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Ch 1: Holt United States History Chapter 1: The World Before the Opening of the Atlantic (Beginnings to 1500)

About This Chapter

The World Before the Opening of the Atlantic (Beginnings to 1500) chapter of this Holt United States History Companion Course aligns with the same chapter in the Holt United States History textbook. These simple and fun video lessons are about five minutes long and help you learn the essential lessons about such topics as the Greeks, Native Americans and the Last Ice Age.

How it works:

  • Find the lesson within this chapter that corresponds to what you're studying in the Science of Biology chapter of your textbook.
  • Watch fun videos that cover the biology and scientific concepts you need to learn or review.
  • Complete the quiz after watching each video lesson to test your understanding.
  • If you need additional help, rewatch the videos until you've mastered the material, or submit a question for one of our instructors.

Chapter Topics

You'll learn all of the history topics covered in the textbook chapter, including:

  • The last ice age and human migration
  • Origins of the early peoples in the Americas
  • The Mayans, Aztecs, and Cortes
  • African cultures and the effects of the slave trade
  • Greek government and democracy
  • Philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
  • Rise and fall of the Roman Empire
  • Feudalism and manors
  • The Great Crusades
  • Europe and the Black Death
  • Renaissance Europe
  • The printing press changes the world

Holt United States History is a registered trademark of Holt, Rinehart and Winston, which is not affiliated with Study.com.

18 Lessons in Chapter 1: Holt United States History Chapter 1: The World Before the Opening of the Atlantic (Beginnings to 1500)
The Last Ice Age: Thawing Ice and New Human Opportunities

1. The Last Ice Age: Thawing Ice and New Human Opportunities

What is an ice age? How did the latest period of glaciation form our species? How has the abundance of this latest period of interglaciation changed our behavior? Watch this lesson to find out.

Native American History: Origins of Early People in the Americas

2. Native American History: Origins of Early People in the Americas

Because the first humans and civilizations got their start in Africa and the Middle East, historians and anthropologists have had to figure out how Native Americans got to the Americas. In this lesson we look at the three prevailing theories of the earliest migration to the New World.

Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes

3. Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes

This lesson focuses on the early cultures of Mesoamerica. The Olmec, Maya, and Aztecs developed great civilizations in Mesoamerica over millennia. Then, after all of this development and the building of a great empire, the Aztec were quickly defeated by Hernando Cortes.

The Inca Civilization and Pizarro: Pre-Columbian South America

4. The Inca Civilization and Pizarro: Pre-Columbian South America

The Incan Empire was an amazing empire of the early Americas. Their accomplishments rival those of many other great empires, but they were defeated by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in only a few years.

Pre-Columbian Civilization: North American Indians Before Europeans

5. Pre-Columbian Civilization: North American Indians Before Europeans

Watch this video for an overview of the cultural groups of Native Americans as they lived at the time of first contact with Europeans. Some of these groupings, like the tribes of the plains, changed so much due to the addition of European influences, such as horses, that there is only conjecture as to how exactly they lived before European contact.

African Cultures: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai

6. African Cultures: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai

In this lesson, we learn about the three premier empires of the pre-colonial period in West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, who all profited tremendously from the trans-Saharan gold trade.

Greek City-States and Governments

7. Greek City-States and Governments

This is a lecture about Greek city states. It begins with an examination of the influence geography had on Greek politics, by comparing Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia. This is followed by a loose characterization of Greek poleis in general, with specific attention paid to constitutions, colonialism and competition.

Athenian Democracy: Solon and Cleisthenes

8. Athenian Democracy: Solon and Cleisthenes

Although Athens is remembered for creating the first democracy, it took many years and multiple leaders to develop the system we think of today. Learn about who took control, what reforms they made and how the people revolted against the old system.

Socrates: Life, Death and Philosophy

9. Socrates: Life, Death and Philosophy

This lecture is a whirlwind tour through the life of Socrates. It begins with an explanation of the Socratic problem, followed by an examination of his philosophy. The lecture ends with a summary of Socrates' legacy.

Platonic Idealism: Plato and His Influence

10. Platonic Idealism: Plato and His Influence

This lecture examines the philosophy and legacy of Plato. It covers the Allegory of the Cave, the Realm of Forms and Plato's views on politics and the soul. Finally, it shows Plato's enduring legacy in modern science.

Aristotelian Logic: Aristotle's Central Concepts and Influence

11. Aristotelian Logic: Aristotle's Central Concepts and Influence

This lesson will explore the life of the famous philosopher Aristotle. It will highlight his life in Northern Greece and Athens, as well as his interactions with Alexander the Great. It will also explain the main tenants of Aristotelian logic.

The Political Structure of the Roman Republic

12. The Political Structure of the Roman Republic

This lesson explains the political structure of the Roman Republic by highlighting the importance of social class within the system. It also explains the roles and positions of the Consuls, the Senate, and the Assembly.

Order From Chaos: Establishing Stability through Feudal Ties and Manors

13. Order From Chaos: Establishing Stability through Feudal Ties and Manors

This lesson will explore the impact of feudalism on European society. While explaining the system of feudalism, it will highlight how it offered protection and stability to Europe, specifically after the 5th century fall of Rome.

The Great Crusades: History and Timeline

14. The Great Crusades: History and Timeline

This lesson examines the utter failure of the later crusades. We look at some of the factors that led to this failure. We then have a glimpse at each of the major crusades abroad, as well as the political and heretical crusades in Europe.

The Little Ice Age and the Black Death

15. The Little Ice Age and the Black Death

Fourteenth century Europe experienced a devastating population decline due to a climate cooling, famine, and the plague. This lesson explores how these factors occurred and their impact on Europe.

The Renaissance Timeline: Events Overview

16. The Renaissance Timeline: Events Overview

In this lesson, we will build an outline of the historical events which flow together to form the time periods of the Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Discovery, and the Elizabethan era.

Renaissance Art: Artists, Paintings, Sculptures & Architecture

17. Renaissance Art: Artists, Paintings, Sculptures & Architecture

In this lesson, we will be discussing Renaissance art, focusing primarily on paintings, sculptures, and architecture. We will also be learning how humanism affected the art of this time period.

How the Printing Press Changed the World

18. How the Printing Press Changed the World

When you think of inventions that changed the world, you may think of farming tools or the wheel, or even the Internet. However, few can truly compare to the humble printing press.

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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the Holt United States History: Online Textbook Help course

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