History Lecture #3: Contact, Conflict, and Colonization

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Mark Peterson

Lecture 3 Contact Conflict and ColonizationI Diversity in Africa and Americas A West Africa Inferior Kingdoms Coastal ProvincesNorth Africa was part of the Mediterranean Kingdom but South Africa was separated by the Sahara Desert This allowed subSaharan Africa to develop in relative isolationAfrica was a huge geological space so even along the coastline various kingdoms were totally different to each other languages customs beliefs etcSimilar to Europe at the time West Africa was diverse and varied in terms of culture religion customs etcRegions in subSaharan Africa were strong enough so that the Europeans thwere unable to make a foothold in Africa until the 19 century They were only able to conduct tradeB The Americas From Aztec and Inca Empires to HunterGatherersBy 1500 there were two major empires or two densely populated areas in AmericaCentral Valley of MexicoWhen Spanish colonists first arrived they were reminded of VeniceBuildings were actually in many ways more grand than those in VeniceComplex empireUnder its control or in alliance were a number of other states There were also tributary statesThey also had enemy states which were also inland states Corts took advantage of the conflicts and the fragmented nature of the area to defeat the Mexican empireInca Empire in Western South AmericaMost powerful states settled inland as opposed to coastal regions Easier to concentrate power land was more fertile inland etc People on the coast were simple and held less powerful and sophisticated societiesThis was also the case in Europe and AfricaC Accidents of First EncountersNowadays physical geography makes less difference in terms of territory and movement due to technological advances However the era under consideration was an era of sailing water was the fastest way to get around and transport a large amount of goodsTherefore the geography of North America was extremely importantIt was difficult for people to cross the Atlantic Ocean into inland because of the Appalachian Mountains which blocked it off
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