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Mexico Histories. Mesoamerica Chronology Paleo-Indian (50-25,000 ya - 7000 BC) hunting and gathering. Probably arrived via Bering Strait Archaic (7000.

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Presentation on theme: "Mexico Histories. Mesoamerica Chronology Paleo-Indian (50-25,000 ya - 7000 BC) hunting and gathering. Probably arrived via Bering Strait Archaic (7000."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mexico Histories

2 Mesoamerica Chronology Paleo-Indian (50-25,000 ya BC) hunting and gathering. Probably arrived via Bering Strait Archaic ( BC ) (agricultural transition, increasingly sedentary, unlike northern Amerindians) Pre-classic (2300 BC - AD 250) (Olmec culture of the Gulf coast) –“CULTURE HEARTH”: subsistence –> civilization –Closest civilization is 7,000 miles away in China Classic (AD ) Post-Classic (AD )

3 Pre-Columbian scalar comparisons 10,000 ancient cities Olmec-1200 BC: Egypt ruled by Ramses the Great. No civilization in W. Europe Teotihuacan-600 AD: 200,000 pop when Constantinople had 500,000 pop Tenochtitlan, Aztec capital- 16 th C: 5x larger than London.

4 “Mesoamerican Culture” Maize: atole, tamales, tortillas –Maize god central in Popol Vuh, also central for Aztecs Computations, and Celestial Cycles –Venus –Zero –Base 20 system Calendars –Solar Calendar—more accurate than contemporary Europe’s—like Gregorian. 18 months x 20 days+5 days –Sacred Round: 270 days –Calendar Round: 52 years –Long count: begins with 0 (Aug 11, 3114 BC)  5000 years

5 Olmec Culture: BC

6 Olmecs Discovered in 19 th C. Dated in 1950’s Heads 5-11 feet high Architecture and sculpture: stone age technology –No pack animals, yet stone came from miles away –No wheels for construction –Stone tools: obsidian, no metal tools Trade with people in Honduras –Stimulated cultural growth: religions, feathered serpent deities, pyramids, ball playing, sculpture, maize

7 The Classic Period AD –Teotihuacan in Central Mexico; –city-states in the Maya lowlands –Monte Alban in southern Mexico Warfare and urban collapse by the end –Power shifts to southern cities: Chichen Itza

8 Teotihuacan

9 Teotihuacan: “The place where the gods were made” Grew during first two centuries AD  ,000 inhabitants Eventually 125,000 (6 th largest city in the world during 4 th C. ) Extensive interaction with other Mesoamerican Indians (Tikal and Copan) Controlled area the size of Belgium Resource rich, but rulers are anonymous No written record Cataclysmic end AD, but WHY?

10 Map of Teo- tihuacan chaeolo gy.la.asu.edu/teo/ intro/cit ymp2.ht m

11 Sun Pyramid

12 Post classic period AD –Aztecs/Tenochtitlan in Central Mexico; –Maya highlands

13 Post-Classic: Aztec Empire Emerged 1200 AD on ruins of previous cultures –Eclectic borrowing from Maya and Teotihuacan Triple Alliance Tribute as far away as Guatemala; Indirect rule. Strong military Rigidly classist Human sacrifice (like earlier cultures)

14 Tenochtitlan-1325

15 Tenochtitlan Capital of loose confederation of city-states with 25 million pop. Area size of Italy Pop. 250,000 –100,000 canoes Engineering feats building rich farmland in lake Tenochtitlan Wide bridges and causeways, gardens, zoos and aviaries Clean: drainage system and nightly garbage pickup

16 Valley of Mexico Aztec settled—ideal conditions for original plant domestication Mexico City emerged here later Climatic conditions: –8000 feet –Mild temperatures –Fertile soils –Adequate water

17 Cortez Lands: 1519 Cortez lands at Veracruz “ I and my companions suffer from a disease of the heart that can be cured only with gold,” Previously shipwrecked sailors –Jeronimo de Aguilar/ La Malinche –Gonzalo Guerrero Cortez allies with Tlazcalans 1521 Cortez takes the Aztec capital

18 Why were Aztecs defeated? Conquistadors: –European “war machine”  holy wars against Moors –Militant Catholicism— Pope granted leadership in all dominions. –Driven by desire for gold –Better Technology Aztec “Omens”—Moctezuma is indecisive Different “rules of the game” Internal weaknesses of Aztecs –Young civilizations –Resentful populations who had been exploited –Lack of immunity to European diseases: smallpox kills many

19 New Spain: Port at Veracruz / Import of brood stocks of work animals Encomienda system Building of Mexico City and network of churches Spain flourishes with silver Mexican population decline from million to 3 million by 1630 –Disease –Abuse  Refusal of baptism –Cultural dislocation

20 The Church’s Influence Cortez recommends mendicant orders to convert natives to Catholicism: Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians –Vows of poverty; not secular priests. Humanists –Partial conversion: syncretic religion. “Virgin of Guadelupe” –Ethnography –Social reforms-slavery and encomienda outlawed Bartholome de las Casas, Bishop of Chiapas Provoked first talk of independence

21 Colonial Legacies on the Landscape Urban Landscapes: –Mexico city remade in Spanish colonial image environmental problems –Flooding and Subsidence –Water supply –Air quality…altitude, and inversions like Denver –Provincial towns: –Plaza with church, royal palace and town hall Rural Landscapes: –Encomienda  Haciendas Grazing—vaqueros Agriculture supported by Debt Peonage Mining: –18 th C. Mexico silver production = rest of world –Repartimento labor

22 Social Legacies of New Spain Social/ Racial Caste system: Enforced by law White ruling class 1 million/7 million –Peninsulares--.3% –Criollos—18% People of Color –Mestizos-11% –Indians—60% –Mulattos—10% –Black--.2% FUSION: Intermediate class of native allies; –racial mixing  Mestizaje –political/governance institutions

23 Bourbon Reforms French maneuver ruler Philip V to power Modernization influenced by Enlightenment –Streamlined government –Broke up Spanish government monopoly to freer trade –Increased agricultural exports Success encourages peninsulares to migrate Racist class system remains  economic growth remains in hands of white pop. Tensions rise between peninsulares and criollos

24 Independence Hidalgo: 1810: –“My children—will you free yourselves?” –Criollo, educated, priest, radical –Unwittingly fomented uprising against peninsulares Criollos realize they are more like pen.than not Mestizo uprising led by Jose Maria Morelos –Advocated end to caste system, equal rights, redistribution of church lands Spain liberalizes rule in Mexico Criollos alarmed by this  Military coup aided by church 1821: Plan de Iguala –Independence for everyone, constitutional monarchy, officially catholic, Iturbide installed as Emperor

25 Years of Chaos: Feuds and Class differences: 50 govs in 40 years No social reforns Losers and Heroes –Emperor Iturbide: ( ) “distinguished for his immorality”and devastation of the fragile economy The Gadsden Purchase –Santa Anna: 11 x in office: retreated to hacienda only to pop up to make matters worse The Alamo 1835 Peace treaty: traded Texan independence for his life –Mexican American War


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