This course explores the evolution of North and South America from a historical, political, cultural and economic point of view. However, given the number of countries which make up the two continents, this course is by no means a definitive guide of the Americas but rather, its goal is to provide you with the information necessary to understand the current situation in which the two continents find themselves today. Each part begins with an overview of the main historical and geographical aspects of North and South America. The following parts focus more on the different socio-economic aspects significant to each continent.
North America is the third largest continent with 24,346,000 sq km, about 16.5% of the planet's land area. It is bordered on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, on the southeast by the Caribbean Sea, and on the south and west by the North Pacific Ocean. So it goes from close to the North Pole down beyond the Tropic of Cancer. With 530 million people, it is fourth in population after Asia, Africa, and Europe. This continent is primarily made up of two huge countries, and a medium-sized one: Canada, the second largest country in the world: 9,984,670 sq km
[...] For example “America” or “Americans” does not mean the same thing for a Brazilian, a Mexican, a French or a Russian. It is recommended to apply the correct name according to the language that we use and in agreement with the people to whom we are talking to. First of all America is the whole continent discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus2 who was the first European that stepped on these lands, thinking until he died that it was Indian territory. [...]
[...] At the beginning of the XVI Century, America had a lot of municipal autonomy. Later on, the royal authority decided to make some changes to avoid the tendencies of a feudal system, and reduced the autonomy of the colonies. The Audiencias were created for the first time in 1511 on the New Continent. The Audiencia was a court that appealed in first instance in the minor courts of the corregimientos judgments and alcaldes mayors The Council of the Indies was the only administration over the Audiencias. [...]
[...] Perhaps most importantly they domesticated one of the world's major staples, maize (corn). Here is a chronology of these cultures, some of them like the Mississippian culture in the USA or the Maya and Aztec cultures in Central America stand as among the most elaborate cultures in the world North America Post-archaic period BC-onward South West of the USA: Ancestral Pueblo culture BCE–1300 CE, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, N. Mexico Fremont culture CE–1350 CE, Utah and parts of Nevada, Idaho and Colorado Hohokam CE–1450 CE, Arizona Eastern Woodlands: Adena, 1000–200 BC, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and N.Y Fort Ancient AD–1650 AD, Ohio Hopewell culture BC–500 AD, Southeastern Canada and eastern United States Mississippian culture AD–1500 AD, US Midwest, East, and Southeast Mesoamerica Aztec, 1325–1521 AD, central Mexico Maya BCE–900 AD, Southern Mexican states of Chiapas and Tabasco, Mexican Yucatán Peninsula; Guatemala; Belize; El Salvador; western Honduras Olmec, 1200–400 BC, Veracruz and Tabasco Teotihuacán BC–800 AD, near Mexico City Toltec, 900–1100 AD The colonial period Then, those three countries were colonized. [...]
[...] The Pre-Columbian or Pre-Hispanic Period 1500 BC to The European Colonization 15th to 19th Centuries The Independence and Post-Colonial Period 19th to 20th Centuries Belize and Puerto Rico will be included in certain sections to present a complete analyze The Pre-Columbian Period (1500 BC to 1492) During the Pre-Columbian Period, the most important civilizations were established in three different geographical areas: Mesoamerica (the Middle America), Circum-Caribbean (Antilles, Costa Rica, Panama meridian countries of Central America and the zone along the Caribbean coast of Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana) and the Andean region. The emergence of urban society-states started in A.D (Classic Period) Mesoamerica Mesoamerica corresponds to the modern nations of México (from Tamaulipas and Sinaloa), Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The most representative civilizations11 were: Olmec Civilization 1200 to 400 B.C. (Formative period). It is considered as the mother culture in Mesoamerica because they were the founders of the oldest Mesoamerican civilization. [...]
[...] Le Cavalier bleu Editions. Cyberlibris. Massardo, Jaime et Suárez-Rojas, Alberto América Latina: Mosaico Cultural. Paris: Ellipses Editions Marketing. ISBN 2-7298-7911-0 Pacheco, José Emilio La visión de los vencidos. Relaciones Indígenas de la Conquista. edición. México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. [...]
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