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American science after colonization

By |2018-04-08T11:21:58+00:00September 28th, 2017|Americas, Native American, North America, Science|

European trade goods (thanks to Nebraska Game and Parks Division) North American people made rapid scientific advances in the course of the 1500s AD, inspired by contacts with traders and explorers from Europe. People learned how to tame horses and ride them, and they learned how to use guns. They also began to use a [...]

Ghost Dance – Native American religion

By |2017-08-14T14:33:35+00:00August 14th, 2017|History|

Wovoka, a Paiute man By the late 1800s AD, the United States and Canadian armies forced most of the people who had hunted bison on the Great Plains to move to reservations. The reservations were on terrible land. They were deserts with no water. And now that the bison had all been killed, people had no way to [...]

Christmas – American holiday

By |2018-04-24T11:05:18+00:00August 14th, 2017|History|

Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming (1300 AD) Even before 1500 AD, people in North America celebrated a winter religious festival when the days stopped getting shorter and began to get longer again. Many people built stone structures to make it easier to know when the solstice had arrived. When European settlers arrived, they brought with them some new ideas [...]

Nez Perce and smallpox – American history

By |2017-08-13T22:44:56+00:00August 13th, 2017|History, Native American|

Nez Perce girls Because the Nez Perce lived pretty far from the Pacific Coast, they didn't meet European explorers until the 1700s AD, more than two hundred years later than the Iroquois and Cherokee, and even later than their Chinook and Shoshone neighbors. But their isolation did not protect the Nez Perce from catching European diseases: many died of smallpox that they caught from their [...]

Civil War Battles – American History

By |2018-04-19T11:29:04+00:00August 12th, 2017|History, North America|

Jefferson Davis The white men of the Confederacy elected their own president, Jefferson Davis (but the enslaved African-Americans were still not allowed to vote, and neither were women or anyone who didn't own any land). Lincoln decided to use the United States army to recapture the South and force them to be part of the United States. The [...]

Algonquin tribe during European colonization

By |2018-04-09T15:49:40+00:00August 12th, 2017|History, Native American|

People of the Algonquin tribe in the 1700s AD Algonquin people sold beaver furs to European traders When European traders began to buy huge amounts of North American furs to sell in Europe and China, Algonquin hunters began to trap and hunt lots of animals, especially beaver, to get their fur to sell to the European traders. The [...]

American economic history

By |2018-04-24T10:39:10+00:00August 10th, 2017|Economy, North America|

Women and men farming in south-eastern North America (1500s AD) Just as in India,China, or Europe, most of the people who lived in North America around 1500 AD were farmers. There were also some people who hunted and gathered their food, like the Cree people who gathered wild rice, or the Chinook people who fished for salmon. Traders kept on shipping metals, stone, shell and furs [...]

European Warfare – Military history

By |2018-04-20T08:25:05+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, War|

British cannon from the Hundred Years' War (now at Mont St. Michel) Not long before 1500 AD, everything medieval soldiers did in wars suddenly changed. First, Europeans learned how to make and use gunpowder from Central Asian scientists, and they put gunpowder into metal cannons. Once you had cannons, you could blow holes in thick castle walls and in soldiers' armor, and [...]

Edo period Japan – Japanese history

By |2018-04-23T15:31:18+00:00July 27th, 2017|History, Japan|

Oda Nobunaga (1500s, painted by Kanō Motohide) At the end of the Muromachi period, Japan was very rich, but divided into small city-states. In the late 1500s, the daimyo Oda Nobunaga gradually re-unified Japan. He bought guns from European traders and used the guns as patterns to make lots more guns. Oda Nobunaga also promoted Christianity to get [...]

History of Gunpowder: Gunpowder in ancient China

By |2018-10-02T09:40:12+00:00June 7th, 2017|China, Science, War|

History of gunpowder: Fireworks Who invented gunpowder? Like the idea of zero, gunpowder developed gradually over time. In 142 AD, during the Han Dynasty, a man named Wei Boyang was the first to write anything about gunpowder. He wrote about a mixture of three powders that would "fly and dance" violently. We aren't [...]