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225 Million Years Ago

Pangaea started to break apart.

10 Million Years Ago

North America was shaped by nature - Canadian Shield

2 Million Years Ago

Great Ice Age

35,000 Years Ago

The oceans were glaciers and the sea level dropped, leaving an isthmus connecting Asia and North America. The Bering Isthmus was crossed by people going into North America.

10,000 Years Ago

Ice started to retreat and melt, raising the sea levels and covering up the Bering Isthmus.

Europeans Enter Africa

People of Europe were able to reach sub-Saharan Africa around 1450 when the Portuguese invented the caravel, a ship that should sail into the wind. This ship allowed sailors to sail back up the western coast of Africa and back to Europe. The Portuguese set up trading posts along the African beaches trading with slaves and gold, trading habits that were originally done by the Arabs and Africans. The Portuguese shipped the slaves back to Spain and Portugal where they worked on the sugar plantations.

When Worlds Collide

Possibly 3/5 of the crops cultivated around the world today originated in the Americas. Within 50 years of the Spanish arrival in Hispaniola, the Taino natives decreased from 1 million people to 200 people due to diseases brought by the Spanish. In centuries following Columbus's landing in the Americas, as much as 90% of the Indians had died due to the diseases.

The Spanish Conquistadores

In the 1500's, Spain became the dominant exploring and colonizing power. The Spanish conquerors came to the Americas in the service of God as well as in search of gold and glory. Due to the gold and silver deposits found in the New World, the European economy was transformed.The islands of the Caribbean Sea served as offshore bases for the staging of the Spanish invasion of the mainland Americas. By the 1530s in Mexico and the 1550s in Peru, colorless colonial administrators had replaced the conquistadores. Some of the conquistadores wed Indian women and had children. These offspring were known as mestizos and formed a cultural and biological bridge between Latin America's European and Indian races.

The Conquest of Mexico

In about 1519, Hernan Cortes set sail from Cuba with men and horses. Along the way, he picked up two translators - A Spanish prisoner of Mayan-speaking Indians, and an Indian slave named Malinche. The Spaniards arrived at Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital with the intention of stealing all of the gold and other riches; they were amazed by the beauty of the capitol. On June 30, 1520, the Aztecs attacked the Spanish because of the Spaniards' lust for riches. The Spanish countered, though, and took over the capital and the rest of the Aztec empire on August 13, 1521. Due to the rule of the Spanish, the Indian population in Mexico went from 20 million to 2 million in less than a century.

The Spread of Spanish America

In 1565, the Spanish built a fortress at St. Augustine, Florida to protect the sea-lanes to the Caribbean.In 1680, after the Spanish captured an area known today as New Mexico in 1609, the natives launched a rebellion known as Popes Rebellion. The natives burned down churches and killed priests. They rebuilt a kiva, or ceremonial religious chamber, on the ruins of the Spanish plaza at Santa Fe.The misdeeds of the Spanish in the New World led to the birth of the "Black Legend." This false concept stated that the conquerors just tortured and killed the Indians, stole their gold, infected them with smallpox, and left little but misery behind.

33,000-8,000 B.C.

First humans cross into Americas from Asia.

5000 B.C.

Corn is developed as a stable crop in highland Mexico.

4000 B.C.

First civilized societies develop in the Middle East.

1200 B.C.

Corn planting reaches present-day American Southwest.

1000 A.D.

Norse voyagers discover and briefly settle in northeastern North America. Corn cultivation reaches Midwest and southeastern Atlantic seaboard.

1100 A.D.

Height of Mississippian settlement at Cahokia.

1100-1300 A.D.

Christian crusades arouse European interest in the East.

1295

Marco Polo returns to Europe.

Late 1400s

Spain becomes united.

1488

Diaz rounds southern tip of Africa.

1492

Columbus lands in the Bahamas.

1494

Treaty of Tordesillas between Spain and Portugal.

1498

Da Gama reaches India. Cabot explores northeastern coast of North America for England.

1513

Balboa claims all lands touched by the Pacific Ocean for Spain.

1513, 1521

Ponce de Leon explores Florida.

1519-1521

Cortes conquers Mexico for Spain.

1522

Magellan's vessel completes circumnavigation of the world.

1524

Verrazano explores eastern seaboard of North America for France.

1532

Pizarro crushes Incas.

1534

Cartier journeys up the St. Lawrence River.

1539-1542

De Soto explores the Southeast and discovers the Mississippi River.

1540-1542

Cabrillo explores present-day Southwest.

1542

Cabrillo explores California coast for Spain.

1565

Spanish build fortress at St. Augustine.

Late 1500s

Iroquois Confederacy founded, according to Iroquois legend.

1598-1609

Spanish under Onate conquer pueblo peoples of Rio Grande valley.

1609

Spanish found New Mexico.

1680

French exploration down Mississippi River under La Salle.

1769

Serra founds first California mission, at San Diego.

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