North and South America: 1450-1750 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in North and South America: 1450-1750 Deck (33)
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What was the Iroquois Confederacy?

Founded around 1451, the Iroquois Confederacy was a loose political alliance of five Indian nations. Impressed by the wisdom of this government, Europeans referred to them as the "Romans of the New World."


What was the primary accomplishment of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama?

Vasco da Gama circumnavigated Africa in 1498, leading a fleet of Portuguese ships to India. These were the first European ships to reach India by sea.

The ability to reach India by water, instead of relying on overland routes controlled by the Turks and Mediterranean shipping controlled by the Venetians, marked a new era in world trade and contacts between civilizations. 


In 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella completed the conquest of Spain from the Moors by successfully capturing _____. 


Granada was the last outpost of the Muslims (known as Moors) in Spain, and its conquest unified all Spain under one monarchy. Its conquest allowed the Spanish monarchy to focus on other military adventures, such as the conquest of North America.


In 1492, Genoese sailor Christopher Columbus, funded by the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, sailed west from Spain. What was the purpose of Columbus's voyage?

Columbus was convinced that a western route to India existed and wanted to find it. Although he'd stumbled upon the New World, Columbus died in 1506 believing he had succeeded and that the peoples he'd named "Indians" really were inhabitants of Asia.

Contrary to legend, few in Europe believed the Earth was flat.


After Columbus established permanent contact with the New World, where did Spain focus its colonial efforts?

Spain focused primarily on conquest and expeditions under conquistadors (conquerors) who were sent from Spain to the New World. 


Which was the first large state to fall under Spanish control in the New World?

In 1521, Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztecs in modern-day Mexico. Cortés's conquistadors were only a small force, but in a brutal campaign the Aztecs were subdued, and the Aztec Empire fell.


Which Spanish conquistador completed the conquest of the Incas in 1534?

In 1534, Francisco Pizarro completed the conquest of the Incas of Peru. The Incan Empire fell rapidly, and by 1540 the Spanish held large swaths of territory in the New World.


How did contact with Europeans affect the native inhabitants of the New World? 

Indians had no resistance to European diseases, and roughly 90% of the Indian population died from diseases like smallpox. Many of the remaining Indians were enslaved to work Spanish farms and mines under the Encomienda System.

The chain of disease was not one-sided; from the New World, Spanish explorers brought syphilis back to Europe.


Historian Alfred Crosby coined a term to describe the interchange of flora, fauna, and diseases between Europe and the New World. What is that term?

Columbian Exchange

Before European contact, there were no crowd-spread diseases or domesticated animals in the New World. Hearty American crops such as corn, potatoes, and cassava were brought back to Europe, helping to alleviate food shortages there. Though Europeans didn't understand pollination, they enjoyed honey and brought European honey bees to the New World.


Encomienda System

Under the Encomienda System, the Spanish government provided grants of New World land and Indians to individual Spaniards, who were supposed to care for the Indians and convert them to Catholicism.

The system resulted in virtual slavery for the Indians consigned to Spanish care and most died from brutal treatment or disease. To replace Indian labor, Spain arranged for the importation of slaves from Africa under the Asiento System. 


During the period of Spanish colonization of the Americas, what was the Asiento System?

As the Native Americans died from disease and overwork, the Spanish turned to the Asiento System to make up for the labor shortage. Under the Asiento System, African slaves were carried to the Americas and a tax was paid to the Spanish crown for each slave imported.

The Asiento System was a forerunner of the Triangular Trade System and resulted in hundreds of thousands of slaves being brought to the New World. 


What was the Papal Line of Demarcation?

In 1493, the Pope divided the world between Portugal and Spain by drawing a line down a map of the known world, giving Spain everything west of the Papal Line of Demarcation, and Portugal everything to the east.

In the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), the Portuguese and Spaniards moved the line slightly to the west, an action which was ratified by the Pope in 1506. Since the Tordesillas line went through a portion of Brazil, the Portuguese would later claim the region.


Besides Mexico and Central and South America, what other North American locations did the Spanish colonize?

The Spanish also colonized Texas, New Mexico, Florida, and California. In California, the Spanish founded San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Father Junipero Serra planted religious missions along the California coast.


Who wrote A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies in 1542?

Bartolomé de las Casas, a Dominican friar, wrote A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies.

In it, de las Casas described the unfair and horrific treatment of the native New World populace at the hands of the Spaniards. De las Casas contended that continued cruelty would lead to divine retribution against Spain.


What is Potosí?

Potosí is a mountain in Bolivia and the location of one of the world's richest silver mines. Potosí became the major source of silver for the Spanish Empire during Spain's colonial period and funded Spain's imperial expansion.

When the supply of native workers ran low due to harsh treatment and disease, the Spaniards imported African slaves to work the mines.


Which country became the primary location of Portuguese colonization in the New World?

The Portuguese colonized Brazil, which they claimed was on their side of the Papal Line of Demarcation. The Brazilian economy was heavily dependent upon mining and plantation agriculture, both of which were labor intensive. To work these industries, the Portuguese imported large numbers of African slaves.


Who commanded the first fleet to circumnavigate the globe?

The first fleet to sail around the world was commanded by Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer who sailed under the Spanish flag.

Magellan did not live to accomplish the entire trip; he was killed in the Philippines during a battle with a native tribe.  The trip took four years, leaving in 1519 and returning to Spain in 1522.


Which European was the first to set eyes upon the Pacific Ocean?

Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Panamanian Isthmus in 1513, becoming the first European to set eyes upon the Pacific Ocean.

Balboa established the first permanent European settlement on the American mainland in modern-day Panama; previous European colonial efforts had been confined to the islands of the Caribbean.


Where did the French focus their colonial efforts?

The French colonial efforts focused on the area around the St. Lawrence River, where they founded the colony of Quebec in 1608. French exploration was dominated by the fur trade, and the French steadily moved west and south taking over most of the Great Lakes region and the entire Mississippi River basin.


What was the Northwest Passage?

The Northwest Passage was a purported sea route northwest of North America that provided a direct sailing route to Asia from Europe.

The search for an easy sea lane around the New World spurred exploration of North America by French-sponsored explorers such as John Cabot and Giovanni Verrazzano and Dutch explorers such as Henry Hudson.


Why did the Dutch form the Dutch East India Company?

The Dutch formed the Dutch East India Company to administer colonies that had been wrested from Spain in the 1590s, including much of West Africa, Sri Lanka, and parts of India. With their conquest of Indonesia in the early 1600s, the Dutch came to control much of the European trade in tea and spices, including pepper and cinnamon. 


In 1624, the Dutch purchased ______ Island on the eastern coast of North America, founding the colony of New Amsterdam.


New Amsterdam became the headquarters of the Dutch colony of New Netherland, which included a string of trading posts in the Hudson River Valley. In the mid-1600s, the English conquered the colony, renaming it and its primary city New York.


English colonization of the New World did not begin in earnest until the late 1500s. Why?

During much of the 16th century, England's attention was focused on suppressing rebellions as well as the Hundred Years' War with France.

In addition, King Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church over the issue of divorce, founding the Anglican Church. In 1585, England and Spain went to war, and England began to focus on the New World for the purpose of raiding Spanish ships. Following the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, English colonization of the New World began in earnest.


Which colony was the first permanent English outpost in the New World?

In 1607, the English established the James Fort, which eventually became Jamestown. Originally founded to search for gold, the colonists were ill-suited for agriculture and, to make matters worse, had chosen a poor location in which to settle.

The timely arrival of relief ships saved some of the colonists from starvation long enough to discover the lucrative pleasures of tobacco, which gave the colony a viable cash crop for export to England.


Which colony did English Puritans establish in the New World?

In 1620, English Puritans (known as Pilgrims) established a colony at Plymouth Bay, in modern-day Massachusetts. Religiously rigid, the Puritans sought separation from the Anglican Church and freedom to practice their religion as they saw fit.


The British founded the _____ _____ _____ _____ to manage economic and military relations with England's Asian colonies.

British East India Company

The English had conquered large amounts of territory in India and Southeast Asia, and the British East India Company was founded in 1600 to manage the economic relations between these lands and England. 


How did English, and to a lesser extent French and Dutch, colonization differ from Spanish and Portuguese colonization in North America in the 16th and 17th centuries?

The English, Dutch, and French focused more on establishing permanent settlements populated by their own settlers. The Spanish and Portuguese aimed for conquest, and their colonies consisted of only a handful of their own people, many of whom would eventually return to Europe.


How did slavery develop in British North America?

Initially, few blacks were imported into Virginia, and by 1650 there were only 400 slaves in the colony. Over the next few decades, however, Virginia landowners began growing rice and indigo in large quantities, which required large amounts of unskilled labor, and slavery increased.

Although slavery did exist in the northern parts of what would become the United States, it was really only viable on the large tobacco, rice, and cotton plantations in the American south.


indentured servitude

Under indentured servitude, a person's passage to the New World was paid in advance and in exchange for several years of labor.

Colonists, primarily in Maryland and Virginia, used indentured servants to fill labor shortages. Most indentured servants died before obtaining freedom. 


Two crops predominated in the southern English colonies. What were they?

The southern English colonies, including the Carolinas, Maryland, and Virginia, primarily grew cotton and tobacco. Both products were labor intensive, and colonists imported large labor forces of both indentured servants and slaves to work the land.