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The Americas , Europe , a Africa Before 1492 ' FIGURE This 1507 map by cartographers Martin and is credited as the to incorporate the word America , Little was known about the continent at the time , as the land masses on the far left of the map reveal . But the New World offered opportunity that the Old World would exploit . CHAPTER OUTLINE The Americas Europe on the Brink of Change West Africa and the Role of Slavery INTRODUCTION Globalization , the interconnectedness of the world , is not a new phenomenon , but it accelerated when western Europeans discovered the riches of the East . During the Crusades ( Europeans developed an appetite for spices , silk , porcelain , sugar , and other luxury items from the East , for which they traded fur , timber , and Slavic people they captured and sold ( hence the word slave ) But when the Silk Road , the long overland trading route from China to the Mediterranean , became costlier and more dangerous to travel , Europeans searched for a more efficient and inexpensive trade route over water , initiating the development of what we now call the Atlantic World . In pursuit of commerce in Asia , traders unexpectedly encountered a New World populated by millions and home to sophisticated and numerous peoples . Mistakenly believing they had reached the East Indies , these early explorers called its inhabitants West Africa , a diverse and culturally rich area , soon entered the stage as other nations exploited its slave trade and brought its peoples to the New World in
The Americas , Europe , and Africa Before 1492 chains . Although Europeans would come to dominate the New World , they could not have done so without Africans and Native peoples ( Figure ) The Americas LEARNING OBJECTIVES By the end ofthis section , you will be able to Locate on a map the major American civilizations before the arrival of the Spanish Discuss the cultural achievements of these civilizations Discuss the differences and similarities between lifestyles , religious practices , and customs among Native peoples . Humans cross Mayan . land bridge between civilization Leif Asia and in arrives in Black Death Columbus North America Yucatan Peninsula decimates arrives in ca . to ca . 2000 Canada Europe Bahamas ca . 7000 to 900 CE ca . 1000 1346 1492 ca . 5000 622 ca . 1100 Corn domesticated in Muhammad at its Aztec civilization Inca Empire receives vision peak near modern flourishes in thrives in for Islam Louis Mexico South America FIGURE ( credit of work by Architect of the Capitol ) Most Native American origin stories assert that Native nations have always called the Americas home however , some scholars believe that between nine and thousand years ago , a land bridge existed between Asia and North America that we now call . The inhabitants of what would be named the Americas migrated across this bridge in search of food . When the glaciers melted , water engulfed , and the Bering Strait was formed . Later settlers came by boat across the narrow strait . The fact that Asians and Native Americans share genetic markers on a chromosome lends credibility to this migration theory . Continually moving southward , the settlers eventually populated both North and South America , creating unique cultures that ranged from the highly complex and urban Aztec civilization in what is now Mexico City to the woodland tribes of eastern North America . Recent research along the west coast of South America suggests that migrant populations may have traveled down this coast by water as well as by land . Researchers believe that about ten thousand years ago , humans also began the domestication of plants and animals , adding agriculture as a means of sustenance to hunting and gathering techniques . With this agricultural revolution , and the more abundant and reliable food supplies it brought , populations grew and people were able to develop a more settled way of life , building permanent settlements . Nowhere in the Americas was this more obvious than in ( Figure 13 . Access for free at .
The Americas ill and South Mesoamerican , Maw Andean Aztec Maya FIGURE This map shows the extent of the major civilizations of the Western Hemisphere , In South America , early civilizations developed coast because the high Andes and the inhospitable Amazon Basin made the interior of the continent less favorable for settlement . THE FIRST AMERICANS THE is the geographic area stretching from north of Panama up to the desert of central Mexico . Although marked by great topographic , linguistic , and cultural diversity , this region cradled a number of civilizations with similar characteristics . Mesoamericans were polytheistic their gods possessed both male and female traits and demanded blood taken in battle or ritual bloodletting . Corn , or maize , domesticated by 5000 , formed the basis of their diet . They developed a mathematical system , built huge , and devised a calendar that accurately predicted eclipses and solstices and that astronomers used to direct the planting and harvesting of crops . Most important for our knowledge of these peoples , they created the only known written language in the Western Hemisphere researchers have made much progress in interpreting the inscriptions on their temples and pyramids . Though the area had no overarching political structure , trade over long distances helped diffuse culture . Weapons made of obsidian , jewelry crafted from jade , feathers woven into clothing and ornaments , and cacao beans that were whipped into a chocolate drink formed the basis of commerce . The mother of Mesoamerican cultures was the civilization . Flourishing along the hot Gulf Coast of Mexico from about 1200 to about 400 , the produced a number of major works of art , architecture , pottery , and sculpture . Most recognizable are their giant head sculptures Figure and the pyramid in La . The built aqueducts to transport water into their cities and irrigate their . They grew maize , squash , beans , and tomatoes . They also bred small domesticated dogs which , along with , provided their protein . Although no one knows what happened to the after about 400 , in part because thejungle reclaimed many of their cities , their culture was the base upon which the Maya and the Aztec built . It was the who worshipped a rain god , a maize god , and the feathered serpent so important in the future of the Aztecs ( who called him ) and the Maya ( to whom he was ) The also developed a system of trade throughout , giving rise to an elite class .
10 The Americas , Europe , and Africa Before 1492 FIGURE The carved heads from giant boulders that ranged from four to eleven feet in height and could weigh up to tons . All these have flat noses , slightly crossed eyes , and large lips . These physical features can be seen today in some of the peoples indigenous to the area . TH MAYA After the decline of the , a city rose in the fertile central highlands of . One of the largest population centers in America and home to more than people at its height in about 500 CE , Teotihuacan was located about thirty miles northeast of modern Mexico City . The ethnicity of this settlement inhabitants is debated some scholars believe it was a multiethnic city . agriculture and the resultant abundance of food allowed time for people to develop special trades and skills other than farming . Builders constructed over hundred apartment compounds for multiple families , as well as more than a hundred temples . Among these were the Pyramid of the Sun ( which is two hundred feet high ) and the Pyramid of the Moon ( one hundred and feet high ) Near the Temple of the Feathered Serpent , graves have been uncovered that suggest humans were for religious purposes . The city was also the center for trade , which extended to settlements on Gulf Coast . The Maya were one Mesoamerican culture that had strong ties to Teotihuacan . The Maya architectural and mathematical contributions were . Flourishing from roughly 2000 to 900 CE in what is now Mexico , Belize , Honduras , and Guatemala , the Maya perfected the calendar and written language the had begun . They devised a written mathematical system to record crop yields and the size of the population , and to assist in trade . Surrounded by farms relying on primitive agriculture , they built the of , and Chichen along their major trade routes , as well as temples , statues of gods , pyramids , and astronomical observatories ( Figure . However , because of poor soil and a drought that lasted nearly two centuries , their civilization declined by about 900 CE and they abandoned their large population centers . Access for free at .
The Americas 11 FIGURE El Castillo , located at Chichen in the eastern peninsula , served as a temple for the god . Each side contains steps to the top . When top platform , the total number of stairs is three hundred and , the number of days in a year . credit Ken Thomas ) The Spanish found little organized resistance among the weakened Maya upon their arrival in the . However , they did Mayan history , in the form of glyphs , or pictures representing words , recorded in folding books called codices ( the singular is codex ) In 1562 , Bishop Diego de Landa , who feared the converted Native people had reverted to their traditional religious practices , collected and burned every codex he could . Today only a few survive . CLICK AND EXPLORE Visit the University of Arizona Library Special Collections ( to view facsimiles and descriptions of two of the four surviving Mayan codices . THE AZTEC When the Spaniard Hernan Cortes arrived on the coast of Mexico in the sixteenth century , at the site of , he soon heard of a great city ruled by an emperor named Moctezuma . This city was tremendously with took in tribute from surrounding tribes . The riches and complexity found when he arrived at that city , known as , were far beyond anything he or his men had ever seen . According to legend , a warlike people called the Aztec ( also known as the ) had left a city called and traveled south to the site of Mexico City . In 1325 , they began construction of on an island in Lake . By 1519 , when Cortes arrived , this settlement contained upwards of inhabitants and was certainly the largest city in the Western Hemisphere at that time and probably larger than any European city Figure . One of soldiers , Diaz del Castillo , recorded his impressions upon seeing it When we saw so many cities and villages built in the water and other great towns on dry land we were amazed and said it was like the enchantments . on account of the great towers and cues and buildings rising from the water , and all built of masonry . And 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 .
12 The Americas , Europe , and Africa Before 1492 city to the surrounding land . Envoys from brought tribute to the Emperor . Unlike the dirty , fetid cities of Europe at the time , was well planned , clean , and orderly . The city had neighborhoods for occupations , a trash collection system , markets , two aqueducts bringing in fresh water , and public buildings and temples . Unlike the Spanish , Aztecs bathed daily , and wealthy homes might even contain a steam bath . A labor force of enslaved people from subjugated neighboring tribes had built the fabulous city and the three causeways that connected it to the mainland . To farm , the Aztec constructed barges made of reeds and them with fertile soil . Lake water constantly irrigated these , or gardens , which are still in use and can be seen today in , a district of Mexico City . Each god in the Aztec pantheon represented and ruled an aspect of the natural world , such as the heavens , farming , rain , fertility , and combat . A ruling class of warrior nobles and priests performed ritual human daily to sustain the sun on its long journey across the sky , to appease or feed the gods , and to stimulate agricultural production . The ceremony included cutting open the chest of a criminal or captured warrior with an obsidian knife and removing the heart ( Figure ) FIGURE In this illustration , an Aztec priest cuts out the beating heart of a victim before throwing the body down from the temple . Aztec belief centered on supplying the gods with human ultimate keep them strong and well . Access for free at .
The Americas 13 CLICK AND EXPLORE Explore ( to learn more about the Aztec creation story . MY STORY The Aztec Predict the Coming of the Spanish The following is an excerpt from the Florentine Codex of the writings of Fray Bernardino de , a priest and early chronicler of Aztec history . When an old man from first saw the Spanish in , he recounted an earlier dream to Moctezuma , the ruler of the Aztecs . Said to the sovereign , Oh mighty lord , if because I tell you the truth I am to die , nevertheless I am here in your presence and you may do what you wish to me ! He narrated that mounted men would come to this land in a great wooden house ships this structure was to lodge many men , as a home within they would eat and sleep . On the surface ofthis house they would food , walk and play as if they were on land . They were to be White , bearded men , dressed in different colors and on their heads they would wear round coverings . Ten years before the arrival of the Spanish , Moctezuma received several omens which at the time he could not interpret . A object appeared in the night sky , a spontaneous broke out in a religious temple and could not be extinguished with water , a water spout appeared in Lake , and a woman could be heard wailing , my children we are about to go forever . Moctezuma also had dreams and premonitions of impending disaster . These were recorded after the Aztecs destruction . They do , however , give us insight into the importance placed upon signs and omens in the world . THE INCA In South America , the most highly developed and complex society was that of the Inca , whose name means lord or ruler in the Andean language called . At its height in the and sixteenth centuries , the Inca Empire , located on the coast and straddling the Andes Mountains , extended some hundred miles . It stretched from Colombia in the north to Chile in the south and included cities built at an altitude of feet above sea level . Its road system , kept free of debris and repaired by workers stationed at varying intervals , rivaled that of the Romans and connected the sprawling empire . The Inca , like all other societies , did not use wheels for transportation . They built stepped roads to ascend and descend the steep slopes of the Andes these would have been impractical for wheeled vehicles but worked well for pedestrians . These roads enabled the rapid movement of the highly trained Incan army . Also like the Romans , the Inca were effective administrators . Runners called traversed the roads in a continuous relay system , ensuring quick communication over long distances . The Inca had no system of writing , however . They communicated and kept records using a system of colored strings and knots called the (
14 The Americas , Europe , and Africa Before 1492 FIGURE The Inca had no written language . Instead , they communicated and kept records by means of a system of knots and colored strings called the quipu . Each of these knots and strings possessed a distinct meaning intelligible to those educated in their . The Inca people worshipped their lord who , as a member of an elite ruling class , had absolute authority over every aspect oflife . Much like feudal lords in Europe at the time , the ruling class lived off the labor of the peasants , collecting vast wealth that accompanied them as they went , into the next life . The Inca farmed corn , beans , squash , quinoa ( a grain cultivated for its seeds ) and the indigenous potato on terraced land they hacked from the steep mountains . Peasants received only of their crops for themselves . The Inca ruler required a third , and a third was set aside in a kind of welfare system for those unable to work . Huge storehouses were with food for times of need . Each peasant also worked for the Inca ruler a number of days per month on public works projects , a requirement known as the mita . For example , peasants constructed rope bridges made of grass to span the mountains above icy rivers . In return , the lord provided laws , protection , and relief in times of famine . The Inca worshipped the sun god and called gold the sweat of the sun . Unlike the Maya and the Aztecs , they rarely practiced human and usually offered the gods food , clothing , and coca leaves . In times of dire emergency , however , such as in the aftermath of earthquakes , volcanoes , or crop failure , they resorted to prisoners . The ultimate was children , who were specially selected and well fed . The Inca believed these children would immediately go to a much better afterlife . In 1911 , the American historian Hiram Bingham uncovered the lost lncan city of Machu ( Figure . Located about miles northwest of , Peru , at an altitude of about feet , the city had been built in 1450 and inexplicably abandoned roughly a hundred years later . Scholars believe the city was used for religious ceremonial purposes and housed the priesthood . The architectural beauty of this city is unrivaled . Using only the strength of human labor and no machines , the Inca constructed walls and buildings of polished stones , some weighing over tons , that were together perfectly without the use of mortar . In 1983 , designated the ruined city a World Heritage Site . Access for free at .
The Americas 15 FIGURE Located in today Peru at an altitude of nearly feet , Machu was a ceremonial Incan city built about 1450 CE . CLICK AND EXPLORE Browse the British Museum World Cultures collection ( inca ) to see more examples and descriptions of Incan ( as well as Aztec , Mayan , and North American Native ) art . NATIVE AMERICANS With few exceptions , the North American Native cultures were much more widely dispersed than the Mayan , Aztec , and Incan societies , and did not have their population size or organized social structures . Although the cultivation of corn had made its way north , many Native people still practiced hunting and gathering . Horses , introduced by the Spanish , allowed the Plains Natives to more easily follow and hunt the huge herds of bison . A few societies had evolved into relatively complex forms , but they were already in decline at the time of Christopher arrival . In the southwestern part of today United States dwelled several groups we collectively call the Pueblo . The Spanish gave them this name , which means town or village , because they lived in towns or villages of permanent buildings with thatched roofs . Like apartment houses , these buildings had multiple stories , each with multiple rooms . The three main groups of the Pueblo people were the , and Anasazi . The thrived in the Valley ( New Mexico ) from about 150 to 1450 CE . They developed a distinctive artistic style for painting bowls with drawn geometric and wildlife , especially birds , in black on a white background . Beginning about 600 CE , the built an extensive irrigation system of canals to irrigate the desert and grow of corn , beans , and squash . By 1300 , their crop yields were supporting the most highly populated settlements in the southwest . The decorated pottery with a design and made jewelry of turquoise . In the high desert of New Mexico , the Anasazi , whose name means ancient enemy or ancient ones , carved homes from steep cliffs accessed by ladders or ropes that could be pulled in at night or in case of enemy attack Figure )
16 The Americas , Europe , and Africa Before 1492 FIGURE To access their homes , the Anasazi used ropes or ladders that could be pulled in at night for safety . These may be viewed today in Canyon de National Monument ( above ) in Arizona and Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado . Roads extending some 180 miles connected the smaller urban centers to each other and to Chaco Canyon , which by 1050 CE had become the administrative , religious , and cultural center of their civilization . A century later , however , probably because of drought , the Pueblo peoples abandoned their cities . Their day descendants include the Hopi and tribes . The Indigenous groups who lived in the Ohio River Valley and achieved their cultural apex from the century CE to 400 CE are collectively known as the culture . Their settlements , unlike those of the southwest , were small hamlets . They lived in houses ( made from woven lattice branches daubed with wet mud , clay , or sand and straw ) and practiced agriculture , which they supplemented by hunting and . Utilizing waterways , they developed trade routes stretching from Canada to Louisiana , where they exchanged goods with other tribes and negotiated in many different languages . From the coast they received shells from Canada , copper and from the Rocky Mountains , obsidian . With these materials they created necklaces , woven mats , and exquisite carvings . What remains of their culture today are huge burial mounds and earthworks . Many of the mounds that were opened by archaeologists contained artworks and other goods that indicate their society was socially . Perhaps the largest indigenous cultural and population center in North America was located along the Mississippi River near Louis . At its height in about 1100 CE , this city , now called , was home to more than ten thousand residents tens of thousands more lived on farms surrounding the urban center . The city also contained one hundred and twenty earthen mounds or pyramids , each dominating a particular neighborhood and on each of which lived a leader who exercised authority over the surrounding area . The largest mound covered acres . was the hub of political and trading activities along the Mississippi River . After 1300 CE , however , this civilization because the area became unable to support the large population . NATIVE PEOPLES OF THE EASTERN WOODLAND Encouraged by the wealth found by the Spanish in the settled civilizations to the south , and English , Dutch , and French explorers expected to discover the same in North America . What they found instead were small , disparate communities , many already ravaged by European diseases brought by the Spanish and transmitted among the Native peoples . Rather than gold and silver , there was an abundance of land , and the timber and fur that land could produce . The Native peoples living east of the Mississippi did not construct the large and complex societies of those to the west . Because they lived in small autonomous clans or tribal units , each group adapted to the environment in which it lived Figure . These groups were by no means , and warfare among tribes was common as they sought to increase their hunting and areas . Still , these tribes shared some Access for free at .
Europe on the Brink of Change 17 common traits . A leader or group of tribal elders made decisions , and although the leader was a man , usually the women selected and counseled him . Gender roles were not as as they were in the patriarchal societies , and South America . Eastern FIGURE This map indicates the locations ofthe three Pueblo cultures the major Eastern Woodland Native tribes , and the tribes of the Southeast , as well as the location of the ancient city of . North American Indians Women typically cultivated corn , beans , and squash and harvested nuts and berries , while men hunted , and provided protection . But both took responsibility for raising children , and most major Native societies in the east were matriarchal . In tribes such as the Iroquois , and Cherokee , women had both power and . They counseled and passed on the traditions of the tribe . These complementary gender roles changed dramatically with the coming of the Europeans , who introduced , sometimes forcibly , their own customs and traditions to the natives . Clashing beliefs about land ownership and use of the environment would be the greatest area of with Europeans . Although tribes often claimed the right to certain hunting by some geographical peoples did not practice , or in general even have the concept of , private ownership of land . The European Christian worldview , on the other hand , viewed land as the source of wealth . According to the Christian Bible , God created humanity in his own image with the command to use and subdue the rest of creation , which included not only land , but also all animal life . Land , and the game that populated it , they believed , were there for the taking . Europe on the Brink of Change LEARNING OBJECTIVES By the end ofthis section , you will be able to Describe the European societies that engaged in conversion , conquest , and commerce Discuss the motives for and mechanisms of early European exploration The fall of the Roman Empire ( 476 CE ) and the beginning of the European Renaissance in the late fourteenth century roughly bookend the period we call the Middle Ages . Without a dominant centralized power or overarching cultural hub , Europe experienced political and military discord during this time . Its inhabitants retreated into walled cities , fearing marauding pillagers including Vikings , Mongols , Arabs , and . In return for protection , they submitted to powerful lords and their armies of knights . In their brief , hard lives , few people traveled more than ten miles from the place they were born .
18 The Americas , Europe , and Africa Before 1492 The Christian Church remained intact , however , and emerged from the period as a and powerful institution . Priests , tucked away in monasteries , kept knowledge alive by collecting and copying religious and secular manuscripts , often adding beautiful drawings or artwork . Social and economic devastation arrived in , however , when Genoese merchants returning from the Black Sea unwittingly brought with them a borne and highly contagious disease , known as the bubonic plague . In a few short years , it had killed many millions , about of Europe population . A different strain , spread by airborne germs , also killed many . Together these two are collectively called the Black Death ( Figure . Entire villages disappeared . A high birth rate , however , coupled with bountiful harvests , meant that the population grew during the next century . By 1450 , a newly rejuvenated European society was on the brink of tremendous change . FIGURE This image depicts the bodily swellings , or , characteristic of the Black Death . CLICK AND EXPLORE Visit to ( to learn more about the Black Death . LIFE IN FEUDAL EUROPE During the Middle Ages , most Europeans lived in small villages that consisted of a manorial house or castle for the lord , a church , and simple homes for the peasants or serfs , who made up about 60 percent of western Europe population . Hundreds of these castles and walled cities remain all over Europe ( Figure ) FIGURE One of the most beautifully preserved medieval walled cities is , France . Notice the use of a double wall . Europe feudal society was a mutually supportive system . The lords owned the land knights gave military service to a lord and carried out his justice serfs worked the land in return for the protection offered by the Access for free at .
Europe on the Brink of Change 19 lord castle or the walls of his city , into which they in times of danger from invaders . Much land was communally farmed at , but as lords became more powerful they extended their ownership and rented land to their subjects . Thus , although they were technically free , serfs were effectively bound to the land they worked , which supported them and their families as well as the lord and all who depended on him . The Catholic Church , the only church in Europe at the time , also owned vast tracts of land and became very wealthy by collecting not only tithes ( taxes consisting of 10 percent of annual earnings ) but also rents on its lands . A serf life was . Women often died in childbirth , and perhaps of children died before the age of . Without sanitation or medicine , many people perished from diseases we consider inconsequential today few lived to be older than . Entire families , usually including grandparents , lived in or hovels that were cold , dark , and dirty . A was kept lit and was always a danger to the thatched roofs , while its constant smoke affected the inhabitants health and eyesight . Most individuals owned no more than two sets of clothing , consisting of a woolen jacket or tunic and linen undergarments , and bathed only when the waters melted in spring . In an agrarian society , the seasons dictate the rhythm of life . Everyone in Europe feudal society had a job to do and worked hard . The father was the unquestioned head of the family . Idleness meant hunger . When the land began to thaw in early spring , peasants started tilling the soil with primitive wooden plows and crude rakes and hoes . Then they planted crops of wheat , rye , barley , and oats , reaping small yields that barely sustained the population . Bad weather , crop disease , or insect infestation could cause an entire village to starve or force the survivors to move to another location . Early summer saw the harvesting of hay , which was stored until needed to feed the animals in winter . Men and boys sheared the sheep , now heavy with wool from the cold weather , while women and children washed the wool and spun it into yarn . The coming of fall meant crops needed to be harvested and prepared for winter . Livestock was butchered and the meat smoked or salted to preserve it . With the harvest in and the provisions stored , fall was also the time for celebrating and giving thanks to God . Winter brought the people indoors to weave yarn into fabric , sew clothing , thresh grain , and keep the going . Everyone celebrated the birth of Christ in conjunction with the winter solstice . THE CHURCH AND SOCIETY After the fall of Rome , the Christian in dogma but divided into western and eastern the only organized institution in medieval Europe . In 1054 , the eastern branch of Christianity , led by the Patriarch of Constantinople ( a title that because roughly equivalent to the western Church pope ) established its center in Constantinople and adopted the Greek language for its services . The western branch , under the pope , remained in Rome , becoming known as the Roman Catholic Church and continuing to use Latin . Following this split , known as the Great Schism , each branch of Christianity maintained a strict organizational hierarchy . The pope in Rome , for example , oversaw a huge bureaucracy led by cardinals , known as princes of the church , who were followed by archbishops , bishops , and then priests . During this period , the Roman Church became the most powerful international organization in western Europe . Just as agrarian life depended on the seasons , village and family life revolved around the Church . The sacraments , or special ceremonies of the Church , marked every stage of life , from birth to maturation , marriage , and burial , and brought people into the church on a regular basis . As Christianity spread throughout Europe , it replaced pagan and animistic views , explaining supernatural events and forces of nature in its own terms . A benevolent God in heaven , creator of the universe and beyond the realm of nature and the known , controlled all events , warring against the force of darkness , known as the Devil or Satan , here on earth . Although ultimately defeated , Satan still had the power to trick humans and cause them to commit evil or sin . All events had a spiritual connotation . Sickness , for example , might be a sign that a person had sinned , while crop failure could result from the villagers not saying their prayers . Penitents confessed their sins to the priest , who absolved them and assigned them penance to atone for their acts and save themselves from eternal
20 The Americas , Europe , and Africa Before 1492 damnation . Thus the parish priest held enormous power over the lives of his parishioners . Ultimately , the pope decided all matters of theology , interpreting the will of God to the people , but he also had authority over temporal matters . Because the Church had the ability to excommunicate people , or send a soul to hell forever , even monarchs feared to challenge its power . It was also the seat of all knowledge . Latin , the language of the Church , served as a unifying factor for a continent of isolated regions , each with its own dialect in the early Middle Ages , nations as we know them today did not yet exist . The mostly illiterate serfs were thus dependent on those literate priests to read and interpret the Bible , the word of God , for them . CHRISTIANITY ENCOUNTERS ISLAM The year 622 brought a new challenge to . Near Mecca , Saudi Arabia , a prophet named Muhammad received a revelation that became a cornerstone of the Islamic faith . The Koran contained his message , monotheism but identifying Christ not as God but as a prophet like Moses , Abraham , David , and Muhammad . Following Muhammad death in 632 , Islam spread by both conversion and military conquest across the Middle East and Asia Minor to India and northern Africa , crossing the Straits of Gibraltar into Spain in the year 711 Figure . I ' manna . ANDALUSIA ma . a um . i ' mum The Spread of Islam . Military Wider Muhammad 5224532 FIGURE In the seventh and eighth centuries , Islam spread quickly across North Africa and into the Middle East . The religion arrived in Europe via Spain in 711 and remained there until 1492 , when Catholic monarchs reconquered the last of territory after a long war . The Islamic conquest of Europe continued until 732 . Then , at the Battle of Tours ( in modern France ) Charles Martel , nicknamed the Hammer , led a Christian force in defeating the army of Abdul . Muslims , however , retained control of much of Spain , where Cordoba , known for leather and wool production , became a major center of learning and trade . By the eleventh century , a major Christian holy war called the , or reconquest , had begun to slowly push Muslims from Spain . With the start of the Crusades , the wars between Christians and Muslims for domination of the Holy Land ( the Biblical region of Palestine ) Christians in Spain and around Europe began to see the as part of a larger religious struggle with Islam . CLICK AND EXPLORE Visit to ( crusades ) to read a personal account of the Crusades . JERUSALEM AND THE CRUSADES The city of Jerusalem is a holy site for Jews , Christians , and Muslims . It was here King Solomon built the Temple in the tenth century . It was here the Romans Jesus in 33 CE , and from here , Christians maintain , he ascended into heaven , promising to return . From here , Muslims believe , Muhammad traveled to heaven in 621 to receive instructions about prayer . Thus claims on the area go deep , and emotions about it run high , among followers of all three faiths . Evidence exists that the three religions lived in harmony for centuries . Access for free at .
Europe on the Brink of Change 21 In 1095 , however , European Christians decided not only to retake the holy city from the Muslim rulers but also to conquer what they called the Holy Lands , an area that extended from Turkey in the north along the Mediterranean coast to the Sinai Peninsula and that was also held by Muslims . The Crusades had begun . Religious zeal motivated the knights participated in the four Crusades . Adventure , the chance to win land and a title , and the Church promise wholesale forgiveness of sins also motivated many . The Crusaders , mostly French knights , retook Jerusalem in June 1099 amid slaughter . A French writer who accompanied them recorded this eyewitness account On the top of Solomon Temple , to which they had climbed in , many were shot to eath with arrows and cast down headlong from the roof . Within this Temple , about ten thousand were beheaded . Ifyou had been there , your feet would have been stained up to the ankles with the blood of the slain . Wha more shall I tell ?
Not one of them was allowed to live . They did not spare the women and children . A Mus im eyewitness also described how the conquerors stripped the temple of its wealth and looted private homes . In 1187 , under the legendary leader Sa , Muslim forces took back the city . Reaction from Europe was swift as King Richard I of England , the Lionheart , joined others to mount yet another action . The battle for the Holy Lands did not conclude until the Crusaders lost their Mediterranean stronghold at Acre ( in Israel ) in 1291 and the last of the Christians le the area a few years later . The Crusades had lasting effects , both positive and negative . On the negative side , the persecution of Jews began . Christians classed them with the Muslims and labeled them the killers of Christ . In the coming centuries , kings ei her expelled Jews from their kingdoms or forced them to pay heavy tributes for the privilege of remaining . hatred also festered , and intolerance grew . On the positive side , maritime trade between East and West expanded . As Crusaders experienced the feel of silk , the taste of spices , anc the utility of porcelain , desire for these products created new markets for merchants . In particular , the Adriatic port city of Venice prospered enormously from trade with Islamic merchants . Merchants ships brought Europeans valuable goods , traveling between the port cities of western Europe and the East from tenth century on , along routes collectively labeled the Silk Road . From the days of the early adventurer Marco Polo , Venetian sailors had traveled to ports on the Black Sea and established their own colonies along the Mediterranean Coast . However , transporting goods along the old Silk Road was costly , slow , and Muslim middlemen collected taxes as the goods changed hands . Robbers waited to ambush the caravans . A direct water route to the East , cutting out the land portion of the trip , had to be found . As well as seeking a water passage to the wealthy cities in the East , sailors wanted to a route to the exotic and weal hy Spice Islands in Indonesia , whose location was kept secret by Muslim rulers . Longtime rivals of Venice , the merchants of Genoa and Florence also looked west . THE IBERIAN PENINSULA Although Norse explorers such as Leif , the son of Eric the Red who settled Greenland , had reached Canada roughly hundred years prior to Christopher Columbus voyage , it was explorers sailing for Portugal and Spain who traversed the Atlantic throughout the century and ushered in an unprecedented age of exploration and permanent contact with North America . Located on the extreme western edge of Europe , Portugal , with its port city , soon became the center for merchants desiring to undercut the Venetians hold on trade . With a population of about one million and supported by its ruler Prince Henry , whom historians call the Navigator , this independent kingdom fostered exploration of and trade with western Africa . Skilled shipbuilders and navigators who took advantage of maps from all over Europe , Portuguese sailors used triangular sails and built lighter vessels called caravels that could sail down the African coast . Just to the east of Portugal , King Ferdinand of married Queen Isabella in 1469 , uniting two of the most powerful independent kingdoms on the Iberian peninsula and laying the foundation for the modern nation of Spain . Isabella , motivated by strong religious zeal , was instrumental in beginning the Inquisition in
22 The Americas , Europe , and Africa Before 1492 1480 , a brutal campaign to root out Jews and Muslims who had seemingly converted to Christianity but secretly continued to practice their faith , as well as other heretics . This powerful couple ruled for the next years , centralizing authority and funding exploration and trade with the East . One of their daughters , Catherine of , became the wife of King Henry VIII of England . AMERICANA Motives for European Exploration Historians generally recognize three motives for European , glory , and gold . Particularly in the strongly Catholic nations of Spain and Portugal , religious zeal motivated the rulers to make converts and retake land from the Muslims . Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal described his great desire to make increase in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ and to bring him all the souls that should be saved . Sailors tales about fabulous monsters and fantasy literature about exotic worlds with gold , silver , and jewels captured the minds of men who desired to explore these lands and return with untold wealth and the glory of adventure and discovery . They sparked the imagination of merchants like Marco Polo , who made the long and dangerous trip to the realm of the great Mongol ruler Kublai Khan in 1271 . The story of his trip , printed in a book entitled Travels , inspired Columbus , who had a copy in his possession during his voyage more than two hundred years later . Passages such as the following , which describes China imperial palace , are typical of the Travels You must know that it is the greatest Palace that ever was . The roof is very lofty , and the walls of the Palace are all covered with gold and silver . They are also adorned with representations of dragons sculptured and gilt , beasts and birds , knights and idols , and sundry other subjects . And on the ceiling too you see nothing but gold and silver and painting . On each ofthe four sides there is a great marble staircase leading to the top of the marble wall , and forming the approach to the Palace . The hall ofthe Palace is so large that it could easily dine people and it is quite a marvel to see how many rooms there are besides . The building is altogether so vast , so rich , and so beautiful , that no man on earth could design anything superior to it . The outside ofthe roof also is all colored with vermilion and yellow and green and blue and other hues , which are with a varnish so and exquisite that they shine like crystal , and lend a resplendent lustre to the Palace as seen for a great way round . This roof is made too with such strength and solidity that it is to last forever . Why might a travel account like this one have influenced an explorer like Columbus ?
What does this tell us about European explorers motivations and goals ?
The year 1492 witnessed some of the most events of Ferdinand and Isabella reign . The couple oversaw the expulsion of North African Muslims ( Moors ) from the Kingdom of Granada , bringing the nearly to an end . In this same year , they also ordered all unconverted Jews to leave Spain . Also in 1492 , after six years of lobbying , a Genoese sailor named Christopher Columbus persuaded the monarchs to fund his expedition to the Far East . Columbus had already pitched his plan to the rulers of Genoa and Venice without success , so the Spanish monarchy was his last hope . Christian zeal was the prime motivating factor for Isabella , as she imagined her faith spreading to the East . Ferdinand , the more practical of the two , hoped to acquire wealth from trade . Most educated individuals at the time knew the earth was round , so plan to reach the East by sailing west was plausible . Though the calculations of Earth circumference made by the Greek geographer Eratosthenes in the second century were known ( and , as we now know , nearly accurate ) most scholars did not believe they were dependable . Thus Columbus would have no way of knowing when he had traveled far enough around the Earth to reach his in fact , Columbus greatly underestimated the Earth Access for free at .
West Africa and the Role of Slavery 23 circumference . In August 1492 , Columbus set sail with his three small caravels ( Figure ) After a voyage of about three thousand miles lasting six weeks , he landed on an island in the Bahamas named by the native . He promptly christened it San Salvador , the name it bears today . FIGURE Columbus sailed in three caravels such as these . The Santa Maria , his largest , was only 58 feet long . West Africa and the Role of Slavery LEARNING OBJECTIVES At the end of this section , you will be able to Locate the major West African empires on a map Discuss the roles of Islam and Europe in the slave trade It is to generalize about West Africa , which was linked to the rise and diffusion of Islam . This geographical unit , central to the rise of the Atlantic World , stretches from to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and encompasses lush rainforests along the equator , savannas on either side of the forest , and much drier land to the north . Until about 600 CE , most Africans were . Where water was too scarce for farming , herders maintained sheep , goats , cattle , or camels . In the more heavily wooded area near the equator , farmers raised yams , palm products , or plantains . The savanna areas yielded rice , millet , and sorghum . Africans had little experience in maritime matters . Most of the population lived away from the coast , which is connected to the interior by main Senegal , Gambia , Niger , Volta , and Congo . Although there were large trading centers along these rivers , most West Africans lived in small villages and with their extended family or their clan . Wives , children , and dependents ( including enslaved people ) were a sign of wealth among men , and polygyny , the practice of having more than one wife at a time , was widespread . In time of need , relatives , however far away , were counted upon to assist in supplying food or security . Because of the clannish nature of African society , we was associated with the village and family members , while they included everyone else . Hundreds of separate dialects emerged in modern Nigeria , nearly hundred are still spoken . CLICK AND EXPLORE Read The Role of Islam in African ( I ) to learn more about the African slave trade .
24 The Americas , Europe , and Africa Before 1492 THE MAJOR AFRICAN EMPIRES Following the death of the prophet Muhammad in 632 CE , Islam continued to spread quickly across North Africa , bringing not only a unifying faith but a political and legal structure as well . As lands fell under the control of Muslim armies , they instituted Islamic rule and legal structures as local chieftains converted , usually under penalty of death . Only those who had converted to Islam could rule or be engaged in trade . The major empire to emerge in West Africa was the Empire Figure ) By 750 , the farmers of the had become wealthy by taxing the trade that passed through their area . For instance , the Niger River basin supplied gold to the and Arab traders from west of the Nile Valley , who brought cloth , weapons , and manufactured goods into the interior . Huge salt mines supplied the mineral to the Mediterranean coast of Africa and inland areas . By 900 , the monotheistic Muslims controlled most of this trade and had converted many of the African ruling elite . The majority of the population , however , maintained their tribal animistic practices , which gave living attributes to nonliving objects such as mountains , rivers , and wind . Because king controlled the gold supply , he was able to maintain price controls and afford a strong military . Soon , however , a new kingdom emerged . African Empires Prior to 1500 CE . Empire Mali ' Green Benin Emma Emma Gleam Empire Caliphate FIGURE This map shows the general locations of major West African empires before 1492 . Mediterranean coast , Muslim states prevailed . By 1200 CE , under the leadership of Keita , Mali had replaced as the leading state in West Africa . After rule , the court converted to Islam , and Muslim scribes played a large part in administration and government . Miners then discovered huge new deposits of gold east of the Niger River . By the fourteenth century , the empire was so wealthy that while on a hajj , or pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca , Mali ruler Musa gave away enough gold to create serious price in the cities along his route . Timbuktu , the capital city , became a leading Islamic center for education , commerce and the slave trade . Meanwhile , in the east , the city of Gao became increasingly strong under the leadership of Ali and soon eclipsed Mali power Timbuktu sought Ali assistance in repelling the from the north . By 1500 , however , the empire of had eclipsed Mali , where weak and ineffective leadership prevailed . THE ROLE OF SLAVERY The institution of slavery is not a recent phenomenon . Most civilizations have practiced some form of human bondage and servitude , and African empires were no different ( Figure ) Famine or fear of stronger enemies might force one tribe to ask another for help and give themselves in a type of bondage in exchange . Similar to the European serf system , those seeking protection , or relief from starvation , would become the Access for free at .
West Africa and the Role of Slavery 25 servants of those who provided relief . Debt might also be worked off through a form of servitude . Typically , these servants became a part of the extended tribal family . There is some evidence of chattel slavery , in which people are treated as personal property to be bought and sold , in the Nile Valley . It appears there was a trade route through the Sahara that brought Africans to Rome , which had enslaved people from all over the world . FIGURE Traders with a group of enslaved people connected at the neck . Muslim traders brought enslaved people to the North African coast , where they might be sent to Europe or other parts of Africa . Arab slave trading , which exchanged enslaved people for goods from the Mediterranean , existed long before Islam spread across North Africa . Muslims later expanded this trade and enslaved not only Africans but also Europeans , especially from Spain , Sicily , and Italy . Male captives were forced to build coastal and serve as enslaved galley people . Women were added to the harem . The major European slave trade began with Portugal exploration of the west coast of Africa in search of a trade route to the East . By 1444 , enslaved people were being brought from Africa to work on the sugar plantations of the Madeira Islands , off the coast of modern Morocco . The slave trade then expanded greatly as European colonies in the New World demanded an number of workers for the extensive plantations growing tobacco , sugar , and eventually rice and cotton ( Figure ) NORTH AMERICA ASIA Stains . lily I ma am Am lulu ' St ' Jamaica . a am AFRICA wa can scum AMERICA Aim ' I ha ! am Alma mums 34 mom The African Slave Trade FIGURE This map shows the routes that were used in the course of the slave trade and the number of enslaved people who traveled each route . As the indicate , most enslaved African were bound for Brazil and the Caribbean . While West Africans made up the vast majority of the enslaved , the east coast of Africa , too , supplied
26 The Americas , Europe , and Africa Before 1492 enslaved people for the trade . In the New World , the institution of slavery assumed a new aspect when the mercantilist system demanded a permanent , and plentiful labor supply . Enslaved Africans were both easily ( by their skin color ) and plentiful , because of the thriving slave trade . This led to a slavery system in the New World unlike any bondage system that had come before . Initially , the Spanish tried to force Native people to farm their crops . Most Spanish and Portuguese settlers coming to the New World were gentlemen and did not perform physical labor . They came to serve God , but also to get rich , as noted by Diaz del Castillo . However , enslaved natives tended to sicken or die from disease or from the overwork and cruel treatment they were subjected to , and so the indigenous peoples proved not to be a dependable source of labor . Although he later repented of his ideas , the great defender of the Native peoples , de Las Casas , seeing the near extinction of the native population , suggested the Spanish send Black ( and White ) laborers to the Indies . These workers proved hardier , and within years , a change took place The of the African slave trade , coupled with the seemingly limitless number of potential enslaved people and the Catholic denunciation of the enslavement of Christians , led race to become a dominant factor in the institution of slavery . In the English colonies along the Atlantic coast , indentured servants initially the need for labor in the North , where family farms were the norm . In the South , however , crops such as tobacco , rice , and indigo prevailed , and eventually the supply of indentured servants was to meet the demand . These workers served only for periods of three to seven years before being freed a more permanent labor supply was needed . Thus , whereas in Africa permanent , inherited slavery was unknown , and children of those bound in slavery to the tribe usually were free and intermarried with their captors , this changed in the Americas slavery became permanent , and children born to enslaved people became enslaved . This development , along with slavery with race , forever changed the institution and shaped its unique character in the New World . AMERICANA The Beginnings of Racial Slavery Slavery has a long history . The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle posited that some peoples were homunculi , or humanlike but not really instance , ifthey did not speak Greek . Both the Bible and the Koran have passages that address the treatment of enslaved people . Vikings who raided from Ireland to Russia brought back enslaved people of all nationalities . Duringthe Middle Ages , traders from the interior of Africa brought enslaved people along routes to sell them along the Mediterranean coast . Initially , slavers also brought enslaved Europeans to the Caribbean . Many of these were orphaned or homeless children captured in the cities of Ireland . The question is , when did slavery become based on race ?
This appears to have developed in the New World , with the introduction of crops such as sugar and coffee . Unable to their growing need from the ranks of prisoners or indentured servants , the European colonists turned to African laborers . The Portuguese , although seeking a trade route to India , also set up forts along the West African coast for the purpose of exporting people to Europe . Historians believe that by the year percent of the population of Lisbon and Seville consisted of Black enslaved people . Because of the influence ofthe Catholic Church , which frowned on the enslavement of Christians , European slave traders expanded their reach down the coast of Africa . When Europeans settled Brazil , the Caribbean , and North America , they thus established a system of racially based slavery . Here , the need for a massive labor force was greater than in western Europe . The land was ripe for growing sugar , coffee , rice , and ultimately cotton . To the demand for these crops , large plantations were created . The success of these plantations depended upon the availability of a permanent , plentiful , and skilled labor supply . As Africans were already familiar with animal husbandry as well as Access for free at .
West Africa and the Role of Slavery ' farming , had an identifying skin color , and could be readily supplied by the existing African slave trade , they proved the answer to this need . This process set the stage for the expansion of New World slavery into North America .
28 Key Terms Key Terms an ancient land bridge linking Asia and North America Black Death two strains of the bubonic plague that simultaneously swept western Europe in the fourteenth century , causing the death of nearly half the population Incan relay runners used to send messages over great distances chattel slavery a system of servitude in which people are treated as personal property to be bought and sold Aztec gardens consisting of a large barge woven from reeds , with dirt and on the water , allowing for irrigation Crusades a series of military expeditions made by Christian Europeans to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims in the eleventh , twelfth , and thirteenth centuries feudal society a social arrangement in which serfs and knights provided labor and military service to noble lords , receiving protection and land use in return Inquisition a campaign by the Catholic Church to root out heresy , especially among converted Jews and Muslims Koran the sacred book of Islam , written by the prophet Muhammad in the seventh century matriarchy a society in which women have political power mita the Incan labor tax , with each family donating time and work to communal projects polygyny the practice of taking more than one wife quipu an ancient Incan device for recording information , consisting of variously colored threads knotted in different ways Spain nearly holy war against Islam , which ended in 1492 serf a peasant tied to the land and its lord Summary The Americas Great civilizations had risen and fallen in the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans . In North America , the complex Pueblo societies including the , and Anasazi as well as the city at had peaked and were large memories . The Eastern Woodland peoples were thriving , but they were soon overwhelmed as the number of English , French , and Dutch settlers increased . and America had also witnessed the rise and fall of cultures . The Mayan population centers were largely empty . In 1492 , however , the Aztecs in Mexico City were at their peak . Subjugating surrounding tribes and requiring tribute of both humans for and goods for consumption , the island city of was the hub of an commercial center and the equal of any large European city until Cor destroyed it . Further south in Peru , the Inca linked one of the largest empires in history through the use of roads and disciplined armies . Without the use of the wheel , they cut and fashioned stone to build Machu high in the Andes before abandoning the city for unknown reasons . Thus , depending on what par of the New World they explored , the Europeans encountered peoples that diverged widely in their cultures , traditions , and numbers . Europe on the Brink of Change One effect of the es was that a larger portion of western Europe became familiar with the goods of the East . A lively trade subsequently developed along a variety of routes known collectively as the Silk Road to supply the demand for hese products . Brigands and greedy middlemen made the trip along this route expensive and dangerous . By 1492 , from the Black Death and in search of new products and new anxious to improve trade and communications with the rest of the world . Venice and Genoa led the way in trading with the East . The lure of pushed explorers to seek new trade routes to the Spice Islands and eliminate Muslim middlemen . Access for free at .
Review Questions 29 Portugal , under the leadership of Prince Henry the Navigator , attempted to send ships around the continent of Africa . Ferdinand of and Isabella of Castile hired Columbus to a route to the East by going west . As strong supporters of the Catholic Church , they sought to bring Christianity to the East and any newly found lands , as well as hoping to sources . West Africa and the Role of Slavery Before 1492 , Africa , like the Americas , had experienced the rise and fall of many cultures , but the continent did not develop a centralized authority structure . African peoples practiced various forms of slavery , all of which differed from the racial slavery that ultimately developed in the New World . After the arrival of Islam and before the Portuguese came to the coast of West Africa in 1444 , Arabs and Berbers controlled the slave trade out of Africa , which expanded as European powers began to colonize the New World . Driven by a demand for labor , slavery in the Americas developed a new form It was based on race , and the status of slave was both permanent and inherited . Review Questions . Which of the following Native peoples built homes in cliff dwellings that still exist ?
Anasazi . Cherokee Aztec . Which culture developed the writing system in the Western Hemisphere ?
Maya . A Cherokee . Anasazi . Wha were the major differences between the societies of the Aztec , Inca , and Maya and the Native peoples of North America ?
The series of attempts by Christian armies to retake the Holy Lands from Muslims was known as he Crusades he he Black Death he Silk Road . became wealthy trading with the East . Rome Venice 30 10 . 11 . Critical Thinking Questions In 1492 , the Spanish forced these two religious groups to either convert or leave . Jews and Muslims Christians and Jews Protestants and Muslims Catholics and Jews How did European feudal society operate ?
How was this a mutually supportive system ?
Why did Columbus believe he could get to the Far East by sailing west ?
What were the problems with this plan ?
The city of became a leading center for Muslim scholarship and trade . Cairo Timbuktu Morocco Mali Which of the following does a form of slavery traditionally practiced in Africa ?
a system in which those in need of supplies or protection give themselves in servitude a system in which debtors repay those whom they owe by giving themselves in servitude a system in which people are treated as is , as personal property to be bought and sold a system in which people are enslaved permanently on account of their race Critical Thinking Questions 12 . 13 . 14 . 15 . 16 . The Inca were able to control an empire that stretched from modern Colombia to southern Chile . Which of their various means for achieving such control do you think were most effective , and why ?
did the , Aztec , Inca , Maya , and North American Natives differ in their ways of life and cultural achievements ?
How did their particular , history , or the accomplishments of the societies that had preceded them , for to shape their particular traditions and cultures ?
What were the lasting effects of the Crusades ?
In what ways did they provide negative and encounters and exchanges ?
Was race with slavery before the era of European exploration ?
Why or why not ?
did slavery association with race change the institution character ?
What are the differences between the types of slavery traditionally practiced in Africa and the slavery that developed in the New World ?
did other types of servitude , such as European serfdom , compare to slavery ?
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