Americas 0-2013 CE

North America

Hopewell cultures

200 BCE - 500

Native culture in modern southern Ohio that formed along rivers and raised maize, beans, and squash, yet relied heavily on hunting, fishing, and gathering. Notable burial mounds with enclosed banked earth, and impressive large earthworks that suggest some division of labor in society and a public labor force. System of well developed trade routes and distinctive pottery, stonework, and metalwork using copper sheet, iron, mica, and gold

Corn introduced into eastern North America

100 BCE

Introduced the cultivation of corn into the peoples of the modern US

Farming communities settle in the Southwest

0 AD - 200 AD

Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi): Basketmaker II period

100 - 500

Anasazi means 'ancestors of the enemy,' showing the people's hostility with their nomadic neighbors. ived in shallow pit houses in modern Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. Cultivated maize, and used storage pits for food preservation. Also relied on hunting and gathering

Eastern Woodland cultures

200 - 800

People of the Great Plains who grew maize, beans, and squash and built burial mounds. Similarly to their neighbors, this group developed a distinct style of pottery

Ancestral Pueblo: Basketmaker III

500 - 750

Agriculture becomes increasingly important with the growth of bean crops and the domestication of turkeys. Development of a more sedentary lifestyle with new irrigation structures - reservoirs, check dams, etc.

Growth of Southwest Population

600 AD

600: Southwest population grows, and cotton cultivation spreads from Mexico.
Regional differentiation in crops increases
- 750: In Midwest and Southeast, corn present in native crops
- 850: Intensive maize agriculture in the Southwest

Cotton Cultivation Spreads


Southwest population grows, and cotton cultivation spreads from Mexico. Regional differentiation in crops increases.

Intensive Maize Agriculture


Although Maize had existed in North America since before the Common Era, it is further developed in the Southwest throughout the 9th-11th centuries

Successful cultivation leads to consolidations of populations

1000 - 1400

Advancements in Cultivation, Trade


The next 400 years are marked by advancements in maize and beans that allow for consolidations of populations and political centralization, especially in the Eastern Woodlands and Southwest. The Midwest and Southeast experience population growth and develop long-distance exchange systems

Hohokam settlements increase the Southwest, Trading with Mexico


Migration to River Settlements


Centralized Political Structures

1400 - 1600

In the 15th and 16th centuries, many native groups in North America transition to more centralized political structures in the Northeast, and disperse into smaller communities in the South. With the arrival of Europeans in the late 15th century, foreign elements and new disease penetrate native life.

Colonial Period

1600 - 1763

Santa Fe and Québec founded as North American colonial capitals. English settle along Atlantic seaboard in New England, Middle Atlantic, Chesapeake in lands previously occupied by Native Americans. Colonies experience massive population growth in early to mid 18th cent.

Indentured Servants


Brought from England guaranteed entry into the colonies in exchange for labor. By the 1650s, the demand for labor was higher than these servants could provide, sparking the African slave trade.

Cultivation of Tobacco


Begins in Virginia. Within a decade, the new crop becomes Jamestown’s (first American colony, founded 1607) main revenue source and first important US export

African Workers Imported


The first native Africans were brought to Virginia and hired to work on tobacco, rice, and indigo plantations. In the 1660s, Southern plantation owners changed laws in order to revoke contracts with Africans so they could not earn their freedom. Africans continued to be brought to the US until the 1800s for use as slaves on plantations and as domestic servants.

New England Triangle Trade Established


Boston ship brings slaves from Africa to the West Indies, where they are traded for sugar, tobacco, and wine; these in turn are sold for manufactured goods on the ship's return back to Massachusetts.

Cotton Gin Invented


Allows for a more efficient process of separating cotton from seeds. Eli Whitney's innovation changes the entire industry of agriculture, and in the mid 19th century, cotton becomes the most important agricultural export in the US

McCormick Reaper Patented


Mass-produced machine that replaced some farm labor. More efficient that human reaping. The 1840s marked an increase in the use of mass-produced agricultural machines, encouraging a shift to commercial farming

Mexican-American War

1846 - 1848

Following the war, tens of thousands of migrant workers emigrate freely from Mexico. Many held temporary jobs and then moved back to Mexico

US Farming Becomes Large-Scale Industry

1860 - 1930

In the 19th century, US agricultural exports increase, ranging from 65-87% of total US exports. To support the growing industry, Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos were brought to the US as the demand for labor increased.

Prohibition of Slavery

1860 - 1870

After the American Civil War, Black Codes limit rights of black people to work in non-agricultural industries, prohibiting them from raising own crops. In the 60s and 70s, constitutional amendments prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude in the US. Specifically, the 13th amendment to the US constitution abolishing slavery was passed in 1865.

Sharecropping System

1865 - 1870

Replaces the slave plantation system in the Southern US, yet still keeps slaves working the plantations or in debt. In Jim Crow America, blacks were continually treated as inferiors. The Jim Crow era did not officially end until the mid 20th century.

Increased Mexican Labor

1914 - 1918

WWI causes migration from Europe to decline, increases demand for Mexican labor. Workers lobby to create first guest worker program, allowing over 70,000 Mexican workers to immigrate to the US

Great Depression


Great Depression, Dust Bowl – economic failure and extreme draught forces white farmers to become migrant workers for low wages. Over 500,000 Mexican American farm workers deported in the Mexican Repatriation. US government passes labor laws protecting workers’ rights and conservation on farms increases. However, this legislation excludes farm and domestic workers, positions historically held by blacks and immigrants. During the 1930s, Filipinos workers also became more organized

Labor Shortages

1942 - 1964

WWII causes labor shortages and in response, the US government starts the Bracero Program to import temporary workers from Mexico, while simultaneously finding undocumented workers and deporting them. Caribbean workers hired in Florida to cut sugar cane. Immigration and Nationality Act incorporates temporary guest worker visa program.

Agricultural Revolution

1945 - 1970

Revolution in agriculture technology increased crop yields and allowed for development of specialized farms. In 1996, US agriculture exports peak at $60.4 billion

Current Farm Workers


African Americans moved from agriculture to other industries. Latin American immigrants (up to 75% undocumented) make up the majority of US farm workers. Many abuses of workers and lack of protection of workers' rights.

Farmers' Markets


Farmers’ Markets become popular, allow small farmers to sell directly to consumers

Central America

Early Mayas

1800 BC - 250 AD

End of El Mirador

300 BCE - 150 CE

Mirador was a major hot spot for trade until abandoned by people - Interconnected so trade was efficient and capable

Teotihuacan Empire

100 BC - 650 AD

One of the first great cities of the Western Hemisphere - 8 Sq Miles -"It was the largest city anywhere in the Western Hemisphere before the 1400s,"

Immergence of Agriculture

0 CE

Subsistence agriculture established: domestic crops

Divide In Hierachy

0 CE

Divide between classes - Growing population used for labor, to build monumental structures and domesticate agriculture

Mayan Lowlands Agriculture: Yucatán Peninsula

90 CE - 150 CE

Cultivation methods: drained fields, irrigation systems were noted

Maya Empire

250 AD - 900 AD

The Maya, brought astronomy, mathematics, calendar making, and hieroglyphic writing, and monumental architecture to the world.

Run for the Hills

300 - 500

In southern Mesoamerica there was a widespread transition from low-lying farm villages to more defensible hilltop settings.

Abandon Chalcatzingos


Chalcatzingos abandonment coincided with the widespread development of cultures of settlements of a few thousand people, each centered around a hinterland of farming villages. In the northern basin of mexico cultures of communities became drawn into spheres of influence dominated mainly by Teotihuacan and shared in their sociocultural development, the transition from chiefdom to state level societies.

Decline of the Maya

700 AD - 900 AD

The classic sites in the Southern lowlands were abandoned one by one. Theories of downfall include overpopulation, overuse of the land, endemic warfare and drought.

Reality of Erosion


Copan river valley population of 25000. Farming steep slopes that have thin soil is not effective in the long term. The first few crops yield good returns but the soil fertility lessens with use and rain erodes top soil down into the valleys.


800 - 900

70% of typical diet came from maize and there was very little animal protein available in the centrally located civilizations of mesoamerica. The erosion from hilltop settlements lead to wide scale malnutrition evident in skeletal remains

Post-Classic Period

900 AD - 1500 AD

A few Maya cities continued to flourish throughout this period in the highlands of the Yucatan.

Copan Valley Decline

900 - 1200

The population managed to sustain itself for 150 years after malnutrition and erosion but noticeably faltered from the years 900-1200. The population plummeted from 25000 to 1000

Columbus Arrives


Immergence of Sugar Cane

1535 - 1863

Spanish explorer Cortez established the first North American sugar mill there in 1535.

Triangle Trade

1620 - 1808

Triangle trade begins to emerge as a major contributor to the driving labor force for sugar. Slaves would come from Africa, to the Caribbean, in return for goods to be sold to England. The ‘slave trade’ was the major element in an early form of globalization, connecting the economies together.

Sugar Becomes Strongest Crop


By the year 1625, sugar production in the subtropical and tropical Americas had become the world's largest and most lucrative industry. Profit from the sugar trade was so significant that it may have even helped America achieve independence from Great Britain.

British Jamaica


1655, after they took the last Spanish fort left on the island,the British claimed the island and soon began taking the resources in bulk. 77,000 tons of Sugar cane per year were extracted, planted and worked by the slaves that were brought to the island.

Code Noir


King Louis XIV rules, set in place for slaves for the French run colonies. Restricted activity for free negroes as well as slaves. Helped maintain order, due to large imbalance in population.

Treaty of Ryswick


Spain cedes the western third of Hispaniola to France.

Saint Domingue

1700 - 1800

The French colony of Saint Domingue is the most lucrative colony in the world, at this time, more lucrative than the 13 Colonies. Its slave-produced tropical crops -- sugar, rum, cotton, tobacco, and indigo -- generated great wealth. Near the end of the 18th century, 500,000 to 700,000 people, mainly of western African origin, were enslaved by the French.

Slavery in Belize

1724 - 1838

The British brought slaves to the region. Timber was the main resource in Belize and this was what warranted the input of the 2,300 slaves that were brought to work in the country.

Mayan farming in Belize

1790 - 1850

As the British pushed deeper into the island in search of mahogany, they encountered resistance from the Maya who inhabited those areas. A neighboring violent war had caused thousands of refugees to flee to Belize. Though the Maya were not allowed to own land, most of the refugees were small farmers who were growing considerable quantities of crops by the mid-19th century.

Haitian Slave Revolts begin


After France retracted "rights of man" from applying to free black citizens there were mass slave revolts in Saint Dominique, and Toussaint L'Overture became the leader of the slave rebellion.

Temporary end of slavery

1793 - 1794

Robespierre's Jacobins ended slavery in French colonies

Slavery reinstated

1794 - 1803

In France the Jacobins lost power. Maximilian Robespierre, the leader of the Jacobins, to the guillotine, ending the Reign of Terror. More moderate leaders came and went, eventually replaced by Napoleon.He responded to the pleas of the plantation owners by reinstating slavery in the French colonies, once again plunging Haiti into war.

Death of L'Overture


France tricks and kills Haiti's rebel Toussaint L'Ouverture

Haitian Independence


Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti independent on January 1, after crushing the French army sent to re-enslave Haiti. , the second colony after the USA to become independent in America, and the first black slave revolt to triumph against the white masters

Mexican Independence


Following the Mexican declaration of war in 1810, protracted fighting erupts cross the country until Independence is won in 1821.

Slavery Abolished in Mexico


Slavery Abolished


Slavery in overseas colonies was abolished in 1833 but this wasn't of much use to the many people living in Belize at the time. The land owners used their powers and restricted access to their land. This kept them in control of the country for a long period.

First Factory in Mexico


The first modern factory is built in Latin America: a powered cotton mill near Puebla, Mexico.

Garifuna Immigrants

1834 - 1900

While Belize was struggling to regulate labor and its social structure due to the recent end of slavery, a new ethnic group-- The Garifuna-- immigrated to the island. Many Garifuna men soon found wage work alongside slaves as mahogany cutters.In 1857 the British told the Garifuna that they must obtain leases from the crown or risk losing their land

new republics


United Provinces of Central America breaks into five republics (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica).

Caste War

1847 - 1848

Maya Indians rebel against plantation owners in Yucatán, Mexico in what is known as the Caste War.

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo


slowly the Mexicans begin building their social and political infrastructure to make way for republican government. This process is interrupted by a U.S. invasion of Mexico in 1846; by the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), Mexico cedes a large portion of its northern territory to the U.S. In the mid-1850s, 1846–48 The U.S. invades Mexico and captures Mexico City; as stipulated in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico cedes present-day California and the Southwest to the U.S. (lands south of the Rio Grande) for $15 million.

Mexican Land Reform

1850 - 1910

An underground liberal political party overtook the federal government in an attempt to redistribute land. The existing system was controlled by “Hacendados”.Peasant unrest began to spread throughout the country, until the election of Porfirio Diaz, when he promised peace and agrarian reform to reestablish communal land ownership and ejidos.By the election of 1910, most of the land in Mexico was controlled by commercial agriculturalists, and not by the peasants who worked the land. Diaz and a few elite politicians, who not only kept land from peasants but also began selling it abroad.


1870 - 1879

Bananas are introduced as a cash crop to Costa Rica, and soon the "miracle fruit" expands across Central America, consolidated by the Boston-based United Fruit Company in 1899. The crop becomes so critical economically that the Central American countries are dubbed "The Banana Republics."

Crown Lands Ordinance


The British colonizer established reservations for the Garifuna as well as the Maya. The British prevented both groups from owning land and treated them as a source of valuable labor

Porfirio Díaz

1876 - 1911

Porfirio Díaz (1830–1915) assumes the presidency; his dictatorship, which ends with the Revolution of 1910, is marked by increased foreign investment, technological development, and expansion of the railroad

US seizure


The U.S. declares war on Spain and in victory gains dominion over Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Philippines, and Guam.

Panama Canal

1904 - 1914

President Madero

1911 - 1913

Madero’s Platform was “to increase agriculture and irrigation.Although his platform included a great listing of social reform and change, Madero promised the people of Mexico an agrarian reform prior to election. However his hesitation for land reform on a large scale divided himself and Emiliano Zapata, a revolutionary from southern Mexico who sought total land reform for all peasants.

Plan of Ayala


Zapata and his supporters created their own list of demands, laying out the foundation of agrarian reform in Mexico for the benefit of the peasants who worked the land. President Madero had the Plan printed in newspapers to show Zapata’s insanity; however, the Mexican people supported the demands of the plan and turned against the president.

Zimmermann Telegram


Zimmermann Telegram revealed in which Germany offers to help Mexico recover territory lost to the US in exchange for support in the First World War.



U.S., Mexico, and Canada form NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.