Summary: Regarding the origins and development of the native civilizations of the Western Hemisphere before the European age of discovery and exploration that led to their destruction and conquest by Europeans:  As we study the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere, we will see that we can place the many different tribes and societies into two general groups.  One group, consisting of the majority of individual tribes, remained hunter-gatherers or subsistence level societies, such as the majority of the tribes of North America, the tribes of the Amazon Basin, and those of the southern portion of South America,  The other major group consisted of more stationary societies, such as the “mound builders” of the US Midwest, the Pueblo (“town”) peoples of the US Southwest, the successive civilizations of Mesoamerica, and the Incas of northwest South America who developed “true” civilizations to some degree of complexity, especially the successive civilizations of Mesoamerica and ancient Peru (the Incas).

Discussion QUESTION (approx. 200 words): Compare and contrast the different features of each groups of native American peoples and determine why you believe the tribes of North America in general remained hunter-gatherers while the natives of Mesoamerica developed “great” civilizations, similar to those of the river valley civilizations of the Eastern Hemisphere.


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