CHAPTER 14 SUMMARY: THE AMERICAS
LESSON 1-The FIRST AMERICANS
• The Americas are made up of four geographical areas: North
America, Central America, South America, and the
Caribbean. These areas include many different geographical
features and climates. Major features in North America
include the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River. Major
features in South America include the Andes and the
• The first people came to America from Asia. They were
hunters and gatherers who used the resources of their
environments for food, clothing, and shelter.
• At the end of the last Ice Age, agriculture began in the
Americas. The earliest farming areas were in Mesoamerica
and the Andes. Farming led to the development of complex
civilizations in the Americas.
• Early Mesoamerican civilizations included the Olmec, the
Zapotec, and Maya.. In South America, early civilizations
included the Chavín and the Nazca.
• In North America, early people developed a variety of
cultures. In the area now known as the American
Southwest, the Hohokam and the Anasazi developed two
different cultures based on agriculture.
• East of the Mississippi River, another culture arose. They are
known as Mound Builders because they built large mounds
to serve as tombs and places for ceremonies. The Hopewell
were mostly hunters and gatherers, but the Mississippians
were full-time farmers who grew corn, squash and beans.
Some Mississippian cities contained 10,000 people or more.
LESSON 2-LIFE IN THE AMERICAS
• About a.d. 300 the Maya developed a civilization with over
50 city-states in southern Mexico and Central America. Maya
achievements included calendars, mathematics, and a
• About a.d. 900 Maya civilization collapsed although
historians are not sure why. The collapse may have been
caused by warfare among the city-states or by falling food
• Many different Native American cultures developed in the
different geographic regions of North America. These regions
included the Far North, the Pacific Coast, the Southwest,
the Great Plains, and the Eastern Woodlands.