Chapter 1 - The Atlantic World, to 1600


Five hundred years ago, frequent contact began among Native Americans, Europeans, and West Africans on the shores of North America. The resulting conflicts and interactions among these different cultures had far-reaching effects, sometimes tragic and destructive, for the people of these three worlds.
Chapter Outline

Section 1: The Native American World

Early Native Americans societies, which had populated North America for thousands of years, had different ways of life but held shared beliefs and participated in a wide trading network.

Section 1: Virtual Field Trip: Native American Ruins

Using the links below, explore the ruins left by pre-Columbian Native Americans. Record your impressions and then write a brief essay on your findings. Make sure to include what you think these ruins tell us about the people who used to live there.
Ancient Indian Ruins
The Moundbuilders
Mesoamerican Photo Archives

Section 2: The European World

Throughout the Middle Ages, Europe's contact with the rest of the world did not usually extend beyond the near regions of Africa and Asia. Gradually, however, a great movement later called the Renaissance led Europeans to seek new knowledge and undertake journeys of exploration.

Section 2: Analyzing Primary Sources: The Renaissance

Using the links below, examine writing and artwork from the Renaissance era. What insight can be gained from the artwork you viewed and the documents you read? Summarize your research in a brief report.
Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance
The Gutenberg Bible
15th Century Renaissance Art

Section 3: The World of the West Africans

At the time of their first contact with Europeans, West Africans had wealthy kingdoms with strong governments, unique cultures, and traditional religious beliefs.

Section 3: Writing an Essay: West African Kingdoms

Using the links below, investigate the history of several West African kingdoms. Select the topic that interests you most, such as art, history, or some aspect of daily life. Then, write an essay of your findings on the topic you chose.
Africa: One Continent, Many Worlds
West African Kingdoms
The Story of Africa

Section 4: The Atlantic World Is Born

Columbus's voyages to the Americas began a chain of events that permanently reshaped American, European, and African history.

Section 4: Creating a Table: Impact of Columbus

Using the links below, investigate the impact of Columbus's voyages to America. From your research, create a table comparing the resources, food, ideas, and culture of the New World with those of the Old World.
Seeds of Change Garden
Columbian Exchange
The Discovery of the New World and the End of the Old

Dana Orsucci,
Sep 16, 2016, 7:32 AM