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Unit 7: Latin America

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Vicki sobol

on 18 May 2015

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Transcript of Unit 7: Latin America

Unit 7: Latin America
The Western Hemisphere
The Americas are made up of two continents:
North America and South America
Between these two geographical regions lies a cultural region called
Mesoamerica includes Mexico and Central America
Some of the earliest civilizations in the Americas developed here
People Settle in the Americas
Scholars believe humans arrived in the Americas between 60,000 and 18,000 B.C.E.
We are still trying to understand the details
It's believed that people came from Asia and migrated through Alaska
This is believed to have happened during the last Ice Age (ended 10,000 years ago)
So much water froze into thick sheets of ice that it created a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska
The Bering Straight
After the ice age, the ice melted, and the bridge was covered
Adapting to New Environments:
Geographic Patterns of the Americas
The first Americas faced a variety of environments in which they could settle:
Great Mountain Chains
: Rockies, Andes
Two of the world's longest rivers
- Amazon River of South America
- Mississippi River of North America
The far North and far South
: icy, treeless lands
The Equator
: hot, wet climate and dense vegetation of the rainforest
Think about it...
If you had to, how would you adapt to living in one of these environments?
Making Big Changes:
The greatest adaptations occurred when people learned to domesticate plants and animals
People grew a range of crops in
Beans, sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, squash, and maize (corn)
People in
South America
Maize and cassava (starchy root)
Domesticate llamas for their wool (valuable)
Eventually farmers in both regions settled in villages
Populations expanded, and some villages grew into the great early cities of the Americas
Earliest American civilization
Emerged in the tropical forests along the Gulf Coast of Mexico
We know little about them
Olmecs 1500 B.C.E to 400 B.C.E.
Evidence of temples, large and small art
Suggests a powerful class of priests
Elite lives in ceremonial centers, commoners live in surrounding farming villages
Giant stone heads= most dramatic remains
Portraits of rulers?
How did they move these 14 ton heads
Maya 300 B.C.E to 250 C.E.
Influenced by the Olmecs
During the Mayan Golden Age (aka Classical Period), city-states flourished
Farming method: slashing and burning
Maya not united politically
Powerful city-states, no empire
City-states remained in regular contact through trade
Traded goods like honey, salt, cotton, feathers, jade, jaguar skins
Each Maya city had its own ruler
Most people were farmers
Mayan Culture
Complex polytheistic religion influenced their cultural life
Mayan cities known for its temples
Used by priests for rituals and sacrifice
Some temples used as burial place for rulers
Also carved stelas
Towers that depicted powerful rulers
Hieroglyphic writing system
Wrote about rulers, neighboring city-states, astronomy, rituals, other religious matters
Priests became experts in math and developed an accurate 365 day solar calendar & a 260 day ritual calendar
Aztec 1200 C.E.
People migrated north to the Valley of Mexico
They belonged to separate tribes, but believed their origins began in the same legendary birthplace: Aztlan
Together these people make up the Aztecs
Capital city: Tenochtitlan
Aztec legend:
The gods had told the Aztecs to search for an eagle holding a snake in its beak and perching atop a cactus. When they saw this sign, they would know where to build their capital. Indeed, they finally saw the sign on a swampy island in Lake Texcoco and there they built their city. Today, Mexico City sits atop this same site.
New farming technique: Chinampas
Artificial islands made of mud piled atop reed mats that were anchored to the shallow lake-bed with willow trees.
Grew maize, squash, and beans
Had a single ruler in the empire
Nobles: officials, judges, governors
Warriors (Priests were in their own separate class)
Middle class: long distance traders
Majority of people were commoners
Slaves at bottom of society
Aztec Culture
Huitzilopochtli patron god of the people
His temple towered over Tenochtitlan
Quetzalcoatl feathered serpent who reigned over earth and water
Aztecs believed gods frequently sacrificed themselves for the good of the people
Nanahuatzin sacrificed himself to become the sun
Everyday, Aztecs offered human sacrifices to give the sun energy to rise
Priests were the keepers of knowledge
Recorded laws and history
Used math to calculate 260-day ritual calendar/365-day solar calendar
Inca 1100s
Cuzco = capital city
Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui = Sapa Inca (emperor)
Held absolute power
Laid claim over all the land, herds, mines, and people of his empire
Claimed to be divine; son of the Sun God
Gold was considered to be "the sweat of the sun" and served as his symbol
Trade not important
Instead, he taxed the workers to keep people fed
Efficient gov't
Nobles ruled provinces within the empire
Kept records on quipu (colored strings knotted different ways to represent numbers)
Ways empire was united:
Language (Quechua)
Great road networks
All roads led through Cuzco
Temple of the Sun stood at heart of city
Daily life of the Inca:
Steps carved on hillsides, built terraces for farming
Farmers spent part of the year working land for their community, and part working land for the emperor and the temples
Inca were the most skilled metalworkers in the Americas
Used a variety of metals, but reserved the precious ones for statues of gods or decorations
Expert weavers
Raised cotton and used llama wool
Each month had its own festival celebrated with ceremonies, sports, and games
Conquest in the Americas
Columbus's first meeting with Native Americans began a cycle of economic conquest, and death that would be repeated throughout the Western Hemisphere
First Encounters in the Americas:
Columbus arrived in the West Indies and met the Taino people
The Taino were welcoming
Columbus noted they were "generous with what they have, to such a degree as no one would believe but he who had seen it"
Relations soured
Tainos accidentally offended Spanish by not paying proper respect to Christian symbols
Columbus & Spanish felt superior to the Natives
Took several Tainos prisoner back to Spain for the king
Columbus's encounter was repeated by a wave of
Spanish explorers
Conquistadors settled on islands in W. Hemisphere
Hispaniola, Cuba, and Puerto Rico
Here, they took the Native's gold and forced them to convert to Christianity
Millions of Natives and only hundreds of Spanish in the area
Spanish had guns and cannons, Natives had arrows and spears
Europeans also had armor and horses
Not only useful in battle, but frightened the Natives
Native Americans had no immunity (resistance) to these diseases
Most important/most deadly: disease
Europeans unknowingly carried diseases to the Americas
smallpox, measles, and influenza
The diseases spread rapidly throughout villages
Mass murder of Natives
90% of Natives wiped out in the Caribbean by the 1500s
"There was no then no sickness;
They had then no aching bones;
They had then no high fever;
They had then no smallpox;
They had then no burning chest. . .
At that time the course of humanity was orderly.
The foreigners made it otherwise when they arrived here."
Source taken from a Mayan book in the 1500s:
What does the writer say was the main effect of Europeans the Maya?
Cortes Conquers Mexico
Pizarro Takes Peru
Effects of the Spanish Conquistadors
Hernan Cortes

Hernan Cortes
An early Spanish conquistador
Owned land in Cuba
Heard Indians were able to defeat the Spanish
Believed he could succeed better than anyone else
1519: Cortes lands on coast of Mexico
Has 600 men, 16 horses, few cannons with him
King Moctezuma
Aztec emperor during this time
Was terrified of the threat of invaders
Cortes began to move to Tenochtitlan
Aztec capital
He brought with him Malinche
Called Dona Marina by the Spanish
She was a translator for Cortes
Aztec gained power by conquering other groups
Used conquered people for sacrifice
This is how the Aztecs gained enemies
King Moctezuma heard the Spanish were coming
He was terrified
King wondered if this was actually an Aztec god coming to his city
Didn't know for sure, but wanted to play safe
Moctezuma sent Cortes gifts
Feathers, turquoise, good with religious importance
Cortes didn't care about the religious gifts
But- gifts with gold made him even more determined to get to the city
Cortes reaches Tenochtitlan and is amazed by the city
Moctezuma welcomed Cortes to his capital
Relations soon became strained
Spanish disapproved of the Aztec religion
Forced them to convert to Christianity
Spanish decide to put Moctezuma in prison
There, they forced him to sign over his land and treasure to the Spanish
While this was happening:
Different Spanish conquistadors came to Tenochtitlan to conquer
Cortes formed an army of Natives + Spanish
Brutal struggle, but they won
They demolished Tenochtitlan and built Mexico City on the ruins
Francisco Pizarro
Inspired by Cortes to conquer land in the Americas
A Spanish conquistador
Interested in Peru
Rumored that the Inca had more riches than the Aztecs
Arrived in Peru in 1532
Just after the Inca had a bloody civil war
Atahualpa new Inca emperor
Atahualpa refused the Spanish and converting to Christianity
Pizarro and his allies then captured him and slaughtered thousands of Inca
Spanish demanded huge ransom for Atahualpa
Inca paid it, then Spanish killed him anyway
Inca resisted, but Pizarro and Spanish conquered much of S. America
Superior weapons, and Inca fall to disease
Spanish conquistadors accomplished a major victory in the Americas
Within a few decades, hundreds of European soldiers conquered millions of Natives
Helped by superior weapons, horses, and esp. disease
Spanish took huge quantities of valuables & used Natives as slaves to mine for gold/silver
Spanish became Europe's greatest power
Effects on Natives:
They believed this was the world's end
Many converted to Christianity hoping their suffering would end
"Are our gods weaker than their gods?" - Native thoughts
After the Conquistadors...
Spanish settlers and missionaries flooded the area after the conquistadors
New Spanish Empire

Spanish claimed land for their people/king wherever they went in L. America
Forced themselves in even if Natives resisted

Result: a new culture emerged over time
A mix of European, Native American, and African traditions

The Spanish Empire
Spanish wanted to maintain strict control over their empire
King set up the
Council of the Indies
to pass laws for the colonies
He also appointed
: representatives who ruled in his name
"For Spain, winning souls for Christianity was as important as gaining land."
Catholic Church worked with the gov't to convert Natives to Christianity
Church leaders often served as royal officials as well
As empire expanded, so did Church authority
What did the missionaries do?
Baptized thousands of Native Americans
Built mission churches
Turned new converts into loyal subjects of the Catholic king of Spain
Introduced European clothing
Taught the Spanish language
Introduced new crafts- carpentry and locksmithing
Where they could, the Spanish missionaries forcibly imposed European culture over Native American culture
Spain closely controlled trade in the Americas
Set up strict laws and regulations
Colonies were not allowed to trade with any other nation besides Spain
Most valuable resource shipped from the Americas to Spain = Gold and Silver
When sugar cane was introduced, it became valuable as well
Sugar, molasses, rum
sugar cane had to be grown on large plantation requiring a lot of labor
Encomienda - A System of Forced Labor
Spanish gov't granted the right to demand tribute or labor from Native Americas
System was first used by the conquistadors
Forced Natives to work under the most brutal conditions
Those who resisted were hunted down and killed
Disease, starvation, and cruel treatment caused drastic decline in Native population
Encomienda system was used in mines and plantations
Tons of silver and gold were extracted from mines in Peru
As thousands of Natives died, they were replaced by thousands
Mix of diverse people gave rise to a new social structure
People born in Spain
Filled the highest positions in both colonial gov't and the Church
American-born descendants of Spanish settlers
Owned most of plantations, ranches, and mines
People of Native and European descent
People of African and European descent
(People of Native American and people of African descent formed the lowest social classes.)
The Portuguese Colony in Brazil
The Spanish had the largest and most wealthy empire in the world at this time
However, the Portuguese were not far behind
Portuguese claimed their empire in East S. America = Brazil
Like the Spanish:
Natives had been wiped out by disease in the Port. Empire
Port. forced remaining Natives and Africans to clear land for plantations
4 millions Africans sent to Brazil
Unlike the Spanish:
No instant wealth from silver or gold
Instead, cut and exported brazilwood (Colony is named after this wood)
Used to produce a valuable dye
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