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Page 1 Overall Study Guide 8th Grade US History

·        Geography is the study of people, their environments, & their resources
·        Geographers help historians understand the past by showing how people & land are related
·        The main purpose of latitude & longitude is to show a region’s location on a map
·        The US is border to the North by the nation of Canada & to the South by Mexico
·        The US is border to the east by the Atlantic Ocean & to the West by the Pacific Ocean
·        There are many important river systems in the US examples being the Mississippi River, the Missouri River, the Ohio River, the Colorado River, & the Hudson River
·        The US also contains 5 Great Lakes, which received their name due to their large size. They include Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, & Ontario (last 2 in New York)
·        The US also possesses 2 major mountain ranges the Appalachians in the east & the Rocky mountains in the West
·        The US capital is located in Washington D.C. The Kentucky state capital city is located at Frankfort
·        The major mountain ranges are located in the East including the Adirondacks, the Catskills, & the Allegheny Mountains – all are part of the Appalachian chain
NATIVE AMERICANS – America’s First Inhabitants
·        Geographers study the interaction between people, their environments, and their resources
·        Historians study what has happened in the lives of different people in our past
·        The five themes of geography help to illustrate the relationship between geography and history
·        Political science is a field in which researches study how people set up and maintain governments
·        Archeologists are individuals who study the past by examining artifacts
·        Some examples of artifacts which archeologists study are arrowheads, pottery, tools, and buried animal bones
·        Longitude and latitude help to determine absolute or exact location of places on the earth.
·        Latitude lines measure North and South distances from the equator
·        The equator is an imaginary line at 0 degrees latitude
·        Longitude lines measure East and West distances from the Prime Meridian
·        The Prime Meridian lies at 0 degrees longitude
·        A people’s way of life can be defined as their culture
·        The Incan civilization was located high in the Andes Mountains in South America
·        The Aztec people were located in central Mexico with their capital city of  Tenochtitlan
·        Many scientists believe that the first people arrived in the Americas by crossing a land bridge from Siberia in Asia
·        Native Americans developed different cultures based upon where the settled in the Americas
·        Native Americans kept their history alive by storytelling to future generations, this is known as an oral tradition
·        The buffalo provided the food, shelter, and clothing for the plain’s hunters
·        Native-Americans were polytheistic, which means that they believed in many gods
·        The Iroquois of New York were perhaps the strongest of the Eastern Woodland tribes
·        Native Americans had a strong respect for nature and for land, which they believed cold not be sold or owned
·        The Iroquois formed a league, which they believed would end wars amongst its members and provide a defense against potential
·        Many Native American societies were matriarchal, which meant that women were the head of the household, and participated in some important tribal decisions
·        Examples of how Native Americans adapted to their environment include the foods they hate, the homes in which they lived, and the clothes they wore
THE AGE OF EXPLORATION – “The Americas, who put that there?”
·        Europeans became interested in trade for many reasons including new inventions, spices, exotic goods, and earlier exploration voyages
·        In order to increase trade profits Europeans looked for new sea routes to Asia
·        Prince Henry the Navigator helped to increase European interest in exploration by establishing a school of navigation
·        Vasco da Gama became the 1st Portuguese sailor to reach India/Asia by sailing around the tip of Africa
·        Although Columbus is widely believed to be the first European to discover the Americas, it is now proven that the Vikings arrived centuries earlier
·        The Columbian Exchange is the name given to the transfer of good, ideas, animals, and disease between the Old World and the New World
·        Millions of Native Americans would die as a result of the disease brought to the New World by the Columbian Exchange
·        Millions more Native Americans would die from being forced to labor for the Spanish in mines and on plantations. These plantations were called encomiendas.
·        The Spanish came to the New World seeking the 3 G’s: Gold, God, and Glory
·        Spanish Conquistadors conquered the Native-Americans of the New World, including the Incas (Pizarro) and the Aztecs (Cortes)
·        Bartholome de Las Casas was called the “Protector of the Indians” for speaking on behalf of Indians and Indian rights in the New World
·        The Spanish created the empire of New Spain which was locate predominantly in Central and Southern America
·        The Middle Passage was the horrific journey where Africans were brought across the Atlantic to the Americas as slaves
·        Samuel de Champlain explored the St. Lawrence River and set up Quebec as a fur trading post.
·        The colony of New France was established along the St. Lawrence River in present day Canada (eh?) and focused on the trapping and trading of furs with Native Americans
·        Coureurs de Bois (Runners of the Woods) was another name given to the French Fur Traders
·        A Northwest Passage was important to Europeans because it would supposedly provided a quick all water route to Asia through the North American Continent