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U.S History (Pre-Columbian Era - Slavery)
Transcript of U.S History (Pre-Columbian Era - Slavery)
U.S History (Pre-Columbian Era - Middle Passage)
Native Americans in Pre-Columbian North America
Pre-Columbian Era: Historical period before Christopher Columbus's arrival to the New World.
During the pre-Columbian Era, Native Americans lived in North America. Most historians argue that Native Americans are descendants of Asian migrants who traveled across the Bering Strait, then through Alaska, and into Northern Canada. This migration took place sometime between 20,000 - 40,000 years ago.
By the time Columbus arrived in 1492, there were 1 - 5 million Native Americans living in modern Canada and the U.S. Another 20 million populated Mexico.
The Early Colonial Era: Spain Colonizes the New World
Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World in 1492.
He was not the first European to reach North America.
The Norse (Scandanavian Vikings) had arrived around 1000 (Leif Eriksson and Bjarni Herjolfsson).
Columbus's arrival maked the Contact Period: a time where Europe had sustained contact with the Americas and the Columbian Exchange began.
Columbian Exchange: The exchange of plants, animals, foods, communicable diseases, and ideas from the Americas to Europe.
Europe was able to establish colonies from a distance.
Colony: a territory controlled by a foreign power.
Early Colonial Era
During the next century, Spain was the only colonial power in the Americas.
Conquistadors: 16th century spanish conquerer.
With their advanced weaponary, the conquistadors were ruthless against the Native Americans (many were forced into slavery) while the Spanish Armada (navy) made it almost impossible for other countries to come to the Americas. The Spanish settled in many coastal towns mostly in Central and South America and the West Indies.
The Spanish settlers attempted to erase Native American culture by forcing them to convert to Christianity.
Many Native Americans died in slavery (or of refusal) and from the exposure of smallpox.
The English Arrive
The Jamestown colony had help from the Powhatan Confederacy who taught them how to plant crops.
During this time, the English learned a lot about Native American culture and often times the two cultures merged with marriages.
The Powhatan hoped that their alliance with the English settlers would give them an advantage over their enemy tribes.
Indentured Servitude: Young men who were trying to escape the overpopulation in England paid for their free passage to the New World by being an indentured servant.
7 years of labor
After freedom: Recieved a small piece of property which allowed them to vote.
More than 75% of the 130,000 men who came England were indentured servants.
All of the land being aqcuired during this time belonged to the Native Americas. In 1644, the English defeated the Powhatan Confederacy in order to gain more of their land (to grow tobacco).
The Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact
During the 16th century in England, there was a movement called Puritanism. The Puritans were people who wanted to purify the church -- change the practices of the Roman Catholic Church. The English monarchs persecuted the Puritans which led to their search of a new place to practice their religion.
In 1620, a puritan group called the Separatists set sail for Viriginia aboard the Mayflower. They went off course and landed in Massachusetts. They named the land they settled Plymouth.
While on board the Mayflower, the passangers (the Pilgrams) signed an agreement for a basic legal system for the colony -- the
Created legal authority and an assembly
New laws not based on the power of God.
Native American Life
Most Native Americans survived by farming or hunting and gathering. They believed in the importance of nature and respected the land as much as they could: minimal impact on their environment.
Native American cultures flourished most if they were living in a fertile and temperate region. They developed complex societies and religions and excelled in craftsmenship. The tribes living in more rugged areas needed to devote their time to survival.
The tribes were separate from eachother and often fought each other for the same natural resources. This impacted them later because they were unable to unify against the Europeans.
In 1588, the English navy defeated the Armada which allowed for French (Canada) and English colonization in North America.
The English were able to colonize one settlement called Roanoke Island (part of North Carolina) but were not able to hold power there past 1590. This colony was known as the Lost Colony.
The English did not try again until 1607 -- Settlement of Jamestown.
This colony was able to survive because Captian John Smith demanded a harsh martial law - power in the hands of a high-ranking military official.
"He wou will not work shall not eat." - Captian John Smith.
The Native Americans had been growing the cash crop of tobacco for years. Tobacco was a huge success in England and this is what allowed Jamestown to thrive.
Farming tobacco: needs a lot of land and it depletes the soil (always seaching for more land to farm).
The Virginia region (Chesapeake) was then continuously taken over by the English.
This high interest in tobacco lead to plantation slavery.
Other English Colonies
1629: Massachusetts Bay Colony
1635: Connecticut Colony
1649: Maryland Colony
1664: New York Colony (previously owned by the Dutch in 1614. Charles II of England lanched war against the Dutch Republic.)
1685: New Jersey Colony
Much like the settlers in Jamestown, these colonies received life-saving help from the local Native Americans.
Slavery in the Early Colonies
The extensive use of African slaves in the American colonies sent colonists from the Caribbean settled in the Carolinas.
Until this point, indentured servants met the labor needs in the area. As tobacco and rice farming became more wide spread, they needed more slaves.
Enslaving Native Americans was difficult. They knew the land well so they would easily escape and find refuge. Also, Europeans brought with them diseases that killed many Native Americas (85 - 95% of the population).
As a result, southern landowners turned to African Slavery.
During this period, nearly 500,000 slaves were brought to the English colonies (10 million brought to the New World).
The shipping route that brought the slaves from Africa to the Americas was called the Middle Passage.
Conditions for the Africans on board were brutally inhumane. 1/5th of the Africans died on board. The conditions in the New World were not much better.
Slavery flourished in the South. Labor intensive crops included; tobacco, rice and indigo.
Slavery was never prominent in the North because the slaves who went to the North were mostly used as domestic servants. In both the North and South, only the very wealthy owned slaves.
5 - 10 sentences (total) answering the following questions:
Why did the colonists in the Americas need slaves? Within this timeline of Early Colonization, what are some examples (at least 2) of undemocratic practices?