📚

All Subjects

 > 

🇺🇸 

Apush

 > 

🌽

Unit 1

1.1 Context: European Encounters in the Americas

3 min readmay 28, 2020

Caleb Lagerwey

Robby May


Contextualization

By Sarah Bradstreet in 9 APUSH Historical Thinking Skills
Contextualization involves the ability to put something in its proper historical context—understanding an event or document in relation to what else was happening at the same time, in the same area, or within the same long-term process. To demonstrate this skill, you should be able to:
  • place events or documents within the broader context of time and place
  • understand how an event relates to what else was going on locally, regionally, nationally, or globally
  • draw conclusions about an event or perspective based on its relation to the broader historical context
The historical thinking skill of contextualization involves having students place an event in its proper historical context. To demonstrate this historical thinking skill, students should be able to understand an event or document in relation to what else was happening at the same time or within the same time period. It is a difficult skill, because students actually have to explain what was going on during the period, and they should be able to identify key people and events. #Yougotthis

Period 1 (1491-1607)

Why 1491 to 1607? In short, 1491 is one year prior to "in 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue". We begin the first period of APUSH in 1491 as a realization that sophisticated societies and cultures existed in New World long before the arrival of Europeans. The period ends in 1607 because that is the year of the first successful English settlement in the New World: Jamestowne, Virginia.

Bering Land Bridge

The first people to inhabit North and South American came across The Bering Land Bridge. The Bering Land Bridge connected Eurasia and North America in the area of the present-day Bering Sea between Siberia and Alaska approximately 20,000 years ago. Nomadic Asian hunters came across the bridge looking for big game animals, such as woolly mammoths and saber-tooth tigers. The hunters settled throughout North and South America. 
https://www.americanyawp.com/text/wp-content/uploads/cahokia_21.jpg

Cahokia, as it may have appeared around 1150 CE. Painting by Michael Hampshire for the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.

The people that first inhabited North and South America transformed and adapted to their environments. The different people settled into varying tribes, and developed various agricultural techniques and social structures. 
Before Christopher Columbus and other European explorers set foot in San Salvador, North and South American indigenous tribes had formed highly complex and organized societies, such as Cahokia, a large fortification and ceremonial site in Illinois that originally rose high above the river, representing the greatest achievement of the Mississippi people. It supported a population of 20,000 people, larger than many European cities at the time. Despite these advances by Native Tribes, they were unprepared for the weaponry and diseases brought by European explorers and settlers. 
Since there were significant declines in the Native populations due to diseases, European settlers turned to African slaves to meet the labor needs of this new world. The first African slaves arrived in 1501. Eventually, over 11.2 million Africans were brought across the Atlantic Ocean (millions perished during the arduous journey). 
The clash of Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans produced a new society in both North and South America.

Was this guide helpful?

💪🏽 Are you ready for the APUSH exam?
Take this quiz for a progress check on what you’ve learned this year and get a personalized study plan to grab that 5!
START QUIZ
Hours Logo
Studying with Hours = the ultimate focus mode
Start a free study session
FREE APUSH Survival Pack + Cram Chart PDF
Sign up now for instant access to 2 amazing downloads to help you get a 5
Browse Study Guides By Unit
📆
Big Reviews: Finals & Exam Prep
📑
Document Based Questions (DBQ)
✍️
Exam Skills (MC, SAQ, LEQ, DBQ)
🧐
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
🚀
Thematic Guides
🦃
Unit 2: Colonization of North America (1607-1754)
🔫
Unit 3: Conflict and American Independence (1754-1800)
🐎
Unit 4: Beginnings of Modern American Democracy (1800-1848)
💣
Unit 5: Toward the Civil War and Reconstruction (1844-1877)
🚂
Unit 6: The Industrial Revolution (1865-1898)
🌎
Unit 7: The Early 20th Century (1890-1945)
🥶
Unit 8: The Postwar Period and Cold War (1945-1980)
📲
Unit 9: Entering into the 21st Century (1980-Present)
Join us on Discord
Thousands of students are studying with us for the AP US History exam.
join now
Play this on HyperTyper
Practice your typing skills while reading Context: European Encounters in the Americas
Start Game
📱 Stressed or struggling and need to talk to someone?
Talk to a trained counselor for free. It's 100% anonymous.
Text FIVEABLE to 741741 to get started.
© 2021 Fiveable, Inc.