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Ch 1: HiSET: Early American History (28,000 BCE-1821 CE)

About This Chapter

Learn about the span of civilizations in American history from Native Americans' arrival through the period characterized as the Columbian Exchange. This chapter offers text and video lessons to thoroughly cover early American history and help you prepare for the HiSET Social Studies exam.

HiSET: Early American History (28,000 BCE-1821 CE) - Chapter Summary

Become knowledgeable of numerous civilizations and cultural aspects in early America with the informative and well-crafted lessons contained in this chapter. The videos highlight the key developments and periods spanning early American history. Topics in the chapter include:

  • Native American history
  • Mesoamerican civilizations
  • The Incas
  • North American Indians
  • European colonization and its impact
  • Spanish explorers
  • The Columbian Exchange

Numerous early civilizations are covered in these engaging lessons that are easy to comprehended. After reviewing the material in video and text, you can test your knowledge through the assessment quizzes.

HiSET: Early American History (28,000 BCE-1821 CE) Chapter Objectives

Our informative and effective lessons cover material from early American history that you may encounter in the history questions on the HiSET Social Studies subtest; history questions make up about 38% of the test questions. You will have 70 minutes to go through the 50 multiple-choice questions on this subtest. Questions you will come across may employ the use of primary documents, maps or passages.

7 Lessons in Chapter 1: HiSET: Early American History (28,000 BCE-1821 CE)
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.

The Inca Civilization and Pizarro: Pre-Columbian South America

3. 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

4. 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.

Effects of European Colonization: Christopher Columbus and Native Americans

5. Effects of European Colonization: Christopher Columbus and Native Americans

The earliest explorers in the Western Hemisphere left a legacy that would shape the development of the Americas permanently. No matter what they came looking for, Europeans left behind death, horses, and metal.

New Spain: Spanish Explorers and Spanish Colonies

6. New Spain: Spanish Explorers and Spanish Colonies

Who are the most well-known explorers and conquistadors of the New World? In this lesson, we'll look at some of the most infamous explorers. We'll discover the difference between explorers and conquistadors, and then learn about the encomienda system.

The Columbian Exchange

7. The Columbian Exchange

The Columbian Exchange is a term used to denote the world-changing exchange of agricultural goods, slave labor, diseases, and ideas between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres that occurred after the year 1492 CE.

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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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the HiSET Social Studies: Prep and Practice course

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