Ch 28: Early Civilizations in the Americas

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and discover the early civilizations that prospered in North and South America. The self-assessment quizzes that follow each lesson can help you gauge your comprehension of the chapter material.

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

VideoObjective
Native American History: Origins of Early People in the AmericasExplore the theories of how Native Americans originally came to the Americas.
Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to CortesLearn about the cultures, social structures and accomplishments of Mesoamerican civilizations.
Ancient Andean Peoples: Chavin & IncaDiscover the cultures and way of life among ancient Andean peoples like the Inca.
Pre-Columbian Culture & DevelopmentGet details on cultural development and the social organization of pre-Columbian peoples
Early Civilizations of the AndesSee how civilizations like the Nazca succeeded even in the environment of South America's Andes Mountains.

5 Lessons in Chapter 28: Early Civilizations in the Americas
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Native American History: Origins of Early People in the Americas

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.

Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes

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.

Ancient Andean Peoples: Chavin & Inca

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.

Pre-Columbian Culture & Development

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.

Early Civilizations of the Andes

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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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