Native Americans Chapter Summaries

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Native Americans Chapter Summaries



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The Black Legend, Native Americans, and Spaniards: Crash Course US History #1

An experimental investigation of the relative effectiveness of organizational structure in oral communication. Southern Speech Journal, 26 , 59— A third study by Baker found that when audiences were presented with a disorganized speaker, they were less likely to be persuaded, and saw the disorganized speaker as lacking credibility. Baker, E. The immediate effects of perceived speaker disorganization on speaker credibility and audience attitude change in persuasive speaking.

Western Speech, 29 , — These three very important studies make the importance of organization very clear. We start this chapter discussing these studies because we want you to understand the importance of speech organization on real audiences. If you are not organized, your speech will never have its intended effect. In this chapter, we are going to discuss the basics of organizing the body of your speech. We like the word strategic because it refers to determining what is important or essential to the overall plan or purpose of your speech. Too often, new speakers just throw information together and stand up and start speaking.

When that happens, audience members are left confused and the reason for the speech may get lost. To avoid being seen as disorganized, we want you to start thinking critically about the organization of your speech. In this section, we will discuss how to take your speech from a specific purpose to creating the main points of your speech. Recall that a speech can have one of three general purposes: to inform, to persuade, or to entertain.

The general purpose refers to the broad goal for creating and delivering the speech. The specific purpose, on the other hand, starts with one of those broad goals inform, persuade, or entertain and then further informs the listener about the who , what , when , where , why , and how of the speech. The specific purpose is stated as a sentence incorporating the general purpose, the specific audience for the speech, and a prepositional phrase that summarizes the topic.

Suppose you are going to give a speech about using open-source software. Here are three examples each with a different general purpose and a different audience :. Before you can think strategically about organizing the body of your speech, you need to know what your specific purpose is. If you have not yet written a specific purpose for your current speech, please go ahead and write one now. Main points The series of key ideas that you develop to help your audience understand your specific purpose.

While there is no magic number for how many main points a speech should have, speech experts generally agree that the fewer the number of main points the better. Bostrom, R. Memory models and the measurement of listening. Communication Education, 37 , 1— Dunham, J. Voice contrast and repetition in speech retention Doctoral dissertation. Speech Monographs, 18 , —; Thompson, E. For the speeches you will be delivering in a typical public speaking class, you will usually have just two or three main points.

If your speech is less than three minutes long, then two main points will probably work best. If your speech is between three and ten minutes in length, then it makes more sense to use three main points. You may be wondering why we are recommending only two or three main points. The reason comes straight out of the research on listening. According to LeFrancois, people are more likely to remember information that is meaningful, useful, and of interest to them; different or unique; organized; visual; and simple.

LeFrancois, G. Psychology for teaching 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Two or three main points are much easier for listeners to remember than ten or even five. Including support for each point will make your speech more interesting and more memorable for your audience. In brainstorming, your goal is simply to think of as many different points as you can, not to judge how valuable or important they are. What information does your audience need to know to understand your topic? What information does your speech need to convey to accomplish its specific purpose?

Consider the following example:. Now that you have brainstormed and developed a list of possible points, how do you go about narrowing them down to just two or three main ones? Remember, your main points are the key ideas that help build your speech. When you look over the preceding list, you can then start to see that many of the points are related to one another. Your goal in narrowing down your main points is to identify which individual, potentially minor points can be combined to make main points. This process is called chunking The process of taking smaller chunks of information and putting them together with like chunks to create more fully developed, larger chunks of information.

Before reading our chunking of the preceding list, see if you can determine three large chunks out of the list note that not all chunks are equal. Remember that these are just general ideas at this point. Some of these points could be left out and others developed more fully, depending on the purpose and audience. Suppose you added a fourth main point about open-source software for musicians—would this fourth main point go with the other three? Probably not. While you may have a strong passion for open-source music software, that main point is extraneous information for the speech you are giving.

The next question to ask yourself about your main points is whether they overlap too much. While some overlap may happen naturally because of the singular nature of a specific topic, the information covered within each main point should be clearly distinct from the other main points. On the other hand, you could keep the first point and then develop two new points giving additional support to why people should eat fruit. One of the biggest mistakes some speakers make is to spend most of their time talking about one of their main points, completely neglecting their other main points.

To avoid this mistake, organize your speech so as to spend roughly the same amount of time on each main point. If you find that one of your main points is simply too large, you may need to divide that main point into two main points and consolidate your other main points into a single main point. What do you think? Obviously, the answer depends on how much time a speaker will have to talk about each of these main points. If you have an hour to talk, then you may find that these three main points are balanced. However, you may also find them wildly unbalanced if you only have five minutes to speak because five minutes is not enough time to even explain what open-source software is. Another major question to ask yourself about your main points is whether or not they have a parallel structure.

By parallel structure, we mean that you should structure your main points so that they all sound similar. Notice that the first and third main points are statements, but the second one is a question. Basically, we have an example here of main points that are not parallel in structure. You could fix this in one of two ways. You could make them all questions: what are some common school district software programs; what is open-source software; and what are some specific open-source software packages that may be appropriate for these school administrators to consider. Or you could turn them all into statements: school districts use software in their operations; define and describe open-source software; name some specific open-source software packages that may be appropriate for these school administrators to consider.

Either of these changes will make the grammatical structure of the main points parallel. The next section goes into more detail of common organizational patterns for speeches, but for now we want you to just think logically about the flow of your main points. When you look at your main points, can you see them as progressive, or does it make sense to talk about one first, another one second, and the final one last? Often, this process is an art and not a science.

When you look at these two examples, what are your immediate impressions of the two examples? In the first example, does it make sense to talk about history, and then the problems, and finally how to eliminate school dress codes? Would it make sense to put history as your last main point? In this case, the main points are in a logical sequential order. What about the second example?

Does it make sense to talk about your solution, then your problem, and then define the solution? Not really! What order do you think these main points should be placed in for a logical flow? Maybe you should explain the problem lack of rider laws , then define your solution what is rider law legislation , and then argue for your solution why states should have rider laws. Previously in this chapter we discussed how to make your main points flow logically. This section is going to provide you with a number of organization patterns to help you create a logically organized speech. By far the most common pattern for organizing a speech is by categories or topics. The categories function as a way to help the speaker organize the message in a consistent fashion.

In this case, we have a speaker trying to persuade a group of high school juniors to apply to attend Generic University. Almost anyone could take this basic speech and specifically tailor the speech to fit her or his own university or college. The main points in this example could be rearranged and the organizational pattern would still be effective because there is no inherent logic to the sequence of points. In this speech, the speaker is talking about how to find others online and date them.

Specifically, the speaker starts by explaining what Internet dating is; then the speaker talks about how to make Internet dating better for her or his audience members; and finally, the speaker ends by discussing some negative aspects of Internet dating. Again, notice that the information is chunked into three categories or topics and that the second and third could be reversed and still provide a logical structure for your speech. While this pattern clearly lends itself easily to two main points, you can also create a third point by giving basic information about what is being compared and what is being contrasted. The spatial speech pattern Speech format in which a speaker organizes information according to how things fit together in physical space.

This pattern is best used when your main points are oriented to different locations that can exist independently. The basic reason to choose this format is to show that the main points have clear locations. In essence, the states create three spatial territories to explain. In this example, we still have three basic spatial areas. If you look at a model of the urinary system, the first step is the kidney, which then takes waste through the ureters to the bladder, which then relies on the sphincter muscle to excrete waste through the urethra. It is spatial because the organization pattern is determined by the physical location of each body part in relation to the others discussed. The chronological speech pattern Speech format in which a speaker presents information in the order in which it occurred in time—whether backward or forward.

By the nature of this speech organizational pattern, these speeches tend to be informative or entertaining; they are usually not persuasive. In this example, we see how Brian Warner, through three major periods of his life, ultimately became the musician known as Marilyn Manson. In this example, these three stages are presented in chronological order, but the biographical pattern does not have to be chronological.

The causal speech pattern Speech format that is built upon two main points: cause and effect. When you use a causal speech pattern, your speech will have two basic main points: cause and effect. In the first main point, typically you will talk about the causes of a phenomenon, and in the second main point you will then show how the causes lead to either a specific effect or a small set of effects.

In this case, the first main point is about the history and prevalence of drinking alcohol among Native Americans the cause. The second point then examines the effects of Native American alcohol consumption and how it differs from other population groups. However, a causal organizational pattern can also begin with an effect and then explore one or more causes. In the following example, the effect is the number of arrests for domestic violence. In this example, the possible causes for the difference might include stricter law enforcement, greater likelihood of neighbors reporting an incident, and police training that emphasizes arrests as opposed to other outcomes.

Examining these possible causes may suggest that despite the arrest statistic, the actual number of domestic violence incidents in your city may not be greater than in other cities of similar size. Another format for organizing distinct main points in a clear manner is the problem-cause-solution speech pattern Speech format in which a speaker discusses what a problem is, what the speaker believes is causing the problem, and then what the solution should be to correct the problem.

In this format you describe a problem, identify what you believe is causing the problem, and then recommend a solution to correct the problem. In this speech, the speaker wants to persuade people to pass a new curfew for people under eighteen. To help persuade the civic group members, the speaker first shows that vandalism and violence are problems in the community. Once the speaker has shown the problem, the speaker then explains to the audience that the cause of this problem is youth outside after p. Lastly, the speaker provides the mandatory p. The problem-cause-solution format for speeches generally lends itself to persuasive topics because the speaker is asking an audience to believe in and adopt a specific solution. In this speech, the speaker starts by discussing how humor affects the body.

Because of these benefits, nurses should engage in humor use that helps with healing c. Each of the preceding organizational patterns is potentially useful for organizing the main points of your speech. However, not all organizational patterns work for all speeches. Your challenge is to choose the best pattern for the particular speech you are giving. You will want to be aware that it is also possible to combine two or more organizational patterns to meet the goals of a specific speech. When considering which organizational pattern to use, you need to keep in mind your specific purpose as well as your audience and the actual speech material itself to decide which pattern you think will work best.

Unfortunately, we are not that lucky when it comes to listening to a speaker. We cannot pick up our universal remote and rewind the person. For this reason, speakers need to really think about how they keep a speech moving so that audience members are easily able to keep up with the speech. A transition A phrase or sentence that indicates that a speaker is moving from one main point to another main point in a speech.

Basically, a transition is a sentence where the speaker summarizes what was said in one point and previews what is going to be discussed in the next point. Table Beyond transitions, there are several other techniques that you can use to clarify your speech organization for your audience. The next sections address several of these techniques, including internal previews, internal summaries, and signposts. An internal preview A phrase or sentence that gives an audience an idea of what is to come within a section of a speech. An internal preview works similarly to the preview that a speaker gives at the end of a speech introduction, quickly outlining what he or she is going to talk about i. In an internal preview, the speaker highlights what he or she is going to discuss within a specific main point during a speech.

Ausubel was the first person to examine the effect that internal previews had on retention of oral information. Ausubel, D. Educational psychology. To help us further understand why recycling is important, we will first explain the positive benefits of recycling and then explore how recycling can help our community. When an audience hears that you will be exploring two different ideas within this main point, they are ready to listen for those main points as you talk about them. Rather than being given alone, internal previews often come after a speaker has transitioned to that main topic area. To help us further understand why recycling is important, we will first explain the positive benefits of recycling and then explore how recycling can help our community internal preview.

While internal previews are definitely helpful, you do not need to include one for every main point of your speech. In fact, we recommend that you use internal previews sparingly to highlight only main points containing relatively complex information. Whereas an internal preview helps an audience know what you are going to talk about within a main point at the beginning, an internal summary A phrase or sentence that reaffirms to an audience the information that was just delivered within the speech. In general, internal summaries are best used when the information within a specific main point of a speech was complicated.

To write your own internal summaries, look at the summarizing transition words in Table To sum up, school bullying is a definite problem. In this example, the speaker was probably talking about the impact that bullying has on an individual victim educationally. Of course, an internal summary can also be a great way to lead into a transition to the next point of a speech. Therefore, schools need to implement campus-wide, comprehensive antibullying programs transition. While not sounding like the more traditional transition, this internal summary helps readers summarize the content of that main point.

The sentence that follows then leads to the next major part of the speech, which is going to discuss the importance of antibullying programs. Have you ever been on a road trip and watched the green rectangular mile signs pass you by? Scholars previously pointed to ecological disaster or slow depopulation through emigration, but new research instead emphasizes mounting warfare, or internal political tensions. Environmental explanations suggest that population growth placed too great a burden on the arable land. Others suggest that the demand for fuel and building materials led to deforestation, erosion, and perhaps an extended drought.

Recent evidence, including defensive stockades, suggests that political turmoil among the ruling elite and threats from external enemies may explain the end of the once-great civilization. North American communities were connected by kin, politics, and culture and sustained by long-distance trading routes. Cahokia became a key trading center partly because of its position near the Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri Rivers. These rivers created networks that stretched from the Great Lakes to the American Southeast.

Archaeologists can identify materials, like seashells, that traveled over a thousand miles to reach the center of this civilization. At least 3, years ago, the community at what is now Poverty Point, Louisiana, had access to copper from present-day Canada and flint from modern-day Indiana. Sheets of mica found at the sacred Serpent Mound site near the Ohio River came from the Allegheny Mountains, and obsidian from nearby earthworks came from Mexico.

Turquoise from the Greater Southwest was used at Teotihuacan years ago. In the Eastern Woodlands, many Native American societies lived in smaller, dispersed communities to take advantage of rich soils and abundant rivers and streams. Their hundreds of settlements, stretching from southern Massachusetts through Delaware, were loosely bound together by political, social, and spiritual connections. Dispersed and relatively independent, Lenape communities were bound together by oral histories, ceremonial traditions, consensus-based political organization, kinship networks, and a shared clan system.

Kinship tied the various Lenape communities and clans together, and society was organized along matrilineal lines. Marriage occurred between clans, and a married man joined the clan of his wife. Lenape women wielded authority over marriages, households, and agricultural production and may even have played a significant part in determining the selection of leaders, called sachems. Dispersed authority, small settlements, and kin-based organization contributed to the long-lasting stability and resilience of Lenape communities.

Lenape sachems acquired their authority by demonstrating wisdom and experience. This differed from the hierarchical organization of many Mississippian cultures. Large gatherings did exist, however, as dispersed communities and their leaders gathered for ceremonial purposes or to make big decisions. Sachems spoke for their people in larger councils that included men, women, and elders. The Lenapes experienced occasional tensions with other Indigenous groups like the Iroquois to the north or the Susquehannock to the south, but the lack of defensive fortifications near Lenape communities convinced archaeologists that the Lenapes avoided large-scale warfare.

The continued longevity of Lenape societies, which began centuries before European contact, was also due to their skills as farmers and fishers. Along with the Three Sisters, Lenape women planted tobacco, sunflowers, and gourds. They harvested fruits and nuts from trees and cultivated numerous medicinal plants, which they used with great proficiency. The Lenapes organized their communities to take advantage of growing seasons and the migration patterns of animals and fowl that were a part of their diet. During planting and harvesting seasons, Lenapes gathered in larger groups to coordinate their labor and take advantage of local abundance.

As proficient fishers, they organized seasonal fish camps to net shellfish and catch shad. Lenapes wove nets, baskets, mats, and a variety of household materials from the rushes found along the streams, rivers, and coasts. They made their homes in some of the most fertile and abundant lands in the Eastern Woodlands and used their skills to create a stable and prosperous civilization. The first Dutch and Swedish settlers who encountered the Lenapes in the seventeenth century recognized Lenape prosperity and quickly sought their friendship.

Their lives came to depend on it. The peoples of this region depended on salmon for survival and valued it accordingly. Images of salmon decorated totem poles, baskets, canoes, oars, and other tools. The fish was treated with spiritual respect and its image represented prosperity, life, and renewal. Sustainable harvesting practices ensured the survival of salmon populations. The Coast Salish people and several others celebrated the First Salmon Ceremony when the first migrating salmon was spotted each season.

Elders closely observed the size of the salmon run and delayed harvesting to ensure that a sufficient number survived to spawn and return in the future. Massive cedar canoes, as long as fifty feet and carrying as many as twenty men, also enabled extensive fishing expeditions in the Pacific Ocean, where skilled fishermen caught halibut, sturgeon, and other fish, sometimes hauling thousands of pounds in a single canoe. Food surpluses enabled significant population growth, and the Pacific Northwest became one of the most densely populated regions of North America. The combination of population density and surplus food created a unique social organization centered on elaborate feasts, called potlatches.

These potlatches celebrated births and weddings and determined social status. The party lasted for days and hosts demonstrated their wealth and power by entertaining guests with food, artwork, and performances. The more the hosts gave away, the more prestige and power they had within the group. Some men saved for decades to host an extravagant potlatch that would in turn give him greater respect and power within the community. Intricately carved masks, like the Crooked Beak of Heaven Mask, used natural elements such as animals to represent supernatural forces during ceremonial dances and festivals.

Creative Commons Attribution 3. Despite commonalities, Native cultures varied greatly. The New World was marked by diversity and contrast. Some lived in cities, others in small bands. Some migrated seasonally; others settled permanently. All Native peoples had long histories and well-formed, unique cultures that developed over millennia.

But the arrival of Europeans changed everything. Scandinavian seafarers reached the New World long before Columbus. At their peak they sailed as far east as Constantinople and raided settlements as far south as North Africa. They established limited colonies in Iceland and Greenland and, around the year , Leif Erikson reached Newfoundland in present-day Canada. But the Norse colony failed. Culturally and geographically isolated, the Norse were driven back to the sea by some combination of limited resources, inhospitable weather, food shortages, and Native resistance.

Then, centuries before Columbus, the Crusades linked Europe with the wealth, power, and knowledge of Asia. Europeans rediscovered or adopted Greek, Roman, and Muslim knowledge. The hemispheric dissemination of goods and knowledge not only sparked the Renaissance but fueled long-term European expansion. Asian goods flooded European markets, creating a demand for new commodities. This trade created vast new wealth, and Europeans battled one another for trade supremacy. European nation-states consolidated under the authority of powerful kings. In Spain, the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile consolidated the two most powerful kingdoms of the Iberian peninsula.

The Crusades had never ended in Iberia: the Spanish crown concluded centuries of intermittent warfare—the Reconquista—by expelling Muslim Moors and Iberian Jews from the Iberian peninsula in , just as Christopher Columbus sailed west. With new power, these new nations—and their newly empowered monarchs—yearned to access the wealth of Asia. Seafaring Italian traders commanded the Mediterranean and controlled trade with Asia. Spain and Portugal, at the edges of Europe, relied on middlemen and paid higher prices for Asian goods. They sought a more direct route. And so they looked to the Atlantic. Portugal invested heavily in exploration.

From his estate on the Sagres Peninsula of Portugal, a rich sailing port, Prince Henry the Navigator Infante Henry, Duke of Viseu invested in research and technology and underwrote many technological breakthroughs. His investments bore fruit. In the fifteenth century, Portuguese sailors perfected the astrolabe, a tool to calculate latitude, and the caravel, a ship well suited for ocean exploration. Both were technological breakthroughs. The astrolabe allowed for precise navigation, and the caravel, unlike more common vessels designed for trading on the relatively placid Mediterranean, was a rugged ship with a deep draft capable of making lengthy voyages on the open ocean and, equally important, carrying large amounts of cargo while doing so.

Georg Braun Cologne: Blending economic and religious motivations, the Portuguese established forts along the Atlantic coast of Africa during the fifteenth century, inaugurating centuries of European colonization there. Portuguese trading posts generated new profits that funded further trade and further colonization. Trading posts spread across the vast coastline of Africa, and by the end of the fifteenth century, Vasco da Gama leapfrogged his way around the coasts of Africa to reach India and other lucrative Asian markets. The vagaries of ocean currents and the limits of contemporary technology forced Iberian sailors to sail west into the open sea before cutting back east to Africa.

They became training grounds for the later colonization of the Americas and saw the first large-scale cultivation of sugar by enslaved laborers. Sugar was originally grown in Asia but became a popular, widely profitable luxury item consumed by the nobility of Europe. The Portuguese learned the sugar-growing process from Mediterranean plantations started by Muslims, using imported enslaved labor from southern Russia and Islamic countries. Sugar was a difficult crop. It required tropical temperatures, daily rainfall, unique soil conditions, and a fourteen-month growing season.

But on the newly discovered, mostly uninhabited Atlantic islands, the Portuguese had found new, defensible land to support sugar production. New patterns of human and ecological destruction followed. Isolated from the mainlands of Europe and Africa for millennia, Canary Island natives—known as the Guanches—were enslaved or perished soon after Europeans arrived.

This demographic disaster presaged the demographic results for the Native American populations upon the arrival of the Spanish. They first turned to the trade relationships that Portuguese merchants established with African city-states in Senegambia, along the Gold Coast, as well as the kingdoms of Benin, Kongo, and Ndongo. At the beginning of this Euroafrican slave-trading system, African leaders traded war captives—who by custom forfeited their freedom if captured during battle—for Portuguese guns, iron, and manufactured goods.

It is important to note that slaving in Africa, like slaving among Indigenous Americans, bore little resemblance to the chattel slavery of the antebellum United States. From bases along the Atlantic coast, the Portuguese began purchasing enslaved people for export to the Atlantic islands of Madeira, the Canaries, and the Cape Verdes to work the sugar fields. Thus, were born the first great Atlantic plantations.

By the fifteenth century, the Portuguese had established forts and colonies on islands and along the rim of the Atlantic Ocean; other major European countries soon followed in step. An anonymous cartographer created this map known as the Cantino Map, the earliest known map of European exploration in the New World, to depict these holdings and argue for the greatness of his native Portugal. Cantino planisphere , Biblioteca Estense, Modena, Italy. Spain, too, stood on the cutting edge of maritime technology. Spanish sailors had become masters of the caravels. As Portugal consolidated control over African trading networks and the circuitous eastbound sea route to Asia, Spain yearned for its own path to empire.

Christopher Columbus, a skilled Italian-born sailor who had studied under Portuguese navigators, promised just that opportunity. Educated Asians and Europeans of the fifteenth century knew the world was round. But Columbus underestimated the size of the globe by a full two thirds and therefore believed it was possible. After unsuccessfully shopping his proposed expedition in several European courts, he convinced Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain to provide him three small ships, which set sail in Columbus was both confoundingly wrong about the size of the earth and spectacularly lucky that two large continents lurked in his path.

They fished and grew corn, yams, and cassava. Columbus described them as innocents. They love their neighbors as themselves, and their speech is the sweetest and gentlest in the world, and always with a smile. The Arawaks, however, wore small gold ornaments. Columbus left thirty-nine Spaniards at a military fort on Hispaniola to find and secure the source of the gold while he returned to Spain, with a dozen captured and branded Arawaks. Columbus arrived to great acclaim and quickly worked to outfit a return voyage. If outfitted for a return voyage, Columbus promised the Spanish crown gold and enslaved laborers.

Columbus was outfitted with seventeen ships and over one thousand men to return to the West Indies Columbus made four voyages to the New World. But when material wealth proved slow in coming, the Spanish embarked on a vicious campaign to extract every possible ounce of wealth from the Caribbean. The Spanish decimated the Arawaks. Las Casas described European barbarities in cruel detail. By presuming the natives had no humanity, the Spaniards utterly abandoned theirs. Casual violence and dehumanizing exploitation ravaged the Arawaks. The Indigenous population collapsed. Within a few generations the whole island of Hispaniola had been depopulated and a whole people exterminated.

In a few short years, they were gone. Despite the diversity of Native populations and the existence of several strong empires, Native Americans were wholly unprepared for the arrival of Europeans. Biology magnified European cruelties. Cut off from the Old World, its domesticated animals, and its immunological history, Native Americans lived free from the terrible diseases that ravaged populations in Asia, Europe and Africa. But their blessing now became a curse. Native Americans lacked the immunities that Europeans and Africans had developed over centuries of deadly epidemics, and so when Europeans arrived, carrying smallpox, typhus, influenza, diphtheria, measles, and hepatitis, plagues decimated Native communities.

All told, in fact, some scholars estimate that as much as 90 percent of the population of the Americas perished within the first century and a half of European contact. Though ravaged by disease and warfare, Native Americans forged middle grounds, resisted with violence, accommodated and adapted to the challenges of colonialism, and continued to shape the patterns of life throughout the New World for hundreds of years. But the Europeans kept coming.

As news of the Spanish conquest spread, wealth-hungry Spaniards poured into the New World seeking land, gold, and titles. The Spanish managed labor relations through a legal system known as the encomienda , an exploitive feudal arrangement in which Spain tied Indigenous laborers to vast estates. In the encomienda , the Spanish crown granted a person not only land but a specified number of natives as well. Encomenderos brutalized their laborers. Intended as a milder system, the repartimiento nevertheless replicated many of the abuses of the older system, and the rapacious exploitation of the Native population continued as Spain spread its empire over the Americas.

Photograph by Daniel Schwen. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4. In Central America the Maya built massive temples, sustained large populations, and constructed a complex and long-lasting civilization with a written language, advanced mathematics, and stunningly accurate calendars. But Maya civilization, although it had not disappeared, nevertheless collapsed before European arrival, likely because of droughts and unsustainable agricultural practices. But the eclipse of the Maya only heralded the later rise of the most powerful Native civilization ever seen in the Western Hemisphere: the Aztecs. Militaristic migrants from northern Mexico, the Aztecs moved south into the Valley of Mexico, conquered their way to dominance, and built the largest empire in the New World.

Much of the city was built on large artificial islands called chinampas , which the Aztecs constructed by dredging mud and rich sediment from the bottom of the lake and depositing it over time to form new landscapes. A massive pyramid temple, the Templo Mayor, was located at the city center its ruins can still be found in the center of Mexico City. When the Spaniards arrived, they could scarcely believe what they saw: 70, buildings, housing perhaps ,—, people, all built on a lake and connected by causeways and canals.

Some of our soldiers even asked whether the things that we saw were not a dream? I do not know how to describe it, seeing things as we did that had never been heard of or seen before, not even dreamed about. From their island city the Aztecs dominated an enormous swath of central and southern Mesoamerica. They ruled their empire through a decentralized network of subject peoples that paid regular tribute—including everything from the most basic items, such as corn, beans, and other foodstuffs, to luxury goods such as jade, cacao, and gold—and provided troops for the empire.

This sixteenth-century map of Tenochtitlan shows the aesthetic beauty and advanced infrastructure of this great Aztec city. Map, c. Sailing with six hundred men, horses, and cannon, he landed on the coast of Mexico. Eventually, the Aztecs revolted. Montezuma was branded a traitor, and uprising ignited the city. Smallpox ravaged the city. Some it covered on all parts—their faces, their heads, their breasts, and so on. There was great havoc. Very many died of it. They could not move; they could not stir.

The temples were plundered and fifteen thousand died. After two years of conflict, a million-person-strong empire was toppled by disease, dissension, and a thousand European conquerors. The Spanish relied on Indigenous allies. The Tlaxcala were among the most important Spanish allies in their conquest. From their capital of Cuzco in the Andean highlands, through conquest and negotiation, the Incas built an empire that stretched around the western half of the South American continent from present day Ecuador to central Chile and Argentina. They cut terraces into the sides of mountains to farm fertile soil, and by the s they managed a thousand miles of Andean roads that tied together perhaps twelve million people. But like the Aztecs, unrest between the Incas and conquered groups created tensions and left the empire vulnerable to invaders.

Smallpox spread in advance of Spanish conquerors and hit the Incan empire in A bloody war of succession ensued. With men, he deceived Incan rulers, took control of the empire, and seized the capital city, Cuzco, in Disease, conquest, and slavery ravaged the remnants of the Incan empire. After the conquests of Mexico and Peru, Spain settled into its new empire.

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