About This Chapter
Early Civilizations in the Americas - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
Long before the European conquistadors and explorers discovered the supposedly New World, several indigenous peoples called the Americas home. In this chapter, you will find out about the social structures and cultures of these early civilizations in North and South America. By studying the lessons, you'll learn about:
- How Native Americans originally got to the Americas
- What civilizations called Mesoamerica home
- How early civilizations prospered in the Andes Mountains
- What factors contributed to pre-Columbian cultural development
|Native American History: Origins of Early People in the Americas||Explore the theories of how Native Americans originally came to the Americas.|
|Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes||Learn about the cultures, social structures and accomplishments of Mesoamerican civilizations.|
|Ancient Andean Peoples: Chavin & Inca||Discover the cultures and way of life among ancient Andean peoples like the Inca.|
|Pre-Columbian Culture & Development||Get details on cultural development and the social organization of pre-Columbian peoples|
|Early Civilizations of the Andes||See how civilizations like the Nazca succeeded even in the environment of South America's Andes Mountains.|
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Ancient Andean Peoples: Chavin & Inca
In this lesson, we will explore the Chavin and Inca civilizations of South America. We will study the rise and fall of these two cultures, as well as their major characteristics.
4. Pre-Columbian Culture & Development
Pre-Columbian civilization in the Americas was much more than tipis and friendly natives. Native Americans built empires connected by roads, performed massive controlled burns, and changed the course of the Mississippi River.
5. Early Civilizations of the Andes
The Inca were far from the first society to thrive in the Andes Mountains. This lesson introduces the Andes as a region, as well as the cultures of the Chavin, Moche, and Nazca peoples.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the History 112: World History I course
- Prehistory & the Development of Humankind
- Civilization Begins at Mesopotamia
- Early Egyptian Civilization
- Early Civilizations of the Ancient Near East
- The Rise of Empires in the Ancient Near East
- Early Indian Civilizations & Empires
- Early Chinese Civilizations & Empires
- Early Greek Civilizations
- Classical Greek Culture & Philosophy
- Alexander & the Spread of Hellenistic Culture
- Rise of the Roman Republic
- The Roman Republic Becomes an Empire
- Roman Culture & Society
- The Development of Christianity
- Fall of the Roman Empire
- The Birth of the Muslim World
- Early African Civilizations
- Early Civilizations in Asia
- The Roman World in Transformation
- Feudalism in Europe & the Early Middle Ages
- The Byzantine Empire & the Crusades
- Rise of the Russians & the Turks
- Society & Culture in the Medieval Warm Period
- Medieval Civilization & Christianity
- European Kingdoms Emerge
- Culture of the High Middle Ages
- The Late Middle Ages
- The Muslim World Expands
- The European Renaissance