Ch 1: Pre-Colonial America

About This Chapter

The Pre-Colonial America chapter of this American History to 1877 Study Guide course is the most efficient way to study events and people from that time period in American history. This chapter uses simple and fun videos that are about five minutes long, plus includes lesson quizzes and a chapter exam to ensure you understand the essential concepts associated with Pre-Colonial America.

Who's It For?

Anyone who needs help learning or mastering Pre-Colonial America material will benefit from the lessons in this chapter. There is no faster or easier way to learn about Pre-Colonial America. 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 Pre-Colonial America
  • Students who prefer multiple ways of learning American 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 Pre-Colonial America 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 Pre-Colonial America chapter exam to make sure you're prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any American 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 Pre-Colonial America for a standard American history course. Topics covered include:

  • Origins of Native Americans
  • Mesoamerican civilizations
  • North America before Columbus
  • European colonization
  • Spanish explorers and settlements
  • The Columbian exchange

7 Lessons in Chapter 1: Pre-Colonial America
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.

Pre-Columbian Civilization: North American Indians Before Europeans

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.

Effects of European Colonization: Christopher Columbus and Native Americans

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.

New Spain: Spanish Explorers and Spanish Colonies

5. 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

6. 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.

Native American Tribes: Names & Cultures

7. Native American Tribes: Names & Cultures

In this lesson, we will encounter Native American tribes and cultures from the Northeast, Great Plains, and Southwest regions. The lesson explores cultural differences between tribes of each major region.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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.

Support