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The First Americans

  • There are many theories and new findings that explain how the first Americans arrived and settled in the Americas, and the most prominent theory is the land bridge theory.
  • There were several ancient American civilizations that were complex, advanced and hierarchical, such as the Mesoamerican Olmecs, Mayas, and Aztecs and the South American Incas.
  • Surpluses of staple foods (corn, beans, and squash) helped civilizations grow.
  • Native Americans north of the Rio Grande were less complex and coercive and were mostly clan-based and self-governing.
  • Women played an important role in many Native American tribes and matrilineal societies were prominent in the Iroquois, Algonquian, and Muskogean-speaking societies.
  • More information on the Cahokia Mounds, a once thriving ancient mound culture in present day Illinois:
  • Estimates vary but most historians believe that millions of Native Americans lived in the Americas before 1492.
  • The importance of the buffalo and some background history:

The First Americans

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  1. Intro
    • Overview
      • “American” History?
      • The Land Bridge Theory
      • The Three Major Waves of the First Americans
      • The Controversial of Kennewick Man
        • The Native Americans
        • The Three Sisters
          • Mayas and Aztecs of Mesoamerica
          • Jaguar Temple in Tikal (Mayan Temple)
            • Mayan Calendar
              • Mayans
              • Aztecs
              • Incas
              • Map of Native American Cultural Areas
                • The Indians of the North of Rio Grande
                • Southwest Settlements
                • Architectural Site of a Southwest Settlement
                • Artifacts From the Southwest
                • Midwest Settlements
                • Hopewell Mound
                  • The Great Serpent Mound
                  • Northeast Settlements
                  • Iroquois Women at Work, 1724
                  • Dominant Economic Activity
                    • The “New World”
                      • Example 1
                        • Example 2
                          • Example 3
                            • Example 4
                              • Intro 0:00
                              • Overview 0:06
                              • “American” History? 3:12
                                • Controversies with the Term, “America”
                                • The Origin of the Term, “America”
                                • The Peopling of the Americas
                              • The Land Bridge Theory 6:33
                                • How the First Americans come to the Continent
                                • Evidence of the First Americans
                              • The Three Major Waves of the First Americans 8:27
                                • The First Wave
                                • The Second Wave
                                • The Third Wave
                              • The Controversial of Kennewick Man 9:12
                              • The Native Americans 9:47
                                • The Three Sisters
                                • The Effects of Agricultural Surplus
                              • The Three Sisters 11:09
                              • Mayas and Aztecs of Mesoamerica 11:57
                                • Olmec Civilization
                                • Subsequent
                                • Mayan Society
                              • Jaguar Temple in Tikal (Mayan Temple) 13:17
                              • Mayan Calendar 15:11
                              • Mayans 15:43
                                • Priests Ruled Society
                                • The Decline of the Mayan Civilization
                              • Aztecs 16:40
                                • Tenochtitlan
                                • Aztec Priests and Warrior Nobles
                              • Incas 17:39
                                • Introduction of the Incas
                                • Summary of Mayans, Aztecs and Incas
                              • Map of Native American Cultural Areas 18:55
                              • The Indians of the North of Rio Grande 20:15
                                • Clan-Based and Egalitarian Society
                                • Why the Indians did not Develop into an Advanced Group?
                                • Self-Governing Tribes
                              • Southwest Settlements 22:51
                                • Hohokam, Anasazi, Pueblos
                                • The Decline of the Southwest Settlements
                              • Architectural Site of a Southwest Settlement 24:01
                                • Underground Kivas of the Anasazi
                                • Zunis, Acomas and Hopis
                              • Artifacts From the Southwest 24:49
                                • Lives of the Pueblo People
                                • Ancient Apartment buildings of Anasazi and Petroglyph
                              • Midwest Settlements 26:39
                                • Adena-Hopewells
                                • Cahokia
                                • The Decline of the Mississippian Civilization
                                • Muskogean and Algonquian Speaking Societies
                              • Hopewell Mound 28:51
                              • The Great Serpent Mound 29:07
                                • The Culture of Mississippians
                                • Animists
                              • Northeast Settlements 30:33
                                • Hunting and Farming-Based Society
                                • Iroquois Confederation
                              • Iroquois Women at Work, 1724 32:42
                                • Matrilineal Society
                                • Iroquois Creation Myth
                              • Dominant Economic Activity 35:35
                              • The “New World” 36:27
                              • Example 1 37:26
                              • Example 2 43:15
                              • Example 3 44:44
                              • Example 4 50:59

                              Transcription: The First Americans

                              Welcome to, this lesson is on the first Americans.0000

                              Before we get started into the content related to the Native Americans, American Indians, the various tribal groups of the Americas,0008

                              I want to talk a little bit about language and make note of the point that today we really prefer to use the term U.S. history,0018

                              when we are talking about the history of the United States vs. American history.0027

                              As again, in this era of political correctness, we want to make sure that we are being very specific about which America we are referring to.0032

                              You will see what most history books this day and age that they tend to use the term U.S.0043

                              This could obviously be a bit problematic when we talk about the people inhabiting this country.0050

                              A lot of my professors said, what do we say? Do we say United Statesian? Is that a word?0056

                              I do use this word to describe people who live in the United States, Americans, because it is out of convenience.0061

                              But do realize that I am sensitive at heart to the issue of language here.0070

                              Having said that, we are going to talk about the first Native inhabitants of what we today call the Americas.0078

                              We will talk about the various theories of really how the first Americans inhabited, what will become the United States.0088

                              We will also talk about Central America, as well as South America.0098

                              The most widespread theory that is still widely accepted is known as the Land bridge theory that we will be talking about today.0103

                              But do keep in mind that this is a topic that is being explored and up quite a bit and is ever changing.0111

                              Stay tuned to the recent studies regarding where different peoples were migrating from and arriving to the Americas.0121

                              Very interesting topic that is very cutting edge actually in the world of architecture.0134

                              In this lesson, we are going to focus on the ancient Native American cultures and0140

                              civilizations in Mesoamerica or Central America, what we are used today, middle America, south American civilizations.0145

                              We will also focus on, for the most part, North American civilizations and0155

                              some of the various tribal groups that will emerge from the ancient societies.0158

                              Then, we will briefly talk about what led to their decline.0164

                              In the next lesson, we will focus on the exchanges and contact between Native Americans and Europeans.0167

                              That is definitely going to lead to the decline of Native American people.0178

                              This lesson will primarily focus on the rich, diverse cultures of the Americas, ultimately.0185

                              I have already kind of introduced this idea that the term American history is very problematic0195

                              but we do have a long history of using that term.0200

                              It is today very controversial.0204

                              For many people, for instance, living in South America, they say we are American too, we are part of the Americas.0206

                              There is sometimes this legacy of that U.S. centric view that the United States is the America.0214

                              Be mindful of that and the preference for the most part is using the term U.S.0222

                              This is what we call pre-contact era, before the United States was actually formed.0229

                              We oftentimes refer to it as pre-contact, pre-European contact period.0240

                              That is another thing to keep in mind.0248

                              The term America, where did it come from actually?0250

                              It came from Amerigo Vespucci who was a foreign team explorer.0254

                              Amerigo, America, he eventually was very influential in the exploration of the Americas0260

                              and will name what will become known as the new world or nuevo mundo, to describe the Americas in general.0268

                              This name will end up sticking.0279

                              There are other theories as well that it can also relate to the Native American term.0280

                              But I think this one is the one that is most widely accepted today.0285

                              The peopling, another half way debated topic is the peopling of the Americas.0290

                              In many ways, we are going to see that it is quite, as far as where we are today, it is pretty much inconclusive.0296

                              As research and dating methods continue to improve,0306

                              we are starting to see more credible conclusions from the evidence that we now have.0310

                              But we are going to see through time that the different theories have evolved.0316

                              Just to give you a few examples, I’m really just touching the surface of this rich topic.0324

                              I do encourage you to research this on your own, if you are interested.0329

                              You can definitely delve into archaeology in college, if you are interested in this.0334

                              Just to give you a few examples to show you the different theories about how the first Americans arrived.0340

                              From the 1932’s to the 1990’s, for instance, it was that the first human migration was about 13,500 years ago,0347

                              based on spear points discovered in New Clovis, based in Mexico.0356

                              Over the last 20 years, the discourse surrounding the history of the first Americans has come into new way,0360

                              such as the Monte Verde tube way discovery in 1997,0366

                              where we are going to see archaeologists found evidence of human remains from 14,500 years ago.0372

                              This spurred questions as to how humans may have made it so far south,0379

                              by boat or other route besides the Bering land bridge which brings us to really the land bridge theory.0385

                              This is really a theory that has been most widely accepted.0395

                              This is the idea.0400

                              You will also see the term beringia, small bands of travel migrants from Asia.0401

                              As you could see this map here, coming from Asia.0407

                              Hunters and gatherers, hunter-gatherers, that is what they are sometimes called as well,0412

                              followed animal herds over land and sea about 20,000 to 40,000 years ago,0417

                              when the last ice age created a 100 mile wide land bridge over the Bering strait connecting Siberia and Alaska.0425

                              This theory, this idea of how peoples from Asia migrated and0434

                              eventually worked their way into the Americas is still widely accepted.0442

                              Of how ancient peoples ended up coming to this continent.0447

                              Again, with new forms of research and new methods, and so forth, and learning how to date different materials,0453

                              we are seeing a lot of new discoveries everyday in this study.0463

                              There are sites all around the country, for instance,0471

                              including the Meadowcroft rock shelter in Pennsylvania, the Page-Ladson sinkhole in Florida.0473

                              Also, we will see some other evidence from the Paisley cave in Oregon.0481

                              All of these will now provide both promising indications,0486

                              at the earliest Americans dispersed throughout the continent, at least 13,500 years ago.0490

                              There are other claims as well, but again, there is a lot of debate regarding the years.0499

                              Do your homework and research, if you are really interested in delving into this in more depth.0507

                              We see that the first three major waves, we are going to see people coming to the Americas.0513

                              First wave here, again, people hunting and migrating in search of large game, bull, and mammoths, and so forth.0520

                              Second wave, we will see the ancestors of the upper Navajos and the Apaches.0531

                              They came about 8,000 years ago.0535

                              The third wave, the ancestors of the Aleut and Inuit peoples, popularly known as the Eskimos, came about 5000 years ago.0537

                              During these migrations, we will see the peopling of the Americas occur.0546

                              Here is another example of another theory, the controversial Kennewick man0553

                              whose skull features do not fit any known populations and lend credence to the theory.0559

                              But there were multiple migrations to North America from various points of origin.0565

                              Maybe it was not just Asia, in other words.0571

                              Other skeletal remains found in North America suggest links to populations from various parts of the globe.0573

                              This is something that is very rich.0580

                              Beware that the evidence is un-earthy all the time, very rich topic.0583

                              For centuries, we know that Native Americans were primarily hunters and gatherers.0590

                              Until around 3000 BC, when many develop farming societies based on corn, beans, and squash,0597

                              oftentimes known as the three sisters.0605

                              They will became specialized, and needs and wants the community will divide it up.0608

                              Some of these jobs being gender-based in some societies, while others were not,0615

                              in some cases more like based on scales and status, so forth.0622

                              Agricultural surplus lead to populous urbanized wealthy societies in Mexico, Central America, and Peru.0626

                              These were the most successful and widespread and most hierarchical societies of the ancient American history.0636

                              We will also see in what is now the United States, another large civilization in the Mississippi River valley,0646

                              that is one exception in today’s United States.0654

                              The crops that really will sustain these civilizations, very important to really sustain these societies.0658

                              Corn, all different varieties, corn were developed and there are all kinds of specialties,0672

                              specialized types of farming that really originated in some of the grasslands in today's Mexico.0680

                              This is a very old crop that became a major staple and will eventually even affect the diet around globe.0689

                              Not only in the Americas, but we will see eventually in Europe and in Asia today and other places too.0698

                              Those areas in particular have been very much influenced by corn.0705

                              I cannot overstate the importance of corn or maize, as it is called in Spanish.0711

                              I’m going to touch upon some of the major civilizations.0717

                              The oldest civilization that we oftentimes study is what is known as the Olmec.0721

                              I always think oldest Olmec civilization, began along the gulf coast of Mexico around 700 BC.0727

                              They are known for having these very large, its colossal sculptures of a head, an Olmec head and face.0734

                              Very early artifacts and there is architectural evidence of this early society.0744

                              Subsequent societies such as the Mayan peoples of the Yucatan Peninsula and Guatemala had an advanced to the civilization0756

                              and built cities and large urban religious centers that relied on water storage and irrigation.0764

                              Mayan society was highly organized, an elite class claiming descent from the God’s world.0772

                              They will be very important and very influential in ruling Mayan society.0781

                              They rigged up the goods and taxes extracted from peasant families, which is like a form of tribute.0786

                              This will allow Mayan society to become very strong and successful.0794

                              Here is an example of one of the Mayan temples in Tikal.0803

                              Tikal, this one is called Jaguar temple in Tikal.0811

                              Tikal was one of the major metropolises of the Mayan civilization and is one of the pend,0817

                              it was actually one of the biggest in the world, located in the wild’s today in the Tikal national park0822

                              about 200 miles north of Guatemala City, in the southern part of the Yucatan peninsula.0830

                              It was settled as early as 600 BC.0837

                              Interesting way, it was not actually near any water source.0841

                              They just relied on rainwater which make this civilization particularly interesting.0847

                              Most of the major buildings being build today were actually in their heyday between 550 to 900 AD.0854

                              With a population of about 10,000 to 90,000 people, Tikal was larger than London in 800 AD.0865

                              Just to give you an idea of how huge this civilization really was.0873

                              Archeologists have uncovered 3,000 structures in over a 6 square area, 6 mile square area.0879

                              With more than 200 sculptured stone monuments and altars.0886

                              This was one of the important temples that was really an expression of the people's respect for their Gods0893

                              and for also the people who had high status in their society.0904

                              The Mayans also developed a very advanced calendar.0913

                              Mayan astronomers created a calendar that recorded historical events and predicted eclipses of the sun and moon.0920

                              In addition to the calendar, they had hieroglyphic writing.0929

                              Their astronomy skills will help to increase the authority and power of the class of warriors and priest that ruled Mayan society.0934

                              With all this, this is going to create a much more complex culture.0946

                              It was very hierarchical with priest ruling the society.0953

                              This also helped provide people with a sense of history and identity.0957

                              We will see around 800 AD, however, that Mayan civilization declined.0964

                              Again, a lot of different theories regarding this ancient history.0968

                              Perhaps because of long dry period and because they were not near a regular water source, as most of the ancient civilizations were.0972

                              By 900 AD, many of the religious centers were abandoned.0984

                              The remaining cities would resist the Spanish invasion during the 1520’s.0989

                              We are going to see this region being colonized by Spain.0995

                              The next civilization that I want to touch upon are the Aztecs.1001

                              The Aztecs established their society around AD 1325.1005

                              Tenochtitlan, which is today’s Mexico city, was the center of the civilization, of people learned subtle ways1011

                              and established a complex hierarchical social order that subjugated most of Mexico,1018

                              through invasion, economic tribute, and human sacrifice.1025

                              Aztec priest and warrior nobles ruled over 20 clans of free Aztec commoners were found communally owned land.1030

                              By AD 1500, Tenochtitlan had grown into a metropolis of over 200,000 inhabitants.1039

                              They had immense wealth, strength, and military power.1047

                              A very successful, powerful, hierarchical civilization.1053

                              The Incas, I’m just touching upon these major civilizations.1061

                              We can go into way more depth but we are doing a global studies type of class.1066

                              For the purposes of this class, I just want to give you an overarching background and1070

                              you will have a good foundation understanding how many different Native American societies that were before European contact.1078

                              The Incas in today’s Peru also had a highly organized society and carried on an extensive trade system,1087

                              and created calendars that were based on accurate scientific observations.1095

                              I should highlight some of this, highly organized, extensive trade, calendars.1102

                              To sum this up, we are going to see that all three of the civilizations that I touched upon, Mayas,1110

                              these Aztecs, and the Incas, cultivated crops that provided a stable food supply,1119

                              particularly corn for the Mayas and Aztecs, and potatoes, because of the cooler climate ultimately, for the Incas.1125

                              We are going to shift few years a bit to talk about the Native American cultural areas in North America.1135

                              In particular, what will become known as the United States.1144

                              Please note that the cultural areas that developed were really according to the climate and geographic location.1148

                              For instance, in this greenish blue, we see the eastern Woodlands or northeastern region.1156

                              There are various tribes roaming from the Illinois, the Miami, the Shawnee, the Iroquois, the Abneci, etc.1165

                              We see in yellow, the eastern Woodlands in the southeast.1173

                              The Cherokee, the Chikasaw, the Seminole, the Natchez, etc.1177

                              In the Great Plains region, this says plains here today.1183

                              Later on, we will consider them plains people but they were originally from Minnesota which is kind of split in half here.1194

                              But the Mandans, the Pawnees, the Arapahos, the Cheyennes, you can take a look at this map in more detail1203

                              to see how many different tribes were in North America.1210

                              The Indians that were North of the Rio Grande.1216

                              In comparison to the Aztecs, the Mayans, the Incas,1222

                              they were less complex and less coercive with less occupational diversities, social hierarchy and strong state institutions.1225

                              Most where, this is a key characteristic, clan based, which means that a clan, just so you understand the meaning of this,1236

                              it is a group of related families that shared a real or a legendary common ancestor.1248

                              Most Native American people whose north of the Rio Grande organized their societies around clan groups1255

                              which combine together to form a distinct people, based on language and culture.1262

                              Another key point in comparison to the civilizations in Central and South America,1269

                              we are going to see that these Native Americans are much more egalitarian for the most part.1275

                              Why did these Native groups actually not develop in such advance, I guess large complex way?1283

                              First of all, we are going to see that it took a long time for the spread of corn cultivation from Mexico to reach cultures in the North.1293

                              That is going to lend itself to the situation where many Native American groups in this region will be hunter gatherers1301

                              and they would not settle for quite around.1311

                              They are able to cultivate corn.1314

                              Corn is the key.1315

                              In the 1490’s, there are estimates that between under 1 million to more than 10 million.1318

                              I have even seen higher numbers actually up to 40-50 million as well.1325

                              Estimates are really all over the place, depending on the source.1330

                              The point really being that before European contact, they were rich civilization societies and peoples living throughout the Americas.1334

                              Coming back to some more points of the Indians of the Northern region.1348

                              Most were self governing tribes composed of clans.1353

                              Here we have the definition.1358

                              There are at least 400 distinct languages, extremely diverse.1360

                              These again are the major regions for those different groups.1365

                              In the southwest, I’m just going to highlight some of the regions in the southwest in today’s New Mexico in Arizona.1373

                              Some of the ancient peoples include the Hohokam, the Anasazi, and the Pueblos.1380

                              They evolved multifaceted societies supported by farming.1386

                              Two out of the three, these two focused on irrigation.1391

                              The Anasazi also used dry farming techniques and did not really use irrigation earlier on.1396

                              Just to make note of that.1412

                              These southwestern peoples lived in caves.1414

                              They lived under cliffs.1417

                              They had to adapt to their environment, in multistory buildings such as kivas.1419

                              I have a picture in one of the next slides.1424

                              By the time Europeans arrived, more than likely they declined because of drought1427

                              and soil exhaustion and warfare with other Native groups.1432

                              Much of their way of life was preserved.1436

                              Here are some examples.1442

                              The underground kivas of the Anasazi.1446

                              These round structures were built mostly underground and1448

                              people enter them through a ladder, through the opening right here in the roof.1452

                              These serves as religious ceremony centers, discussions of tribal affairs to place here.1460

                              There were workshops and sometimes even women and men were separated actually, in these multistory structures.1467

                              Zunis, Aacomas, and Hopis later built strong but smaller village societies that are suited for the dry,1477

                              unpredictable climate of the American Southwest.1485

                              But really, what is going to help these societies survive is corn cultivation.1489

                              Corn will actually come to this region.1494

                              Here are some artifacts as well, and some other examples of remnants from their civilization, perhaps even some writing.1498

                              In the southwest, the Hohokam and the Mogollon people, these Pueblo peoples lived in present day Arizona in New Mexico.1511

                              They have platform mounds and worship their gods on huge temples.1518

                              Some similarities, what we have also seen in Central America and South America.1524

                              We will also see that they used irrigation to grow two crops a year, fashion and fine pottery such as this, that red buff designs.1531

                              We also see in this picture here, ancient apartment buildings of the Anasazi.1542

                              There are different theories about these examples, whether it was a Petroglyph,1550

                              some type of writing, pictorial writing, or Indian rock art.1555

                              It is just art, ultimately.1560

                              Some of the descendants, we will see the Hopi Indians for instance, one of the Pueblo Indian tribes.1563

                              They grew crops on plots of Valley land.1573

                              Some Hopi earned additional income by making and selling baskets, pottery.1576

                              Later on, in modern times, they even sell their jewelry and kachina dolls.1582

                              The kachinas will be very important in village life and have a very crucial spiritual role.1590

                              Moving on to the Midwest, we will see the Adena and the Hopewells.1600

                              Excuse me not Hopi, Hopi was in the mine, Hopewells.1604

                              They are known as mound building cultures.1610

                              They build these large bury mounds and they lived in present day Ohio.1613

                              Looking at this map, in this region here.1622

                              They were supported by hunting and agriculture, the combination of those two methods.1626

                              About A.D 100, their influence spread from Louisiana to Wisconsin.1632

                              By organizing in large villages, establishing extensive trade networks, and increasing food supply.1639

                              By 1150, this is one of the interesting exceptions.1645

                              It would be interesting to see if others arise with more archeological dates.1649

                              By 1150, the largest city Cahokia, your present day St. Louis, boasted a population of 15,000 to 20,000 people.1654

                              In this area also, there were more than 100 temple mounds1665

                              which really show how well organized and extensive these civilizations were.1669

                              Peasants paid tribute to support classic nobles and priests.1674

                              Much more hierarchical than most typical civilizations in this region that we know of at least.1680

                              By 1350, overpopulation, urban disease, and warfare led to the decline of the Mississippian civilization, archaeologist believed.1688

                              Muskogean speaking societies and Algonquian speaking societies.1698

                              In this region here, around present day Virginia, farming became the work of women and1703

                              matrilineal inheritance also became a well practiced type of cultural belief, ultimately.1709

                              Where a person’s identity, their clan, their family, identity was retraced through lineage.1719

                              What I’m trying to say was retraced to the mother’s ancestry.1727

                              Here is an example of a mound, the Hopewell mound that still survives today.1732

                              Hopewells gathered at these earthworks for feasts, for funerals, as well as for rites of passage, very important.1737

                              Here is the great serpent mound in aerial view.1750

                              Scholars believe that this particular serpent mound is the work of the Adena peoples1753

                              because of its proximity to an Adena burial site, make sense.1760

                              Because of the serpent imagery, it is also tied to the culture of the Mississippians.1764

                              The head is aligned with the sunset of the summer solstice1771

                              which really indicates how much knowledge they really had of astronomy.1774

                              That is really the cycles.1782

                              Animist, this is another huge theme when we talk about Native Americans societies and spiritual belief.1785

                              As many Native Americans were animists and celebrated or had certain myths to certain stories,1793

                              certain rituals tied to specific animals in their geographic region.1801

                              Animists have believed that the natural world was suffused with spiritual power.1806

                              Again, all different aspects of nature had some spiritual significance but many tribes also, especially, celebrated1812

                              and had one or two animals who are very central to their belief system or to their creation stories, or whatever, in the case maybe.1823

                              Very important to take note of.1834

                              In the northeast, descendants of the Adena people and the Hopewells are the ones who live their,1838

                              will move into what is now New York.1845

                              These societies were primarily hunting and farming based.1849

                              They had to move to fresh land eventually because of soil exhaustion.1853

                              Eventually, we are going to see divergence of one of the most significant and long-lasting Native American confederations1858

                              which will include the Seneca, the Mohawk, for instance, the Onondaga, the Oneida.1865

                              I think I'm forgetting one, I want to say the Cayuga.1882

                              The different tribes in the Iroquois confederation will become one of the most famous of the eastern woodlands people.1888

                              Many lived in the Mohawk valley region of New York, central New York.1898

                              Multiple families live together in what are known as longhouses, in fact, I have a small picture in a few slides from here.1905

                              Their society was matrilineal, as I mentioned before.1914

                              Lineage was traced through the mother.1918

                              This is an interesting fun fact that will be significant, a little bit later in the class.1920

                              That even though they are going to have their livelihood being threatened by Europeans,1925

                              we are going to see because the British and the French, they are going to be there as well.1933

                              but those three main groups, there was a huge tension primarily between the English and the French,1939

                              that will definitely feed into tensions between, specially the Iroquois and the Huron who are very much in trenched in the fur trade.1946

                              That will be very significant a little bit later on.1956

                              I just wanted to introduce that.1960

                              Here we see the centrality of women and the work that they did.1962

                              You can see that they have pretty well developed their farming system here.1968

                              This is a little bit later in history, 1724, that we already seen specialization.1973

                              Women were responsible for growing food crops.1981

                              Matrilineal society showing the centrality of women, women were well revered, they had a lot of power.1987

                              They made decisions in the longhouses.1992

                              This is a small picture of a longhouse that were made out of the local wood that they received from trees that they cut down.1996

                              Women cultivated the fields around semi permanent settlements and pass the rights to their fields to their daughters.2008

                              Creation stories were also extremely important.2015

                              For instance, I can give you a little excerpt of the Iroquois creation myth2019

                              that really highlights the importance of animism, centrality of certain animals.2025

                              I will just give you a little snippet.2031

                              When before the world was created, there was an island floating in the sky upon which the sky people lived.2034

                              They lived quietly and happily.2040

                              No one ever died or was born, or experience sadness.2042

                              However one day, one of the sky women realized she was going to give birth to twins.2045

                              She told her husband who flew into a rage.2051

                              In the center of the island, there was a tree which gave light to the entire island, since the sun have not been created yet.2053

                              He tore up the tree, creating a huge hole in the middle of the island.2061

                              Curiously, the woman peered into the hole, far below, she could see the waters that cover the Earth.2065

                              At that moment, her husband pushed her.2071

                              She fell through the hole, tumbling toward the waters below.2073

                              Water animals already existed on the Earth.2077

                              Far below the floating island, two birds saw the sky woman fall.2079

                              Before she reached the waters, they caught her on their backs and brought her to other animals.2083

                              Determined to help the woman, they delved into the water to get mud from the bottom of the seas.2089

                              One after another, the animals tried and failed.2095

                              Finally, a little toad tried and when he reappeared, his mouth is full of mud.2097

                              The animals took it and spread it on the back of a big turtle.2103

                              The mud began to grow and grow, until it became the size of North America, and it continues on.2106

                              Really, it talks about the importance of sky women, sapling, and all of these different characters that have a lot of spiritual meaning.2114

                              All the different tribes place importance on different animals and their spirituality.2124

                              I wanted to point that out.2134

                              Also, these two again highlight the diversity.2136

                              In purple, primarily these groups in the east focused on agriculture.2140

                              Hunting was the primary activity in Central parts of the Midwest and central of today’s United States.2146

                              Here hunting and gathering was the primary means of survival.2156

                              We see in blue, in the Pacific Northwest and also in this region here, that parts of the southwest,2164

                              we also see that fishing is the primary means for survival and subsistence.2175

                              Here is yet another map, again, to just illustrate how many diverse peoples.2189

                              This is just really touching on the surface.2194

                              Before 1492, the New World was home to as many people had lived in Europe, 60 or 70 million people.2198

                              The numbers are very all over the place but much more than people really give credit to these ancient Native Americans who inhabited these lands.2207

                              This was not land for the taking, just to make that clear.2219

                              When we talk about the history of the United States and the prehistory of the United States,2223

                              it is important to realize that there are people who had very elaborate civilizations were inhabiting this region.2228

                              We are at that point in the lesson where we are going to transition over to the practice questions.2241

                              In this section of the lesson, I'm going to give you a few multiple choice questions,2250

                              as well as short answer questions that you would see on a typical AP test.2257

                              Do keep in mind that on the AP test you have 55 multiple choice questions.2264

                              In these questions, you must analyze a primary source, whether that be some type of excerpt from a speech.2269

                              It could be some other type of dialogue.2279

                              It could be an excerpt of a poem, for instance.2284

                              You may actually see a photograph or a map or a chart, or graph, something like that.2287

                              There are all different types of primary sources that you will be required to analyze and interpret.2293

                              Also, bring in your outside, your background information, to make it an educated choice in the multiple choice question.2303

                              Example 1, let us read it through.2317

                              It is really important when you read these to highlight as you go through it and2319

                              really make sure to focus on keywords and also look at who the author is.2326

                              I do recommend that you use the silkstone handout that I will provide in the quick notes.2333

                              There are other techniques that you can use as well.2341

                              You want to think about who the audience is, what is the purpose of this particular primary source and so forth.2344

                              Let us read it.2356

                              To oppose those hordes of Northern tribes, singly and alone, would prove certain destruction.2357

                              We can make no progress in that way.2366

                              We unite ourselves into one common band of brothers.2369

                              We just have but one voice.2374

                              Many voices make confusion.2377

                              We must have one fire, one pipe, and one work.2379

                              This will give us strength.2382

                              If our warriors are united, they can defeat the enemy and drive them from our land.2384

                              If we do this, we are safe.2389

                              You, of the different nations of the South, and you of the West,2392

                              may place yourselves under our protection and we will protect you.2396

                              We honestly desire the alliance and friendship of you all.2400

                              Chief Elias Johnson, this is legend's traditions and laws of the Iroquois or six nations in history of the Tuscorora Indians, 1881.2407

                              This is certainly referring to the idea that we are a very diverse group of people.2418

                              The other thing that I would like to actually bring in here because I do not know if I emphasized enough in the lesson,2427

                              is that when we talk about Native Americans today in U.S. history, we oftentimes think of this monolithic group.2432

                              But especially, that is in many ways not true even today, that each tribal group has its own identity and culture and language and so forth.2441

                              Back then, this was particularly true that these different tribes were very distinct and2452

                              oftentimes have tensions with one another or competing.2460

                              We are going to eventually see, especially with the encroachment of Europeans,2462

                              the necessity to come together and unite as one.2468

                              That teaching moment that I took advantage of there.2474

                              According to Johnson, which of the following was the main reason for the unification of the tribes?2477

                              Was it to increase to trade opportunities?2483

                              To provide self defense?2486

                              To increase land opportunities?2487

                              Or to make the Tuscorora leaders?2489

                              You may want to go back to the actual source to look through it again or hopefully you remember.2494

                              If you do not, it is not a problem.2500

                              On the test, you will be able to look at the document because of our space limitations were a bit limited here.2504

                              But it is good to go back to the source and analyze it, if you cannot remember everything on the top of your head.2511

                              Just to double check yourself.2517

                              Go with your instincts, sure of course, but you should double check the actual work.2519

                              The answer to this is B, to provide self defense.2526

                              If you can remember that we are talking about the different tribes and the different regions,2532

                              nations of the south and to the west, that they can ultimately come together and that they will protect one another,2538

                              that they will become strong if they unify.2547

                              That they will be safe, if they come together.2551

                              Number 2, which of the reasons best explains why Native American efforts to unite were rare?2555

                              The answer, look at the choices.2564

                              Most tribes were isolated from each other.2567

                              Europeans discourage tribes from uniting.2570

                              People have different foods and languages.2573

                              Tribes had traditions of independence.2574

                              The answer is D.2578

                              Although I touched upon this as well, this is really the best answer, that they were independent.2582

                              Even though there were trade relationships, the idea of unifying into one confederacy was quite rare for the most part.2589

                              This is a picture we have looked at before.2603

                              As you could see, longhouse, people working in the field, farming, hunting-gathering.2606

                              Based on the image, which are the following types of housing did the Iroquois live in?2615

                              Longhouses, teepees, kivas, or adobe dwellings?2619

                              This one is pretty straightforward, hopefully you will get it.2624

                              This one, longhouses.2627

                              Number 2, which are the following is true of a family life among Native Americans?2631

                              Kinship bonds were sometimes more important than nuclear families.2635

                              The women’s role was to serve her husband.2639

                              Kinship lines for both the Iroquois and the Pueblo passed through the father.2642

                              Divorce between Native couples was not heard off.2646

                              The answer is A, kinship.2650

                              Next question, the Aztec and Mayan civilization shared which of the following characteristics with the Iroquois?2658

                              Written language, use of complex irrigation systems, farming practices, or great wealth in gold?2665

                              The answer is farming practices.2675

                              We are going to move on the short answer section of the assessment.2685

                              For these, this is a new part of the newly redesigned AP test.2692

                              For these, you must use complete sentences.2699

                              This is a really important thing to keep in mind.2702

                              Complete sentences, use proper punctuation, very important.2708

                              When you actually take a look at the sample essay paper, you will notice that you only have one page.2717

                              You have to keep your answers within that boundary that they give you, those boundaries, I should say.2727

                              Be very aware that these are not supposed to be an essay length.2734

                              The thing that is a little bit tricky as well is that these short answers, they always have three components.2740

                              Sometimes it will ask you to answer two questions in A and then you have another question in B.2750

                              You will get three points really for each short answer.2757

                              Make sure that you read the question thoroughly, it is very important.2762

                              In this case, it breaks it down into three different parts.2768

                              In some cases, you actually see two questions within one question, one part of the question.2772

                              Generally speaking, these responses are approximately 2 - 3 sentences each, each part.2780

                              If you are an advanced writer, if your sentences are a bit more complex,2799

                              if you could potentially write one well crafted, well written sentence, to address all aspects of the question.2807

                              In most cases, from what I have experienced, we will see about 2 – 3 sentences for each part.2816

                              Some people actually combine all into one paragraph but I actually would make your answer dummy proof for the reader.2824

                              I'm not trying to build something, I’m just being honest.2832

                              You want to make it very clear what you are addressing and label it as so and such.2835

                              Here we go, briefly explain how one of the factors impacted the Aztecs.2842

                              The domestication of maize, trade, or tribute?2848

                              For the short answers, I would read to you an example of a typical sentence and how you would respond to it.2853

                              Do keep in mind there are a variety of ways to respond to this.2859

                              What you should do is try to write your own sentences and own response, and then see if it is compliable.2863

                              You should use this as a tool to review, see if you did get some of this material.2872

                              Hopefully, you will have a good understanding about the type of sentences that you should try to create.2879

                              The other thing to keep in mind is, other main point here is go with what you know and what you know best.2887

                              Choose the one that seems the most obvious, that seems the simplest.2904

                              The one that you can think of an example right after that, that is the one.2910

                              Go with your instincts, the one you feel most confident about.2913

                              Challenging yourself is important in life but on the AP test,2919

                              that is not the time for you to try to stretch and see if you could pull this off.2923

                              Go with the one that you definitely feel the most confident about.2931

                              I’m going to get to it.2935

                              Which one I’m going to choose?2936

                              I’m going to choose this.2938

                              Mesoamericans cultivated maize into a nutritious plant with a higher yield per acre.2942

                              They eventually had a surplus corn that allowed the population to grow.2950

                              This facilitated the growth of the urban, wealthy civilization that developed.2960

                              There we go, that is part A.2967

                              Part B, briefly explain the importance of animism in Native North American spiritual life.2969

                              Animism, the belief that the natural world is suffused with spiritual power, influenced most Native Americans,2977

                              although there were regional variations from tribe to tribe.2984

                              Customs varied, Native Americans believed that the universe was bound together by the spirits2989

                              with an all natural life, from plants, animals, humans, water, and the Earth.2994

                              Certain animals related to rituals and have spiritual significance for each tribe.3001

                              I gave you examples, I explain what animism was, all in one package in that answer.3010

                              Part C, briefly explain one similarity or difference between North American societies and Mesoamerican societies.3016

                              One difference between North American and Mesoamerican societies is that the societies in Mesoamerica were more populated,3026

                              more hierarchical, and more coercive, in general, than societies in North America.3034

                              I actually gave you three, I was a little more extensive.3044

                              You could actually just do one and then give an example.3047

                              There are a lot of different ways that you could address these questions.3054

                              Let us move on.3058

                              This one, you are looking at a map, a variety of sources.3059

                              This one has the agriculture, hunting, hunting-gathering, fishing.3065

                              Use the map to answer parts A, B, and C.3073

                              Identify and briefly explain one economic activity that was prominent in the northeastern North America before 1492.3077

                              Eastern woodlands peoples focused on agriculture and hunting for survival.3091

                              One economic activity that was prominent in northeastern America was the trading of agricultural goods and animal furs.3098

                              Identify and briefly explain one economic activity that was prominent in the central part of North America before 1492.3109

                              The plains Indians hunted game for survival since there is a lack of natural resources.3119

                              They developed largely mobile lifestyles.3125

                              Trading various animal hides and other foodstuffs became an integral part of the economy.3128

                              Lastly, identify and briefly explain one similarity or difference3136

                              between one of the eastern woodland societies and southwestern Pueblo societies.3141

                              Eastern woodlands societies such as the Iroquois were matriarchal and their dwellings were mostly longhouses.3149

                              In the northeast, some societies developed an agricultural and hunter-gather economy.3156

                              Southwestern Pueblo societies cultivate maize and some used irrigation.3162

                              Their societies were centered in kivas or ceremonial chambers.3167

                              There you go, examples, explanations, short, sweet, concise to the point.3173

                              That is really what you want.3179

                              You want to be clear, you want to be precise.3181

                              You do not want to go on and on because that actually will get you in trouble.3184

                              Perhaps, make more mistakes that way.3190

                              Keep it simple, give a good explanation, make sure you define your terms within your responses.3193

                              That is our first lesson, and I hope you enjoyed our first lesson on the first Americans in AP U.S. History.3200

                              Thank you for watching