About This Chapter
Who's It For?
Anyone who needs help learning or mastering the Americas history material will benefit from the lessons in this chapter. There is no faster or easier way to learn about the history of the Americas. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who want to learn a broad topic in a short amount of time
- Students who are looking for easy ways to identify the most important information on the topic
- Students who have fallen behind in memorizing events and people associated with the history of the Americas
- Students who prefer multiple ways of learning world history (visual or auditory)
- Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
- Students who have limited time to study for an upcoming exam
How It Works:
- Watch each video in the chapter to review all key topics.
- Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
- Test your understanding of each lesson with a short quiz.
- Complete your review with the History of the Americas chapter exam.
Why It Works:
- Study Efficiently: The lessons in this chapter cover only information you need to know.
- Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
- Be Ready on Test Day: Take the History of the Americas chapter exam to make sure you're prepared.
- Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any world history question. They're here to help!
- Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.
Students Will Review:
This chapter summarizes the material students need to know about the history of the Americas for a standard world history course. Topics covered include:
- Olmec and Inca civilizations
- North American Indian tribes before Europeans
- Effects of European colonization on Native Americans
- The rise and defeat of the Aztecs
- The settlement of Jamestown
- Turning points in the American Revolution
- Latin American independence movements
- Causes and effects of the Mexican Revolution
- Key events in the Civil War
- The attack on Pearl Harbor
- The aftermath of World War II
- Outcomes of the Vietnam War
- The Cold War's end
- Causes of the Gulf War
- The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. The Rise of the Aztecs
In this lesson, you will explore the rise of the great Mesoamerican civilization, the Aztec Empire. Then, you will be able to test your understanding about Aztec history with a brief quiz.
6. The Defeat of the Aztecs
In this lesson, you will explore the defeat of the powerful Aztec Empire, and then test your understanding about the Aztecs, the Spanish conquest of Mexico, and empires in Central America.
7. Jamestown: Conflict in the New World
This lesson focuses on the settlement of Jamestown and the conflicts that occurred between the native populations and the English settlers. While exploring this topic, it will highlight England's response to the troubles that plagued the settlement.
8. Causes of the American Revolution: Events & Turning Points
In this lesson, we explore the causes and the initial battles of the American Revolution, from the end of the French and Indian War up until the Declaration of Independence in July, 1776.
9. Independence Movements in Latin America: Examples & Impact
This lesson will explore the 19th century Latin American revolutions. In doing so, it will highlight the roles L'Ouverture, Hidalgo, and Bolivar played in bringing freedom to Haiti, Mexico, and South America.
10. The Mexican Revolution: Causes & Initial Events
The Mexican Revolution started in response to the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz. In this video, we look at the causes of the Revolution, and then explore the initial events that led to the removal of Diaz.
11. The Mexican Revolution: Aftermath & Effects
In this video, we examine the civil war that broke out in Mexico after Porfirio Diaz was removed from power as the various parties competed with each other for power. A quiz will follow.
12. Civil War Begins: Northern and Southern Advantages Compared
At the outbreak of the American Civil War, both the North and South believed the conflict would be over quickly. But advantages for both the Confederacy and the Union meant a prolonged war between the states. In this lesson, discover some of the advantages that the North and South had.
13. The End of the Civil War: Summary & Timeline
Contrary to popular belief, the Civil War did not end when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House. It actually continued for over two months. In this lesson, we will examine the final days of the Civil War.
14. The Attack on Pearl Harbor: The Beginning of American Involvement in World War II
On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack against Allied possessions in the Pacific, including the American military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After decades of conflict between the two nations, the U.S. declared war.
15. WWII Aftermath & the Creation of the United Nations
In this lesson, we will look at the aftermath of the Second World War and the formation of the United Nations. We will identify why the United Nations was created and explore the organization's function and structure in the post-war world.
16. The Vietnam War: Causes, Conflicts & Effects
The Vietnam War was the longest and most polarizing conflict in the history of the United States. Learn about the causes of the war as well as its effects on the United States.
17. The End of the Cold War and Desert Storm
In this lesson, we will learn about the end of the Cold War and the Gulf War - also known as Desert Storm. We'll learn what led to these events and highlight the key themes associated with them.
18. George W. Bush: the 9/11 Terrorist Attack & War on Terror
The September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States forced President George W. Bush to reappraise his foreign policy. Learn about the tragic day, the Bush Doctrine and the ensuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
19. Aztec Class System & Government
Aztec society was quite different than other societies that you may have studied in the past. For example, there was an encouragement to sacrifice people. However, as this lesson shows, not everyone was a warrior.
20. Benito Juarez: Biography & Accomplishments
Benito Juarez was a pretty important figure in Mexican history. In this lesson we'll talk about Juarez, and see what he meant to Mexico in a time when the nation was enduring some of its greatest struggles.
21. Presidents of Mexico
In this lesson we explore the history of the presidency of Mexico, as well as looking briefly at some of the policies and legacies of the men who have been president in the modern era.
22. U.S. State Flags
Each state in the United States has striven to forge its own identity since the country won its independence from Britain in the 1770s. One way for each state to be unique is through a state flag.
23. What Are State Mottos? - History & Examples
Every US state has a motto, and those mottos are significant. In this lesson, we'll talk about the history and meaning of state mottos and look at some prominent examples.
24. When was Machu Picchu Discovered? - History & Facts
Hiram Bingham III is credited with rediscovering the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. This lesson details Bingham's 1911 expedition, as well as the controversies surrounding his discovery.
25. When was Machu Picchu Built? - Location & Elevation
Machu Picchu is an incredible feat of engineering, but how did it come to be? In this lesson, we'll explore the construction and location of this sacred and impressive city.
26. Teotihuacan Civilization: Culture, Society & Agriculture
This lesson will fill you in on some of the details of the Teotihuacan civilization of Central America, who predated the Aztecs. We will discuss a little about the culture and agriculture of this city and its society.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 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 Major Events in World History Study Guide course
- History of Ancient Civilizations
- History of the Ancient Middle East & India
- Ancient Greek History
- Ancient Roman History
- History of Early China & Japan
- History of Africa Before Colonization
- History of France & England
- Modern History of Germany
- Modern History of Greater Europe
- History of Modern Russia
- Countries & Capitals of the World
- Historical Timelines
- Contemporary Africa
- Contemporary Asia
- Contemporary America
- Ancient Inventions
- Dynasties of China