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By Benjamin Keen, Keith Haynes

This best-selling textual content for introductory Latin American heritage classes, A background of Latin the USA, encompasses political and diplomatic thought, classification constitution and financial association, tradition and faith, and the surroundings. The integrating framework is the dependency thought, the preferred interpretation of Latin American historical past, which stresses the industrial dating of Latin American international locations to wealthier countries, quite the United States.Spanning pre-historic occasions to the current, A background of Latin the United States makes use of either a chronological and a nation-by-nation method, and contains the latest ancient research and the main updated examine. this is often the main streamlined and cohesive version but, with immense additions to pedagogy and bankruptcy content material. increased insurance of social and cultural historical past contains ladies, indigenous cultures, and Afro-Latino peoples.

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They had dark eyes, straight or wavy black hair, and yellowish or copper skin. Their remote ancestors had probably come from Asia across the Bering Strait in waves of migration that began perhaps as early as forty thousand years ago and continued until about 10,000 BCE. Much controversy, however, surrounds the problem of the approximate date of the first human habitation in America. Some archaeologists argue that no firm evidence exists to refute the traditional view, based on the dating of so-called Folsom stone projectile points found throughout North and South America, that such habitation began about twelve thousand years 7 8 CHAPTER 1 ANCIENT AMERICA ago.

Despite the highly conventionalized and static style, the absence of perspective and shading, and the obvious errors in the human figure, it has an effect of realism that is often missing from other Mesoamerican art. Students of the Maya have frequently testified to the admirable personal qualities of the people who, with a very limited technology and in a most forbidding environment, created one of the greatest cultural traditions of all time. Bishop Diego de Landa, who burned twenty-seven Maya codices as “works of the devil,” nevertheless observed that the Maya were very generous and hospitable.

Increased food production enabled villagers to support a class of priests who acted as intermediaries between people and gods. More abundant food also released labor for the construction of ceremonial sites—mounds of earth topped by temples of wood or thatch. The social unit of the Formative period was a village community that was composed of one or more kinship groups, but by the end of the period, small chiefdoms that united several villages developed. Because land and food were relatively plentiful and populations were small, warfare must have been infrequent.

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