With the APUSH test coming up in about a week, we thought we’d share an outline of New Spain and Pre-Columbian Indians, topics which typically apply to 1-2 questions on the APUSH exam and are usually not covered in normal APUSH classes (which don’t have enough time).

Pre-Columbian Native Americans

–          Mostly a traditional society- few “modern”/ technologies
–          Still, had complex society, with multi-family dwellings, and large cities (100,000 ppl – mostly Incas, Aztecs, Maya)
–          Domesticated crops, highly religious/superstitious societies.
Regional Disparities

–          Eastern woodland tribes- village communities, farming based, led sedentary lifestyles, highly militant peoples, tribes routinely ran up against each other and fought costly battles w. each other
–          Problem eventually solved by the creation of the Iroquois Confederacy, a powerful political alliance btw. tribes in the North.
–          primary members included the Mohawks, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, and the Seneca
–          Iroquois members loosely interconnected, primarily by trade, but made “foreign policy” decisions (such as aligning with the French) in conjunction under the umbrella of the Confederacy.
–          in the SW, tribes such as the Anasazis led sedentary lifestyles centered around elaborate permanent settlements built into hillsides and cliffs known as Pueblos- primary economic activity was agriculture.
–          Pacific tribes relied on hunting and fishing, while Plains tribes led Nomadic lifestyles centered on hunting buffalo.

–          Columbus- First to discover New World
–          Henry Hudson- explored NY area
–          Cortes- conquered Aztecs
–          Pizzaro- conquered Incas
–          Both used advanced weaponry, ruthless tactics (betrayal of good faith negotiations), — and most importantly, diseases such as smallpox to which natives had no immunity.
–          Such tactics later used in US area as well
New Spain

–          Spanish imperial objectives; mercantilism (enriching own economy by plundering natural resources from the colonies) and religion (spread Catholocism which was under threat from growing numbers of Protestants in Europe, through forced conversion of natives.
–          Took over most of Latin America, Western and Southern US,
–          At least in Latin America, achieved this goal of mercantilism as the region was rich with gold, silver, and other minerals, but the parts of the US they controlled had little gold, so Spanish Southwest maintained  to spread Catholicism and b/c of prestige.
–          Started the Columbian Exchange of plants, animals, goods, and ideas btw. Spain and New World.
–          Spain sent horses, gunpowder, mining techniques, New World sent back crops like corn, potatoes, and tomatoes
–          Ruled autocratically, via de-centralized Encomienda system that made the natives into exploited slave labor
–          Still allowed intermarriage with natives that had converted despite racism
–          first to colonize Florida
–          Spanish settlers moved up into US from Mexico, settled especially into missions, decentralized, self sustaining settlements organized around churches and designed to convert Natives, used Franciscan missionaries, who converted Pueblos and forced them to pay tribute.
–          exploitative system galvanized the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, led by Popé (name)
o   Rebels killed 400 Spaniards, destroyed churches, took control of Southwest, retaken by Spanish in 1692 who set up new slightly more equitable system to appease the Indians.

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