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Who were the Olmec? Central American history

By |2018-04-25T23:03:43+00:00September 9th, 2017|Central America, History|

Olmec clay statue ca. 1100-500 BC The earliest state government in North or South America was the Olmec. They formed their state about 1200 BC. This is about the time of the Mycenaean kingdoms in Greece, or the Third Intermediate Period in Egypt, or the Assyrians in West Asia. So the Olmec aren't the first state in the world, but they were [...]

Who were the Aztec? Central American history

By |2018-04-27T17:46:57+00:00September 8th, 2017|Central America, Where|

Aztec brazier (about 1300 AD) Mexica people move to Mexico Beginning in the 1100s AD, the Medieval Warming Period seems to have made it too hard to live where the Mexica were in North America. So the Mexica people moved south to what is now Mexico. The Mexica were relatives of the Shoshone and Ute people who lived in the Rocky [...]

Mexico and colonization – American history

By |2018-10-02T07:36:12+00:00September 8th, 2017|Central America, History|

Tenochtitlan under attack (painted in the 1600s) In 1500 AD, the Aztec  controlled most of what is now Mexico. People also called them the Mexica. In 1519, the Aztec ruler, Moctezuma the Younger, was surprised to hear that white men on ships had shown up out of nowhere. Moctezuma invited the strangers to his capital city, [...]

Central and South American history – colonization

By |2018-04-29T10:45:08+00:00September 8th, 2017|Central America, History, South America|

South American history: Aztec doctor treating people with smallpox (1500s AD, Codex Mendoza) The Inca, Brazil, and Chile In 1500 AD, the Inca Empire dominated the east coast of South America. Further north, the Aztec empire under Montezuma II controlled Mexico and what is now Guatemala. In the center of South America was the Amazon rain forest. Many people lived [...]

What is rubber? History of rubber

By |2018-04-08T11:21:56+00:00September 8th, 2017|Science, South America|

A big rubber tree in Mexico Olmec people, living in southern Mexico, invented rubber about 1600 BC. It was just as they were beginning to build their empire. Rubber starts out as the sap of a Central American tree - the rubber tree. You tap the tree or cut it down for the sap. Then you mix the sap [...]

Silver and silver mining – the history

By |2017-10-17T13:26:22+00:00September 7th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

Silver mining slaves at Laurion, near Athens People first mined silver in the Bronze Age. Like gold, silver is a great way to help people trade. Even before people started to make coins, little bits of silver - bracelets, earrings, and necklaces - were a great way to carry around something valuable but not [...]

Brigham Young – Mormon religion

By |2017-08-14T15:29:54+00:00August 14th, 2017|History|

Brigham Young in the 1840s After a mob killed Joseph Smith, the Mormons chose a new leader, Brigham Young (BRIG-am yung) and wisely left Illinois. In 1847, Brigham Young decided that the Mormons should move way out west to Utah, where the Ute and Paiute people lived. Utah was part of Mexico at this time. In the next year, though, [...]

The United States expands – American history

By |2018-04-18T09:53:59+00:00August 13th, 2017|History, North America|

What Europeans were claiming In 1803, the French emperor Napoleon needed money to rebuild France's army after the French Revolution. So he agreed to sell France's land in North America to the newly formed United States. We call this the Louisiana Purchase, but the French sold much more than just the modern state of Louisiana. The land they [...]

Californians fight the Missions

By |2018-10-02T07:43:05+00:00August 12th, 2017|History, Native American|

Ohlone people crossing San Francisco Bay, with a European wool blanket (Louis Choris, 1816 AD) Native people in California In 1500 AD, California was a popular place to live. About one out of every three people living in what would become the United States lived in California. Early Native Californians More articles about [...]

Early American government

By |2018-04-24T10:40:20+00:00August 12th, 2017|History|

Juan de Onate, the first Spanish governor, marked this rock in New Mexico to show he had been there (1605). Throughout the 1500s, the governments of North America were a lot like they had been before 1500. But two important things changed. One was that the Spanish settlers in the south-west set up a government there. [...]