Chapter 16: The Americas

Created by Mathew__Ganatra 

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glacier

huge sheet of ice

Mesoamerica

region which includes lands stretching from the Valley of Mexico to Costa Rica in Central America; farming began 9,000-10,000 years ago in this region

Olmec

ancient people who lived near present-day Vera Cruz, Mexico; they built a far-reaching trading empire which began around 1200 B.C. and lasted about 800 years

Teotihuacán

the first planned city in the Americas, it had a population of between 120,000 to 200,000 people; it was known as the Place of the Gods and reached its height around A.D. 400

Maya

ancient people who built a civilization in the steamy rain forests of the Yucatán Peninsula; they traded throughout Mesoamerica; they mysteriously abandoned their cities by the A.D. 900s

Toltec

ancient people who seized what is now northern Mexico as the Maya left their cities; these warrior nomads built the city of Tula northwest of present-day Mexico City; they tightly controlled the trade in obsidian

monopoly

control of all (or almost all) trade or production of a certain good

Moche

people who lived in the dry coastal desert of what is now Peru; they ruled from about A.D. 100 to A.D. 700; they irrigated their desert homeland with water from the rivers in the Andes mountain ranges

Inca

ancient people who lived in the Andes mountain ranges of present-day Peru; they built the biggest empire in the ancient Americas

Cuzco

capital of the Inca civilization founded in A.D. 1100

Hohokam

civilization that thrived from about A.D. 300 to the mid A.D. 1300s; these people planted corn, cotton, beans, and squash between the Salt and Gila rivers; dug canals to carry water to their fields

Anasazi

people who lived in an area that is now present-day New Mexico; they lived in huge apartment-like houses carved into cliffs, called pueblos; they farmed and controlled the trade in turquoise

Cahokia

the largest Native American city near the Mississippi in what is now southwestern Illinois; they built pyramid-shaped mounds with flat tops; the largest is called Monk's Mound; largest city in Mesoamerica (pop. 30,0000

Petén

Mayan word for "flat region"; located in present-day Guatemala, these dense forests nearly blocked out the sun; it contained swamps and sinkholes which provided a year-round source of water

Tenochtitlán

one of the greatest cities in the world, it was built by the Aztecs and it served as their capital and center for trade; it was constructed on a swampy island in present-day central Mexico.[means "place of the prickly pear cactus"]

Pachacuti

the greatest Incan leader, he built the largest ancient empire in the Americas, which stretched north to south about 2,500 miles; he built the estate of Machu Picchu, located thousands of feet high in the Andes

quipu

rope with knotted cords of different lengths and colors (Inca used this)

igloo

dome-shaped home built by the Inuit

adobe

type of sun-dried mud brick

confederation

a loose union of several groups or states (type of gov.)

Iroquois

Native Americans in the Woodlands who set up a league which included five groups: Onondaga, Seneca, Mohawk, Oneida, and Cayuga; they wanted to end the fighting among themselves

Christopher Columbus

Italian sea captain who convinced Spain's rulers that he could reach Asia by sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean; he landed on an island in the Caribbean in 1492

Hispaniola

island which is present day Haiti and the Dominican Republic; Columbus landed there during his first exploration in 1492

conquistador

Spanish soldier-explorer in the Americas

Extremadura

the part of Spain known for its poor soil, blistering hot summers, and icy winters

Hernán Cortés

Spanish conquistador who, with a small army, conquered Montezuma and the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán

Montezuma II

Aztec emperor who dreamed that a huge army would one day invade the Aztec; he feared Cortés was a god coming to reclaim his land and did not immediately fight the Spanish; he was killed during later fighting

Malintzin

A Mayan woman given to Cortés by the Tabascans; she spoke both Mayan and Nahuati, the language of the Aztec; the information she gave Cortés helped him form alliances to defeat Montezuma

treason

disloyalty to the government

Francisco Pizarro

Spanish explorer who captured the Inca empire in Peru; Pizarro's conquest opened most of South America to Spanish rule; marched with Balboa; not of noble birth

Atahualpa

emperor of the Inca; Pizarro had him tried in a military court; he was sentenced to death in 1533

seek

to look for; to attempt to find

complex

complicated; involved

cooperation

group effort to work together to accomplish same purpose

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