the English in 1622, and almost succeeded in wiping them out [after 1607]

* Squanto joined the Pilgrims, working with them to provide a diplomatic connection and preserve his own power [1620-1622]

* Native Americans took advantage of the European desire for furs to gain European trade goods

*Iroquois Confederacy played the French and British off against each other for over a century




  1. Extended contact with Native Americans and Africans fostered a debate among European religious and political leaders about how non-Europeans should be treated, as well as evolving religious, cultural, and racial subjugation of Africans and Native Americans.

* Columbus seizing Native Americans and enslaving them, on the model of African slavery from Portugal

* Spanish forcibly assimilating Native Americans into Catholicism

* French Jesuits living among Natives to convert them gently

* Bartolome de las Casas demanding Native Americans were Christians and shouldn’t be treated as slaves; suggested switching to African slaves






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