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  • American Civil War From Sumter to Surrender at Appomattox
    members of the labor force and also once the railroad network was complete produced wool and grain that undersold the products of the poor New England hill country The West too developed a strong sectional feeling blending its sense of its uniqueness its feeling of being looked down upon as raw and uncultured and its awareness that it was being exploited by the businessmen of the East The most conspicuous and distinctive section however was the South an area set apart by climate by a plantation system designed for the production of such staple crops as cotton tobacco and sugar and especially by the persistence of Negro slavery which had been abolished or prohibited in all other parts of the United States It should not be thought that all or even most white Southerners were directly involved in the section s peculiar institution Indeed in 1850 there were only 347 525 slaveholders in a total white population of about 6 000 000 in the slave states Half of these owned four slaves or fewer and could not be considered planters In the entire South there were fewer than 1 800 persons who owned more than 100 slaves Nevertheless slavery did give a distinctive tone to the whole pattern of Southern life If the large planters were few they were also wealthy prestigious and powerful often they were the political as well as the economic leaders of their section and their values pervaded every stratum of Southern society Far from opposing slavery small farmers thought only of the possibility that they too might with hard work and good fortune some day join the ranks of the planter class to which they were closely connected by ties of blood marriage and friendship Behind this virtually unanimous support of slavery lay the universal belief shared by many whites in the North and West as well that blacks were an innately inferior people who had risen only to a state of barbarism in their native Africa and who could live in a civilized society only if disciplined through slavery Though by 1860 there were in fact about 250 000 free blacks in the South most Southern whites resolutely refused to believe that the slaves if freed could ever coexist peacefully with their former masters With shuddering horror they pointed to an insurrection of blacks that had occurred in Santo Domingo to a brief slave rebellion led by the Negro Gabriel in Virginia in 1800 to a plot of Charleston S C blacks headed by Denmark Vesey in 1822 and especially to a bloody and determined Virginia insurrection led by Nat Turner in 1831 as evidence that black persons had to be kept under iron control Facing increasing opposition to slavery outside their section Southerners developed an elaborate proslavery argument defending the institution on biblical economic and sociological grounds A decade of political crises In the early years of the republic sectional differences had existed but it had been possible to reconcile or ignore them because distances were great communication was difficult and the powerless national government had almost nothing to do The revolution in transportation and communication however eliminated much of the isolation and the victory of the United States in its brief war with Mexico left the national government with problems that required action Missouri Compromise Compromises over extension of slavery into the territories Popular sovereignty The Compromise of 1850 was an uneasy patchwork of concessions to all sides that began to fall apart as soon as it was enacted Most unsatisfactory of all in the long run would be the principle of popular sovereignty which was bound to make of each territory a battleground where the supporters of the South would contend with the defenders of the North and West The seriousness of those conflicts became clear in 1854 when Stephen A Douglas introduced his Kansas bill in Congress establishing a territorial government for the vast region that lay between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains In the Senate the bill was amended to create not one but two territories Kansas and Nebraska from the part of the Louisiana Purchase from which the Missouri Compromise of 1820 had forever excluded slavery Douglas who was unconcerned over the moral issue of slavery and desirous of getting on with the settling of the West and the construction of a transcontinental railroad knew that the Southern senators would block the organization of Kansas as a free territory The Southerners recognizing that the North and West had outstripped their section in population and hence in the House of Representatives clung desperately to an equality of votes in the Senate and were not disposed to welcome any new free territories which would inevitably become additional free states Accordingly Douglas thought that the doctrine of popular sovereignty which had been applied to the territories gained from Mexico would avoid a political contest over the Kansas territory it would permit Southern slaveholders to move into the area but since the region was unsuited for plantation slavery it would inevitably result in the formation of additional free states His bill therefore allowed the inhabitants of the territory self government in all matters of domestic importance including the slavery issue This provision in effect allowed the territorial legislatures to mandate slavery in their areas and was directly contrary to the Missouri Compromise With the backing of President Franklin Pierce served 1853 57 Douglas bullied wheedled and bluffed congressmen into passing his bill Polarization over slavery Northern sensibilities were outraged Disliking slavery Northerners had made few efforts to change the South s peculiar institution so long as the republic was loosely articulated Indeed when William Lloyd Garrison began his Liberator in 1831 urging the immediate and unconditional emancipation of all slaves he had only a tiny following and a few years later he had actually been mobbed in Boston But with the sections perforce being drawn closely together Northerners could no longer profess indifference to the South and its institutions Sectional

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  • America On The Eve Of Invasion
    commoners made a similar promise if the nobles could bring victory The conquest of Azcapotzalco assured the position of the nobility Moreover the ruler of Tenochtitlan emerged from this process no longer as a spokesman for a general council but as a supreme ruler with wide powers Succeeding rulers expanded that power and the boundaries of Aztec control Moctezuma I 1440 1469 conquered areas around the central plateau Under his brother Ahuitzotl 1486 1502 the empire reached its greatest extent from coast to coast and with some subject areas far to the south although the Tarascan kingdom to the northwest remained independent Moctezuma II 1502 1520 consolidated the conquest of central Mexico and although a few independent states remained within central Mexico Aztec domination extended from the Tarascan frontier southward to the Maya area Subject peoples were forced to pay tribute surrender lands and sometimes do military service for the growing Aztec Empire Whatever the official explanation of events it seems clear that Aztec society had been transformed in the process of expansion and conquest From a loose association of clans the Mexica had become a stratified society under the authority of a supreme ruler of great power A central figure in these changes was Tlacaelel a man who served as a sort of prime minister and advisor under three rulers from 1427 to his death around 1480 Under his direction the histories were rewritten and the Mexica were given a self image as a people chosen to serve the gods Human sacrifice long a part of Mesoamerican religion was greatly expanded under his direction into a cult of enormous proportions in which the military class played a central role as suppliers of war captives to be used as sacrificial victims Supposedly at the dedication of the great temple during the reign of Ahuitzotl over 10 000 victims were put to death It was also a policy of Tlacaelel to leave a few territories unconquered so that periodic flower wars could be staged in which both sides could obtain captives for sacrifice Whatever the religious motivations of this cult Tlacaelel and the Aztec rulers manipulated it as an effective means of political terror By the time of Moctezuma II the Aztec state was dominated by a king who represented civil power and served as a representative of the gods on earth The cult of human sacrifice and conquest was united with the political power of the ruler and the nobility Religion And The Ideology Of Conquest Aztec religion incorporated many features that had long been part of the Mesoamerican system of beliefs Religion was a vast uniting and sometimes oppressive force in which little distinction was made between the world of the gods and the natural world The traditional deities of Mesoamerica the gods of rain fire water corn the sky and the sun many of whom were worshiped as far back as the time of Teotihuacan were known and venerated among the Aztecs There were at least 128 major deities but the number of gods in fact seemed innumerable for often each deity had a female consort or feminine form This was because a basic duality was recognized in all things Moreover gods might have different forms or manifestations somewhat like the avatars of the Hindu deities Often each god had at least five aspects each associated with one of the cardinal directions and the center Certain gods were thought to be the patrons of specific cities ethnic groups or occupations It was an extensive pantheon supported by a round of yearly festivals and a highly complex ceremonialism that involved various forms of feasting and dancing along with penance and sacrifice This bewildering array of gods can be organized into three major themes or cults The first were the gods of fertility and the agricultural cycle such as Tlaloc or the god of rain called Chac by the Maya and the gods and goddesses of water maize and fertility Xipe Totec for example represented agricultural rebirth His cult was horrible Victims sacrificed to him were flayed and a priest then donned the skin to represent the new growth of the maize A second theme centered on the creator deities the great gods and goddesses who had brought the universe into being The story of their actions played a central role in Aztec cosmography Tonatiuh the warrior god of the sun and Tezcatlipoca the god of the night sky were among the most powerful and respected gods among the peoples of central Mexico Much of Aztec abstract and philosophical thought was devoted to the theme of creation Finally the cult of warfare and sacrifice built on the preexisting Mesoamerican traditions that had been expanding since Toltec times but which under the militaristic Aztec state became the cult of the state Huitzilopochtli the Aztec tribal patron became the central figure of this cult but it included Tezcatlipoca Tonatiuh and other gods as well The Aztecs revered the great traditional deities such as Tlaloc and Quetzalcoatl the ancient god of civilization so holy to the Toltecs but their own tribal deity Huitzilopochtli became paramount The Aztecs identified him with the old sun god and they saw him as a warrior in the daytime sky fighting to give life and warmth to the world against the forces of the night In order to carry out that struggle the sun needed strength and just as the gods had sacrificed themselves for humankind the nourishment the gods needed most was that which was most precious human life in the form of hearts and blood The great temple of Tenochtitlan was dedicated to both Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc The tribal deity of the Aztecs and the ancient agricultural god of the sedentary peoples of Mesoamerica were thus united In fact while human sacrifice had long been a part of Mesoamerican religion it had expanded considerably in the postclassic period of militarism Warrior cults and the militaristic images of jaguars and eagles devouring human hearts were characteristic of

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  • The American Revolution
    harsh new restrictions and non Anglican Protestants were still excluded from public office the Toleration Act 1689 gave all Protestants freedom of worship In 1693 when Parliament failed to renew the customary Licensing Act the country achieved practical freedom of the press Finally in the Act of Settlement in 1701 Parliament prescribed a Protestant succession to the throne and barred the monarch from declaring war removing judges or even leaving the country without parliamentary consent The Glorious Revolution permanently limited the English monarchy guaranteed important legal rights and helped popularize the ideal if not the practice of popular sovereignty For these reasons it provided a model for Locke and hope for Voltaire and Montesquieu In many respects however it was neither glorious nor revolutionary it certainly did not establish democracy for the country after 1688 continued to be governed by a minority of merchants and landowners Their control during the eighteenth century was exercised through the developing cabinet system The first two Hanoverian kings George I 1714 1727 and George II 1727 1760 were so ignorant of the English language and politics that they had to rely on chief advisors prime ministers who could maintain support in Parliament Sir Robert Walpole 1676 1745 first held this post managing a Whig political machine Walpole insisted that the entire ministry cabinet should act as a body single members who could not agree were expected to resign Later he learned the practicality of resigning with his whole cabinet when he could not command a parliamentary majority This pragmatically developed system of cabinet government and ministerial responsibility provided the constitutional machinery needed to apply the principles of 1689 permitting Parliament to assert its supremacy and still avoid awkward conflicts with royal authority Behind the cabinet was Parliament and behind Parliament was a tight aristocratic organization Membership in the House of Commons after 1711 was confined to those with high incomes from land It represented an electorate of about 6000 voters Two representatives were elected from each county by the lesser freeholders but most of these seats were filled by arrangements among the great land owning families Of more than 400 members from the boroughs or towns most were named by prominent political bosses The Duke of Newcastle for example held estates in twelve counties was Lord Lieutenant of three and literally owned seven other seats in Commons The system that filled the seats also determined votes in Parliament Here the bases of loyalty were public offices army commissions and appointments in the church Local magnates extracted all manner of concessions from the king s ministers who framed policies in accordance with the system English politics which had been so dynamic in the 1600s thus became stagnant by the end of George II s reign Conditions Favoring Revolution After 1760 While the English parliamentary system became increasingly conservative in the eighteenth century converging economic social and intellectual forces pointed in an opposite direction Sugar and slavery were transforming the European and American economies encouraging the

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  • Origins Of American Societies
    By about 6000 B C a longer well crafted point was in use for hunting not only the ancient long horned bison but also antelope and the modern bison As the climate became dryer and warmer the ice began to melt The great mammal herds diminished and some of the species disappeared The ancient Americans seem to have been particularly successful hunters and it has been argued that the disappearance of animals such as the mammoths the ancient horse the camel and the giant anteater was at least in part due to the hunters skills After all the climate changed in Eurasia as well but nowhere else in the world did the number of mammals that became extinct equal that of the Americas especially North America Little is known about the society of these early Ice Age hunters Most likely they lived in small groups or bands of 20 to 25 people following the game in a seasonal pattern Sites where the bones of the hunters kills are found indicate that these people probably hunted the mammals in large groups Kinship provided the basis of social organization and there was little specialization or hierarchy in society Age and gender were the main determinants of a person s roles and what he or she contributed to the group See Early Spearheads Early spearheads indicating the presence of human populations in the Americas by 10 000 B C were discovered at Folsom 2nd from right and Clovis center New Mexico Folsom points found in 1927 in conjunction with extinct bison species changed scientific thinking about the timing of human occupation in the New World American Diversity Over the long period of the migrations different peoples of different physical types and languages came out of Asia Some of the first migrants came into the Western Hemisphere prior to the predominance of the Mongoloid peoples in Asia Consequently there were Caucasoid and Australoid genetic features in the ancestors of the first Americans or what are sometimes called the Paleo Indians The fact that all Indians of South America are of blood type O while in Asia type B predominates indicates the diversity of physical types involved in the migration and perhaps the early date of the migration prior to the creation of the present genetic situation of Asian populations The Eskimos Inuit who genetically are most like contemporary Asians were probably the last group to migrate While there was considerable physical variation among the American Indian populations the genetic and physical similarity among them is very strong This indicates a large degree of common ancestry and a relative isolation from other human populations The variations among Indians can be attributed to adaptations and localized natural selection American Indian languages also display considerable diversity There were over 2000 languages spoken in the Americas when Europeans arrived in the 16th century While scholars differ in interpreting linguistic data there is general agreement that there were a number of language groups or parent language stocks People of

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  • Amerigo_Vespucci
    than that they did so to avenge the death of their ancestors or of their parents these people have neither King nor Lord nor do they yield obedience to any one for they live in their own liberty and how they be stirred up to go to war is this that when the enemies have slain or captured any of them his oldest kinsman rises up and goes about the highways haranguing them to go with him and avenge the death of such his kinsman and so are they stirred up by fellow feeling they have no judicial system nor do they punish the ill doer nor does the father nor the mother chastise the children and marvelously seldom or never did we see any dispute among them in their conversation they appear simple and they are very cunning and acute in that which concerns them they speak little and in a low tone they use the same articulations as we since they form their utterances either with the palate or with the teeth or on the lips 8 except that they give different names to things Many are the varieties of tongues for in every 100 leagues we found a change of language so that they are not understandable each to the other The manner of their living is very barbarous for they do not eat at certain hours and as often times as they will and it is not much of a boon to them 9 that the will may come more at midnight than by day for they eat at all hours and they eat upon the ground without a table cloth or any other cover for they have their meats either in earthen basins which they make themselves or in the halves of pumpkins they sleep in certain very large nettings made of cotton suspended in the air and although this their fashion of sleeping may seem uncomfortable I say that it is sweet to sleep in those nettings and we slept better in them than in the counterpanes They are a people smooth and clean of body because of so continually washing themselves as they do Amongst those people we did not learn that they had any law nor can they be called Moors nor Jews and they are worse than pagans because we did not observe that they offered any sacrifice nor even had they a house of prayer their manner of living I judge to be Epicurean their dwellings are in common and their houses are made in the style of huts but strongly made and constructed with very large trees and covered over with palm leaves secure against storms and winds and in some places they are of so great breadth and length that in one single house we found there were 600 souls and we saw a village of only thirteen houses where there were four thousand souls every eight or ten years they change their habitations and when asked why they did so they said it was because of the soil which from its filthiness was already unhealthy and corrupted and that it bred aches in their bodies which seemed to us a good reason their riches consist of bird s plumes of many colours or of rosaries which they make from fishbones or of white or green stones which they put in their cheeks and in their lips and ears and of many other things which we in no wise value they use no trade they neither buy nor sell In fine they live and are contended with that which nature gives them The wealth that we enjoy in this our Europe and elsewhere such as gold jewels pearls and other riches they hold as nothing and although they have them in their own lands they do not labour to obtain them nor do they value them They are liberal in giving for it is rarely they deny you anything and on the other hand liberal in asking when they shew themselves your friends When they die they use divers manners of obsequies and some they bury with water and victuals at their heads thinking that they shall have whereof to eat they have not nor do they use ceremonies of torches nor of lamentation In some other places they use the most barbarous and inhuman burial which is that when a suffering or infirm person is as it were at the last pass of death his kinsmen carry him into a large forest and attach one of those nets of theirs in which they sleep to two trees and then put him in it and dance around him for a whole day and when the night comes on they place at his bolster water with other victuals so that he may be able to subsist for four or six days and then they leave him alone and return to the village and if the sick man helps himself and eats and drinks and survives he returns to the village and his friends receive him with ceremony but few are they who escape without receiving any further visit they die and that is their sepulture and they have many other customs which for prolixity are not related They use in their sicknesses various forms of medicines 10 so different from ours that we marvelled how any one escaped for many times I saw that with a man sick of fever when it heightened upon him they bathed him from head to foot with a large quantity of cold water then they lit a great fire around him making him turn and turn again every two hours until they tired him and left him to sleep and many were thus cured with this they make use of dieting for they remain three days without eating and also of blood letting but not from the arm only from the thighs and the loins and the calf of the leg also they provoke vomiting with their herbs which are put into the mouth and they use many other remedies which it would be long to relate they are much vitiated in the phlegm and in the blood because of their food which consists chiefly of roots of herbs and fruits and fish they have no seed of wheat nor other grain and for their ordinary use and feeding they have a root of a tree from which they make flour tolerably good and they call it Iuca and another which they call Cazabi and another Ignami they eat little flesh except human flesh for your Magnificence must know that herein they are so inhuman that they outdo every custom even of beasts for they eat all their enemies whom they kill or capture as well females as males with so much savagery that merely to relate it appears a horrible thing how much more so to see it as infinite times and in many places it was my hap to see it and they wondered to hear us say that we did not eat our enemies and this your Magnificence may take for certain that their other barbarous customs are such that expression is too weak for the reality and as in these four voyages I have seen so many things diverse from our customs I prepared to write a common place book which I name Le quattro Giornate in which I have set down the greater part of the things which I saw sufficiently in detail so far as my feeble wit has allowed me which I have not yet published because I have so ill a taste for my own things that I do not relish those which I have written notwithstanding that many encourage me to publish it therein everything will be seen in detail so that I shall not enlarge further in this chapter as in the course of the letter we shall come to many other things which are particular let this suffice for the general At this beginning we saw nothing in the land of much profit except some show of gold I believe the cause of it was that we did not know the language but in so far as concerns the situation and condition of the land it could not be better we decided to leave that place and to go further on continuously coasting the shore upon which we made frequent descents and held converse with a great number of people and at the end of some days we went into a harbour where we underwent very great danger and it pleased the Holy Ghost to save us and it was in this wise We landed in a harbour where we found a village built like Venice upon the water there were about 44 large dwellings in the form of huts erected upon very thick piles and they had their doors or entrances in the style of drawbridges and from each house one could pass through all by means of the drawbridges which stretched from house to house and when the people thereof had seen us they appeared to be afraid of us and immediately drew up all the bridges and while we were looking at this strange action we saw coming across the sea about 22 canoes which are a kind of boats of theirs constructed from a single tree which came towards our boats as they had been surprised by our appearance and clothes and kept wide of us and thus remaining we made signals to them that they should approach us encouraging them will every token of friendliness and seeing that they did not come we went to them and they did not stay for us but made to the land and by signs told us to wait and that they should soon return and they went to a hill in the background and did not delay long when they returned they led with them 16 of their girls and entered with these into their canoes and came to the boats and in each boat they put 4 of the girls That we marvelled at this behavior your Magnificence can imagine how much and they placed themselves with their canoes among our boats coming to speak with us insomuch that we deemed it a mark of friendliness and while thus engaged we beheld a great number of people advance swimming towards us across the sea who came from the houses and as they were drawing near to us without any apprehension just then there appeared at the doors of the houses certain old women uttering very loud cries and tearing their hair to exhibit grief whereby they made us suspicious and we each betook ourselves to arms and instantly the girls whom we had in the boats threw themselves into the sea and the men of the canoes drew away from us and began with their bows to shoot arrows at us and those who were swimming each carried a lance held as covertly as they could beneath the water so that recognizing the treachery we engaged with them not merely to defend ourselves but to attack them vigorously and we overturned with our boats many of their almadie or canoes for so they call them we made a slaughter of them and they all flung themselves into the water to swim leaving their canoes abandoned with considerable loss on their side they went swimming away to the shore there died of them about 15 or 20 and many were left wounded and of ours 5 were wounded and all by the grace of God escaped death we captured two of the girls and two men and we proceeded to their houses and entered therein and in them all we found nothing else than two old women and a sick man we took away from them many things but of small value and we would not burn their houses because it seemed to us as though that would be a burden upon our conscience and we returned to our boats with five prisoners and betook ourselves to the ships and put a pair of irons on the feet of each of the captives except the little girls and when the night came on the two girls and one of the men fled away in the most subtle manner possible and next day we decided to quit that harbour and go further onwards we proceeded continuously skirting the coast until we had sight of another tribe distant perhaps some 80 leagues from the former tribe and we found them very different in speech and customs we resolved to cast anchor and went ashore with the boats and we saw on the beach a great number of people amounting probably to 4000 souls and when we had reached the shore they did not stay for us but betook themselves to flight through the forests abandoning their things we jumped on land and took a pathway that led to the forest and at the distance of a bow shot we found their tents where they had made very large fires and two of them were cooking their victuals and roasting several animals and fish of many kinds where we saw that they were roasting a certain animal which seemed to be a serpent save that it had not wings and was in its appearance so loathsome that we marvelled much at its savageness Thus went we on through their houses or rather tents and found many of those serpents alive and they were tied by the feet and had a cord around their snouts so that they could not open their mouths as is done in Europe with mastiff dogs so that they may not bite they were of such savage aspect that none of us dared to take one away thinking that they were poisonous they are of the bigness of a kid and in length an ell and a half 11 their feet are long and thick and armed with big claws they have a hard skin and are of various colours they have the muzzle and face of a serpent and from their snouts there rises a crest like a saw which extends along the middle of the back as far as the tip of the tail in fine we deemed them to be serpents and venomous and nevertheless those people ate them we found that they made bread out of little fishes which they took from the sea first boiling them then pounding them and making thereof a paste or bread and they baked them on the embers thus did they eat them we tried it and found that it was good they had so many other kinds of eatables and especially of fruits and roots that it would be a large matter to describe them in detail and seeing that the people did not return we decided not to touch nor take away anything of theirs so as better to reassure them and we left in the tents for them many of our things placed where they should see them and returned by night to our ships and the next day when it was light we saw on the beach an infinite number of people and we landed and although they appeared timorous towards us they took courage nevertheless to hold converse with us giving us whatever we asked of them and shewing themselves very friendly towards us they told us that those were their dwellings and that they had come hither for the purpose of fishing and they begged that we would visit their dwellings and villages because they desired to receive us as friends and they engaged in such friendship because of the two captured men whom we had with us as these were their enemies insomuch that in view of such importunity on their part holding a council we determined that 28 of us Christians in good array should go with them and in the firm resolve to die if it should be necessary and after we had been here some three days we went with them inland and at three leagues from the coast we came to a village of many people and few houses for there were no more than nine of these where we were received with such and so many barbarous ceremonies that the pen suffices not to write them down for there were dances and songs and lamentations mingled with rejoicing and great quantities of food and here we remained the night and after having been here that night and half the next day so great was the number of people who came wondering to behold us that they were beyond counting and the most aged begged us to go with them to other villages which were further inland making display of doing us the greatest honour wherefore we decided to go and it would be impossible to tell you how much honour they did us and we went to several villages so that we were nine days journeying so that our Christians who had remained with the ships were already apprehensive concerning us and when we were about 18 leagues in the interior of the land we resolved to return to the ships and on our way back such was the number of people as well men as women that came with us as far as the sea that it was a wondrous thing and if any of us became weary of the march they carried us in their nets very refreshingly and in crossing the rivers which are many and very large they passed us over by skilful means so securely that we ran no danger whatever and many of them came laden with the things which they had given us which consisted in their sleeping nets and very rich feathers many bows and arrows innumerable popinjays of

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  • The Peoples And Civilizations Of The Americas
    mobilize to protect or expand available land was a vital necessity Regional Cultures And A New Horizon By 300 B C Chavin was in decline and whatever unity the widely spread Chavin style indicated was lost The Andean world was now characterized by regional centers each with its own cultural and artistic traditions This was a period without political unity but it produced some of the Andean world s finest art Irrigated agriculture producing a wide variety of crops the domestication of llamas and related animals dense populations and hierarchical societies could be found in a number of places Some societies such as Nazca on the south coast and Moche to the north produced remarkable pottery and weaving Nazca weaving reached a high point for the Americas Discovery in the 1920s of a group of richly dressed mummies at Paracas near Nazca revealed the artistic accomplishments of these ancient weavers Over 100 colors were used and many techniques of weaving and cloth types were produced designs were often abstract The plain near Nazca is also the scene of great figures of various animals which cover many hundreds of feet and can only be seen from the air There are also great straight lines or paths that cut across the plain and seem to be oriented toward distant mountains or celestial points Why these lines and designs were drawn is unknown The Mochica state A D 200 700 in the Moche valley and on the coast to the north of Chavin mobilized workers to construct great clay brick temples residences and platforms Artisans produced gold and silver jewelry and copper tools The potters art reached a high point scenes on Mochica ceramics depict rulers receiving tribute and executing prisoners Nobles priests farmers soldiers and slaves are also portrayed in remarkably lifelike ways many vessels are quite clearly portraits of individual members of the elite The Mochica also produced a great number of extremely explicit pottery vessels showing a variety of sexual activities These scenes are almost always in a domestic setting and indicate descriptions of everyday life rather than ritual unions Moche expanded its control by conquest Mochica art contains many representations of war prisoners and taking heads as trophies There is also archeological evidence of hilltop forts and military posts Politically Moche and the other regional states seem to have been military states or chiefdoms supported by extensive irrigated agriculture and often at war Some idea of life in Moche society has been spectacularly revealed with the discovery in 1988 of the tomb of a warrior priest Buried with retainers servants and his dog this nobleman was covered with gold silver and copper ornaments fine cloth and jewelry The scenes depicted on these objects and in the pottery buried with him include scenes of captive prisoners ritual sacrifice and warfare This pattern of regional development continued until about A D 300 when two large centers Tihuanaco on the shores of Lake Titicaca and Huari farther to the north in southern

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  • The Archaic Cultures
    to the Americas continued to occupy large portions of the continents dividing in small bands and moving seasonally to take advantage of the resources These peoples sometimes were organized in larger tribes and might recognize a chief but generally their societies were organized around family groups or clans and there was little hierarchy or specialization of skills With some exceptions the material culture of these people tended to be relatively simple Peoples who had made a partial transition to agriculture lived in larger and more complex societies Here the village of 100 or 200 rather than the band of 25 was more common Men often continued to hunt or make war but women tilled the fields Agricultural techniques tended to be simple and often necessitated periodic migration when soils played out The villages of these tribes of semisedentary farmers and hunters have been found on the Brazilian coast and in the woodlands of eastern North America It was among peoples who had made a full transition to sedentary agriculture that the complex societies emerged most clearly for it was here that surplus production was most firmly established These populations could reach the millions Men shifted into agriculture forming a peasant base for a hierarchical society that might have included classes of nobles merchants and priests Strong states and even empires could result and the extraction of tribute from subject peoples and redistribution by central authority formed the basis of rule Chiefdoms And States Sedentary peoples and hunters often lived near each other and shared mutual hostility and disregard but in fact the categories of sedentary semisedentary and hunter gatherers were never clear cut and many aspects of life were shared by them all To some extent the large imperial states with highly developed religious and political systems and monumental architecture which we call civilizations such as Teotihuacan in Mexico or Chimor in Peru were variants of a widely diffused pattern the chiefdom From the Amazon to the Mississippi valley populations sometimes in the tens of thousands were governed by hereditary chieftains who ruled from central towns over a large territory including smaller towns or villages that paid tribute to the ruler The predominant town often had a ceremonial function with large temples and a priest class Beautiful pottery and other goods indicate specialization The existence of social hierarchy with a class of nobles and commoners was also a characteristic of many of the chiefdoms It is sometimes argued that in the state building societies ceremonial centers became true cities and clan or family relations were replaced by social classes The scale of the society was greater but the differences are not always so obvious Both the Aztecs and the Incas with their complex social hierarchies maintained aspects of earlier clan organization In fact in terms of social organization warfare and ceremonialism there seems to be little that differentiates the Maya city states from some of the chiefdoms in South America or southeastern North America Cahokia near St Louis an important town of the Mississippian culture c A D 1050 1200 with its great earthen mounds covering an area of five square miles probably supported a population of over 30 000 as large as the great cities of the Maya civilization A distinction between sedentary agriculturists and nomadic hunters may be more useful than the distinctions between civilized and uncivilized Building and carving in stone and thus the ability of archaeologists to reconstruct a culture seem to have become a major feature in determining the difference between a state or chiefdom and by extension between civilizations and societies that do not seem to merit the title At the same time we should recognize that the settled peoples and the hunters recognized the difference between their ways of life and when they were in contact they often shared a mutual jealousy and a hostility toward each other The Incas looked down on the peoples of the Amazonian rain forest and referred to them as chunchos or barbarians but they could never conquer these peoples They traded with them from time to time and sometimes used them as mercenaries The Aztecs called the nomads who lived to the north chichimecs which came to mean uncivilized but the Aztecs themselves may have originated as one of these groups which were constantly pushing in on the wealthier and better fed settled areas To some extent the pattern of tension between the nomad and the civilized Old World was reproduced in the Americas Mesoamerica Geographically the region of Mesoamerica is a complex patchwork of zones that is also divided vertically into cooler highlands tropical lowlands and coasts and an intermediate temperate zone These variations created a number of environments with different possibilities for human exploitation They also created a basis for trade as peoples sought to acquire goods not available locally Much trade flowed from the tropical lowlands to the cooler central plateau The long slow process of change by which the hunters and gatherers of Mexico began to settle into small villages and domesticate certain plants is poorly known Human beings were probably in Mesoamerica by 20 000 B C with men hunting the large game animals and most likely women involved in the gathering activities Beginning around 5000 B C gathering and an increasing use of plant foods eventually led to the domestication of certain plants Beans peppers avocados squash and eventually maize served as the basis of agriculture in the region Later innovations such as the introduction or development of pottery took place around 2000 B C but there was little to differentiate one small village from the next As the Shang dynasty ruled in China permanent sedentary villages based to some extent on agriculture were first beginning to appear in Mesoamerica These were small and modest settlements The lack of elaborate burials indicates that these were societies without much hierarchy or social differentiation and the uniform and simple nature of pottery and other material goods indicates a lack of craft specialization But the number of these Archaic period villages proliferated and population densities rose The Olmec Mystery Quite suddenly a new phenomenon appeared On the southeastern coast of Mesoamerica Veracruz and Tabasco without much evidence of gradual development in the archeological record a cultural tradition emerged that included irrigated agriculture monumental sculpture urbanism an elaborate religion and the beginnings of calendrical and writing systems The origin of the Olmecs remains unknown but their impressive sites at La Venta and Tres Zapotes attest to a high degree of social organization and artistic skill The major Olmec sites at San Lorenzo 1200 900 B C and La Venta 900 500 B C are in the wet tropical forests of the Gulf coast of eastern Mexico but Olmec objects and art style spread to the drier highlands of central Mexico and toward the Pacific coast to the south The Olmecs have been called the mother civilization of Mesoamerica Maize cultivation especially along the rivers provided the basis for a state ruled by a hereditary elite and in which the ceremonialism of a complex religion dominated much of life At about the time that Tutankhamen ruled in Egypt the Olmec civilization flourished in Mesoamerica The Olmecs remain a mystery Some of their monumental sculptures seem to bear Negroid features others appear to be representations of humans with feline attributes They were great carvers of jade and traded or conquered to obtain it They developed a vigesimal numerical system based on 20 and a calendar that combined a 365 day year with a 260 day ritual cycle This became the basis of all Mesoamerican calendar systems What language they spoke and what became of their civilization remain unknown but some scholars believe that they were the ancestors of the great Maya civilization that followed Olmec objects and probably Olmec influence and religious ideas spread into many areas of the highlands and lowlands creating the first generalized culture in the region By 900 B C Olmec style and symbols were widely diffused in Mesoamerica During this preclassic period c 2000 300 B C other civilizations were developing elsewhere in middle America At Monte Alban in the valley of Oaxaca the Zapotec people created a large hilltop center based on terraced and irrigated agriculture in the surrounding valley A writing system and calendar are also apparent here perhaps borrowed from the Olmecs as is considerable evidence of warfare and conquest By about A D 500 Monte Alban had become a chief ceremonial center covering over 15 square miles and including some 30 000 people Farther to the south some early Maya centers began to appear In the central valley of Mexico Olmec artistic influence could be seen in expanding communities Much of what we know about these cultures must be interpreted from their architecture and art and the symbols these contain Art and especially public art was both decorative and functional It defined the place of the individual in society and in the universe It had political and religious functions in the Americas as in many civilizations these aspects were usually united Interpreting artistic styles and symbols presents a variety of problems in the absence of written sources The diffusion of Olmec symbols is a good example of the problem Did the use of these symbols among other peoples in distant places indicate trade networks missionary activity colonies conquest or aesthetic appreciation We do not know but clearly Olmec influence was widely felt throughout the region The Classic Era After the Olmec initiative the period from about A D 150 to 900 was a great age of cultural achievement in Mesoamerica Archeologists refer to it as the classic period and during it great civilizations flourished in a number of places The two main centers of civilization were the high central valley of Mexico and the more humid tropical lands of southern Mexico Yucatan and Guatemala The Valley Of Mexico Teotihuacan In central Mexico the city of Teotihuacan near modern Mexico City emerged as an enormous urban center with important religious functions It was supported by intensive agriculture in the surrounding region and probably by crops planted around the great lake in the central valley of Mexico Teotihuacan s enormous temple pyramids rival those of ancient Egypt and suggest a considerable state apparatus with the power to mobilize large numbers of workers Population estimates for this city which covered nine square miles are as high as 200 000 This would make it greater than the cities of ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia and probably second only to ancient Rome of the cities of classical antiquity There were residential districts for certain trades and ethnic groups and there is considerable evidence of wide social distinctions between the priests nobles and the common folk The many gods of Mesoamerica still worshiped when the Europeans arrived in the 16th century were already honored at Teotihuacan The god of rain the feathered serpent the goddess of corn and the goddess of waters are all apparent in the murals and decorations that adorned the palaces and temples In fact almost all Teotihuacan art seems to be religious in nature The influence of Teotihuacan extended as far to the south as Guatemala and tribute was probably exacted from many regions Teotihuacan objects such as pottery and finely worked obsidian and Teotihuacan artistic style are found in many other areas Teotihuacan influence was strong at Monte Alban in Oaxaca Warriors dressed in the style of Teotihuacan can be found far to the south in the Maya region Teotihuacan represented either a political empire or a dominant cultural and ideological style that spread over much of central Mexico The lack of battle scenes on the walls of Teotihuacan have led some scholars to believe that the dominance of Teotihuacan led to a long period of peace maintained by the authority and power of the great city Internally the fact that the later buildings tend to be secular palaces rather than temple pyramids perhaps indicates a shift in power and orientation from religious to civil authority The Classic Maya Between about A D 300 and 900 at roughly the same time that Teotihuacan dominated the central plateau the Maya peoples were developing Mesoamerican civilization to its highest point in southern Mexico and Central America While the Tang dynasty ruled China Charlemagne created his domain in Europe and Islam spread its influence from Spain to India after the classical period had ended in the Old World a great civilization flourished in the American tropics The American classic period launched as the Old World classical civilizations were coming to an end lasted well into the next period of world history Because of the richness of the archeological records and because Maya peoples still retained many aspects of the classic period when the Spanish arrived and observed them it is possible to reconstruct the world of the classic Maya in some detail We can use the Maya as an example of the classic period in Mesoamerican development for while their civilization was distinctive it was based on some principles common to the area The Maya culture extended over a broad region that now includes parts of five different countries Mexico Guatemala Belize Honduras and El Salvador It included a number of related languages and it had considerable regional variation as can be seen in its art styles The whole region shared a common culture that included monumental architecture a written language a calendrical and mathematical system a highly developed religion and concepts of statecraft and social organization With an essentially Neolithic technology in an area of dense forests plagued by insects and often poor soils as many as 50 city states flourished How did the large classic Maya urban religious centers such as Tikal Copan Quirigua and Palenque with populations between 30 000 and 80 000 support themselves Slash and burn agriculture as practiced today in the region was not enough The classic Maya used a number of agricultural systems Evidence of irrigation swamp drainage and a system of artificially constructed ridged fields at river mouths where intensive agriculture was practiced has now appeared and seems to explain the Maya ability to support large urban centers and a total population of perhaps five million While some authorities still believe that the Maya centers were essentially ceremonial and were occupied primarily by rulers artisans and an elite it seems clear that populations concentrated in and around these centers to create a densely occupied landscape The Maya cities vary in size and layout but almost all include large pyramids surmounted by temples complexes of masonry buildings that served administrative or religious purposes elite residences a ritual ball court and often a series of altars and memorial pillars These memorial monuments or stelae were erected to commemorate triumphs and events in the lives of the Maya rulers or to mark ceremonial occasions The stelae were usually dated and inscribed with hieroglyphic script A complex calendar and a sophisticated writing system were two of the greatest Maya achievements Religion Writing And Society The calendar system and sophisticated astronomical observations were made possible by a vigesimal system of mathematics The Maya knew the concept of zero and used it in conjunction with the concept of place value or position With elegant simplicity and only signs for one five and zero they could make complex calculations As among all the Mesoamerican peoples the Maya calendar was based on a concept of recurring cycles of different length They had a sacred cycle of 260 days divided into months of 20 days within which there was a cycle of 13 numbers This ritual calendar meshed with a solar calendar of 365 days or 18 months of 20 days with a remainder of 5 dead or inauspicious days at the end of the year The two calendars operated simultaneously so any day would have two names but the particular combination of those two days would reoccur only once every 52 years Thus among the Maya and most Mesoamericans cycles of 52 years were sacred The classic Maya however differed from their neighbors in that they also kept a long count or a system of dating from a fixed date in the past This date 3114 B C by our calendar probably marked the beginning of a great cycle of 5200 years since the world was created Like other Mesoamericans and the ancient Peruvians the Maya believed in great cycles of creation and destruction of the universe The long count enabled the Maya to date events with precision The earliest recorded Maya date that survives is A D 292 and the last is A D 928 A second great Maya accomplishment was the creation of a writing system The Maya wrote on stone monuments murals and ceramics and in books of folded bark paper and deerskin only four of which survive Scribes were honored and held an important place in society Although we still cannot read many inscriptions recent advances now permit the reading of many texts The Maya written language was like Chinese and Sumerian a logographic system that combined phonetic and semantic elements With this system and about 287 symbols they were able to record and transmit complex concepts and ideas The few remaining books are religious and astronomical texts and many inscriptions on ceramics deal with the cult of the dead and with the complex Maya cosmology The Maya view of the universe was a flat earth whose cardinal points and center were each dominated by a god who supported the sky Above the sky extended 13 levels of heavens and below nine underworlds each dominated by a god Through these levels the sun and the moon also conceived as deities passed each day A basic concept of Mesoamerican dualism male and female good and bad day and night emphasized the unity of all things similar to that found in some Asian religions Thus each god often had a parallel female consort or feminine form and often an underworld equivalent

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  • ASIAN AMERICANS
    Act of 1892 extended the 1882 exclusion policy And in 1924 the National Origins Act drastically restricted immigration to the United States from all of Asia By this time the total number of Chinese in the United States had dropped to fewer than 62 000 The end of this discrimination against Asians began during World War II With China as a wartime ally in fighting Japan the 1882 exclusion act became a national embarrassment In 1943 Congress repealed the law and granted naturalization rights to foreign born Chinese Chinatowns The Chinese normally settled in communities of their peers as did most other immigrant groups They created small Chinatowns in which they opened their own stores and restaurants built temples and formed societies The most useful of the early associations were the Chinese Six Companies family or clan organizations that helped immigrants to get established These associations also governed affairs within the Chinese communities particularly in San Francisco s large Chinatown The Chinese Six Companies also served American employers as employment bureaus to hire workers Somewhat better known beyond the Chinatowns were their tongs These started out as benevolent protective associations much like the Chinese Six Companies but they were rooted in secret Chinese societies in Asia In California the tongs developed into criminal gangs each of which staked out its own territory Feuds between these gangs popularly called tong wars by outside observers began during the 1850s and lasted until the 1920s Some Chinatowns experienced a renewal of urban gang problems in the 1980s This situation was related less to tongs than to the disillusionment felt by young unemployed immigrants toward the lack of economic opportunity Japanese Americans In 1868 the first group of Japanese laborers arrived in Hawaii A year later the first Japanese settlement on the American mainland was founded the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony in Gold Hill Calif The colony failed as an enterprise within two years Thereafter there was a small but steady immigration of male Japanese mostly students to the United States Significant numbers of workers did not begin arriving until after 1890 when the Chinese Exclusion Act had been in effect for eight years By that year there were only 2 039 Japanese in the United States according to the census In the next decade about 22 000 arrived followed by 58 000 in the decade from 1901 through 1910 compared to nearly 9 million European immigrants in the same period Like the Chinese the Japanese were welcomed as laborers when they first arrived They lived in small colonies of their own especially in San Francisco and in Los Angeles after the San Francisco earthquake The Japanese also worked in similar industries the lumber camps railroads fisheries and small factories and in agriculture as farmers or migrant workers Some started small businesses Unlike the Chinese many planned to remain in the United States in spite of the denial of naturalization privileges To establish families many Japanese men sent for picture brides wives chosen through the exchange of photographs The picture marriage might be contracted after a man had asked parents relatives or friends to act as go betweens and the groom was not necessarily present for the ceremony Usually the immigrant hoped to return to Japan someday but when families were formed and roots were established returning to Japan became difficult Hardly had the Japanese established themselves on the West coast when an anti Japanese movement began As with the opposition to the Chinese it was led by California labor leaders newspapers and politicians The Asiatic Exclusion League was founded in San Francisco in 1905 A year later the city s Japanese schoolchildren were segregated from white students by the school board Protests from Japan countered by pressures from California led President Theodore Roosevelt to make a Gentlemen s Agreement with Japan in 1907 Under its terms the government of Japan stopped issuing passports to laborers Enforcement of the agreement by both nations effectively slowed Japanese immigration some 70 000 Japanese returned home in the decade that ended in 1920 The end of immigration in 1924 did not stop discrimination in California and other Western states To stem the prosperity of the hardworking Japanese the California legislature passed the first in a series of alien land laws in 1913 The law did not mention the Japanese by name but it provided that aliens ineligible for citizenship could not own land and limited leases to three years Other states followed suit and California soon closed legal loopholes In 1922 the United States Supreme Court affirmed the ban against naturalization of Japanese immigrants Hostility from the majority population forced the Japanese to live in social isolation They formed their own organizations and built their own churches and Buddhist temples They also started their own protective associations such as the Jikei Kai that was organized after the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 to provide charity for its victims By 1939 when about half of the Japanese population was American born the second generation called nisei founded the Japanese American Citizens League Its goals were to combat racism and to promote Americanism Pearl Harbor Yesterday December 7 1941 a date which will live in infamy the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan With these words President Franklin D Roosevelt opened his speech requesting a declaration of war against Japan The attack on Pearl Harbor proved disastrous for Americans of Japanese descent Anti Japanese sentiment which had been dormant quickly surfaced encouraged by political opportunists and the press It spread throughout the United States but was especially rampant on the West coast where it was feared that the Japanese navy might launch attack Japanese American residents were all viewed as potential traitors By law the foreign born Japanese were denied citizenship just as the Chinese were But their American born children were United States citizens The two groups of Japanese Americans were classified in Army

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