The Shaping Of North America

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UNIT ONE: Terms and Concepts
I. The Shaping of North America
1. History was beginning first recorded 6,000 years ago. 500 years ago Spaniards discovered the Americas and soon started colonizing the new lands.
2. The theory of Pangaea suggests that the continents were once stuck together into one huge continent. Eventually they started drifting into separated landmasses, which gave birth to the modern continents.
3. Geological forces by the continental plates created the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains. The continental plates collided with each other, forming mountain chains.
4. The last Ice Age was spread heavily throughout North America, especially the modern Midwestern United States.
II. Peopling the Americas
1. The Land Bridge
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The three main Native American peoples included the Incas of Peru, the Mayas of Central America, and the Aztecs of Mexico. The Incas built a large network of roads and bridges linking their vast empire, which now composes the Andean states. The Mayas were mainly in the Yucatan Peninsula, but also in modern day Guatemala and Belize. They built magnificent pyramids. The Aztecs also built pyramids and practiced ritual sacrifices of captive peoples. The Aztecs would cut the heart out of the captive peoples as an offering for their gods.
III. The Earliest Americans
1. The development of corn, also known as maize around 5,000 B.C. in Mexico was a great success for their people, for they didn 't have to be hunter-gatherers anymore, they could settle in a certain area and become farmers. Towns and cities quickly grew throughout Mexico, and corn arrived in the modern day United States around 1,200 B.C.
2. The Pueblos Indians were the first American corn growers. They lived in adobe houses and pueblos. Pueblos are villages of cube-shaped adobe houses, stacked one on top the other and often beneath cliffs. They had advanced irrigation systems to divert water away from rivers to grown corn.
3. The so-called mound builders built big ceremonial and burial mounds that were located in the Ohio Valley. Cahokia, near East St. Louis today, had a population of about 40,000 people.
4. The Eastern Indians grew corn, beans, and squash in a system. Three sister farming worked this
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