The May SAT II and the regular APUSH exam had surprisingly large clusters of questions on Native American history. Both my Crash Course and Essential Content books have excellent sections on Native American history. Here is a special Top 10 list of key facts on Native Americans during the Pre-Columbian era.
1. During the Pre-Columbian era native peoples developed irrigation systems, mathematically based calendars, cities of 100,000 or more people and multistory dwellings. In addition, native peoples domesticated cereal crops such as maize.
2. Surprisingly, native peoples did NOT invent wheeled vehicles.
3. The Iroquois Confederacy was an Indian alliance that ended long-standing tribal warfare before the arrival of the European colonists. It was the most powerful Native American political alliance.
4. Many of the Eastern Woodland tribes lived in matrilineal societies in which inheritance was thru the female line.
5. The Anasazi were primarily a sedentary, agricultural people.
6. The Cherokee, Choctow, and Creeks were all Eastern Woodland tribes. The Eastern Woodland tribes cultivated corn and vegetables before the arrival of the European colonists.
7. The French had less conflict with Native Americans than the English colonists because they were fur traders who did not encroach on Native American lands.
8. The Spanish had the most contact with the Zuni and the Hopi.
9. The Pueblo Revolt (1680) led to the temporary expulsion of the Spanish from the upper Rio Grande region. The revolt exposed he tensions between the Spanish and the Native Americans living in the Southwest.
10. European diseases decimated the Native American population.

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