Chapter 8 Confrontation of Cultures
Compare the civilization of the Aztecs with that of the Mesopotamians.
(i) Aztecs society was hierarchical. It included nobles, priests, warriors and traders.
(i) Mesopotamian society was divided into three classes. It included higher, middle and lower classes.
(ii) The people of Aztecs civilization worshiped the gods of war and sun.
(ii) Mesopotamian people worshiped many gods and goddesses.
(iii) Aztecs civilization flourished in Central America between 1200 to 1400 AD.
(iii) Mesopotamian civilization flourished in Modern Iraq around 5000 BC.
(iv) The Aztecs knew the art of metal smelting. Ornaments were made of gold.
(iv) The Mesopotamia’s were the first to use potters wheel, glassware, etc.
What were the new developments helping European navigation in the 15th century?
- The invention of magnetic compass in 1380 CE helped in searching and identifying four cardinal directions. These directions were North, South, East and West.
- Manufacturing of sailing sea helped the sailors to sail much safer and comfortable. Larger ships were built which could carry a large quantity of cargo.
- The Travelogue of Marco Polo also helped a lot in European navigation and created wide interest among the people.
- Travel literature and books on geography were also available.
Give reasons for Spain and Portugal being the first in the 5th century to venture across the Atlantic.
- The rulers of both Spain and Portugal had passion for acquiring wealth in the form of gold and treasure for glory and titles.
- They also wanted to establish colonies in the regions.
- The Christian Missionaries wanted to venture across the Atlantic.
- Many Christians wanted to bring people of other lands into the fold of Christianity.
What new food items were transmitted from South America to the rest of the world?
The food items which wore transmitted from South America to the rest of the world were as follows:
- Cane sugar
Answer In A Short Essay
Write an account of the journey of an African boy of seventeen captured and taken to Brazil as a slave.
Do it yourself. Guidelines in brief are given for the help of the students. They can elaborate it with the help of their teachers. The journey of the African boy was very hard. He was made a slave and journey started from Congo. Their ship sailed in the Atlantic ocean and reached Brazil in South America via Angola.
How did the discovery of South America lead to the development of European colonialism? HOTS
European countries were greedy for gold and silver. It was their expectation that a heavy quantity of gold was available in South America. So, they settled in different regions. International trade and industrialisation expanded in the region. They established their rule with the help of military strength. But local people resisted it. But the Spaniards suppressed their resistance. The merchants brought a variety of products to the Europeans such as tobacco, potatoes, sugarcane, cacao and rubber. Europe also became familiar with new crops from America, notably potatoes and chillies. The merchants formed joint stock companies and sent out trading expeditions. Profit was the main objective. The newly discovered land earned huge wealth. It also gave an impetus to the revolution. Thus it can be said that the discovery of South America led to the development to European colonialism.
More Questions Solved
Very Short Answer Type Questions
What do you mean by Conquistadores?
Conquistadores means the Spanish conquerors and their soldiers, who established their empires in the New World.
What were the main centres of Inca civilisation?
The main centre of Inca civilisation was Tintikaka lake. Some of its other centres were Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
WhyWhy is South America also called ‘Latin America’?
South America is also called Latin America because Spanish and Portuguese, two of the main languages of the continent are part of the Latin family of language.
How was the Mexican city so splendid?
Mexican city was built on water by virtue of specific architecture. So it was splendid.
How many slaves were imported from Africa when enslavement was banned in Brazil?
Over thirty six lakh slaves were imported from Africa.
Name the two Spaniards who had established their empires in America.
- Hernando Cortes
- Francisco Pizarro
Animists were those people who believed that even those objects may have life or soul which are regarded as inanimate by modem science or scientists.
How did the invention of compass inspire the sailors?
The invention of compass inspired the sailors to sail in different directions because it helped in locating cardinal directions.
Write two features of Mayan religion.
- People of Maya civilization worshiped gods like forest, rain, fire, corn, etc.
- People sacrificed only one part of their body to make their gods, goddesses happy. The custom of human sacrifice was prevalent at that time.
Is the title of “Confrontation of Cultures” quite correct?
Yes, because we see confrontation of European culture with that of the American and African cultures. Here, European culture has enslaved the American and African cultures.
Who was Marco Polo?
Macro Polo was a great Italian traveler. He wrote his famous account “Travels of Marco Polo”.
What is the present position of human habitation in America?
Presently, North America and South America, i.e. two continents are inhabited with the people of different nations.
Mention the specific period in the history of the world that exhibits confrontation of cultures.
The period between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries exhibits confrontations of cultures.
Name any two inventions which inspired the sailors to sail in different directions.
- Invention of compass
- Invention of telescope.
How many types of culture, were found in America?
Two types of culture, i.e. The Aztecs and The Mayas.
Write two features of early American civilization.
- Agriculture was their main profession. Com was their major food item.
- Cattle rearing was not their concern.
When was Tnca city of Machu Pucchu excavated?
Which food items did Incas grow?
They grew com and potatoes.
How did American civilisation decline?
In 1532, Spanish army, under Francisco Pizarro, destroyed the Inca civilisation. In 16th century, American civilisation declined due to foreign invasion.
What were the two remarkable achievements of the Mayas?
- The Mayas had good knowledge of mathematics. They used a special sign for zero.
- They devised a pictographic form of writing.
What do you understand by Capitulaciones?
Capitulaciones were some type of agreement made by the Spanish rulers. Under it, the rulers of Spain used to award the rights, titles and reward, etc. to govern the newly acquired lands to the leaders of successful expeditions.
State two similarities between ancient Egyptian and Mayan calendars.
- The Egyptian and Mayan calendars were solar calendars. They were based on the movement of the sun.
- A year had 365 days in both the calendars.
Who accorded their approval for the voyage to be undertaken by Columbus?
The Spanish ruler Ferdinand and his queen Isabella accorded their approval for the voyage to be undertaken by Columbus.
What were the differences between ancient Egyptian and Mayan calendars?
- There were 12 months in a year in Egyptian calendar, while there were 18 months in a year in Mayan calendar.
- A month had 20 days in Mayan calendar, whereas there were 30 days in a month in Egyptian calendar.
Which period pertains to the growth and existence of the Mayan culture?
Between 12th and 14th centuries the Mayan culture developed in Mexico Gulf in Central America.
What was the mainstay of the Mayan culture
It was agriculture. They used to grow com. Their culture and many religious ceremonies were centred on the planting, growing and harvesting of corn.
What were other fields of achievements in Mayan culture?
Architecture, astronomy, mathematics and pictographical writing.
What do you understand by ‘Chinampas’ of the Aztecs?
Chinampas were the artificial island in Mexico lake. It was made by the Aztecs by weaving huge reed mats and covering them with mud and plants.
What is the meaning of Reconquista?
Reconquista means reconquest. It was the military reconquest of the Iberian peninsula by the Christian kings from the Arabs in 1492 CE.
When and how did Aztecs get power?
Aztecs got power in 1220 CE when they destroyed the power of Tolteks.
What was the main political achievement of Aztecs civilisation?
Aztecs loved wars. So they established a powerful kingdom with their bravery.
Write about expansion of Mayan civilisation.
Between 300 and 900 CE, Mayan civilisation was at its peak of development. It was stretched in a large part of Central America. Regions of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras were included in it.
Do you think Portuguese and Spaniards as the first explorers of America?
No, it was not so because voyages of discovery were made by a number of people from different countries such as Arab, China and India. However, they settled in the lands visited by them.
Which things of Inca people were of high quality?
Pottery and weaving of the Inca people were of high quality.
Which people belonged to the Iberian peninsula?
Portuguese and Spanish or Spainard people belonged to the Iberian peninsula.
When did Atahualpa become the ruler of Inca empire? What was the name of his capital?
Answer:Atahualpa became the ruler of Inca empire in 1532 C.E. Cuzco was his capital.
Who were Arawaks?
Arawaks were natives of Greater Aitilles and the Lesser Antilles, which were situated in the Carribean Sea.
Why did European settlers dislike Jesuits coming to Brazil?
European settlers disliked Jesuits coming to Brazil because of the following reasons:
- The Jesuits argued for humane interaction with the natives. They ventured into the forests to live in villages and taught them Christianity as a joyous religion.
- The Jesuits strongly criticized slavery.
What were the immediate consequences of European campaigns for the native people of North and South America?
The immediate consequences of European campaigns for the native people of North and South America were as follows :
- Population of the native people decreased due to massacre.
- Their way of life was destroyed.
- They were enslaved to work in mines, plantations and mills.
Who was Francisco Pizarro?
Francisco Pizarro was the famous conqueror of Spain.
Who was Eric Williams?
Eric Williams was the author of ‘Capitalism and Society’.
Who was Pedro Alvares Cabral?
Pedro Alvares Cabral was a famous Portuguese sailor. He discovered Brazil in 1500 CE.
Short Answer Type Questions
What were the greatest achievements of the Mayans?
The greatest achievements of the Mayans are as follows:
- Calendar: According to Mayan calendar, a Maya year had 365 days. The Mayans had divided the year into 18 months. Each month had 20 days. The remaining five days were regarded as unlucky by the Mayans.
- Mathematical Knowledge: The Mayans had indepth knowledge of mathematics. They used a special sign for zero.
- Hieroglyphic Script: The Mayans made their own script. This script was a combination of pictorial signs and sounds.
- Artistic Achievements: The Mayans were efficient in architecture, painting and sculpture. They built magnificent pyramids, crossing, temples and observations.
- Utensils made on Wheel: The Mayans used utensils made on the wheel.
Ghana is called the “land of gold”. Why?
Ghana is located in the north-west of upper course of the Niger river. Ghana captured and controlled some areas of gold deposits in the 18th century. After that gold became the most important item of Ghana’s trade. That is why it is called the ‘land of gold’.
What were the common features of early American civilization?
Following were the main features of early American civilization:
- In early American civilization people were more skilled in the art of stone. Their tools were made up of stones. Metals were used to make ornaments only.
- Agriculture was their main profession.
- The people of early American civilization were not familiar with cattle rearing.
- Utensils, weaving, etc. were made by the people of this civilization.
Africa was called the ‘Dark Continent’ during the medieval period. Why?
Africa was called the ‘Dark Continent’ during the medieval period due to the following reasons:
- Africans lived a primitive and underdeveloped life. They were ignorant people. So the continent was known as ‘Dark Continent’.
- The world was unaware of the resources of African continent. There are a lot of natural resources in Africa.
- African land was full of surprises. Europeans and colonials migrated to Africa.
- The varied culture and traditions were explored by tourists and visitors to this land.Name a few navigators who threw light on their discoveries in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The three famous navigators in the 15th and 16th centuries were Columbus, Vasco-da- Gama and Magellan. They made a lot of contribution in the following fields:
- Columbus: Columbus was a famous Italian navigator. He wanted to discover the route to India. Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492 AD during the course of his voyage to the west.
- Vasco-da-Gama: Vasco-da-Gama was a famous Portuguese navigator. He arrived India in 1498 C.E through the Cape of Good Hope. Thus, he discovered a sea-route to India.
- Magellan: Magellan was also a Portuguese navigator. In 1519 C.E., he discovered the Philippine Islands and South America.
Discuss the real motivating factors behind the voyages of discovery.
The real motivating factors behind the voyages of discovery:
- By discovering new regions.
- To increase trade and earn money.
- To spread Christianity abroad by adventurous voyages.
What was the importance of iron in the growth of African civilisation?
- Iron helped in making weapons. Weapons of iron were helpful in the extension of empire.
- The Africans learnt about extracting and smelting of iron.
- East Africa was famous for its iron ore mines.
- Iron was exported to the foreign countries. And they got gold instead of it.
- Ship was built by using iron. So, it led to the development of trade.
Write a note on Caribbean communities.
There were two tribes, namely Arawakkian Lucayos and Caribs. Arawakkians were God fearing and compromising in nature whereas Caribs were cruel and fierce. The former tribe lived in Bahamas and the Greater Antilles while the later in Lesser Antilles. These were small islands between Caribbean and Atlantic ocean. These communities lived on hunting, fishing and agriculture. They produced food collectively for everyone in the community.
Describe in brief the role of foreign trade in the growth of civilisation.
- The foreign traders brought many factors with them. These factors mingled with the Sudanic, Hemeatic and Arab elements. Thus, a new culture having its own distinct entity developed there.
- The foreign traders influenced the people of coastal regions of East Africa.
- The influence of foreign trade introduced many patterns of construction of forts, mosques and tombs.
- The language ‘Swahili’ was the intermixture of Bantu and Arabic languages.
Write a brief note on Brazillian communities.
They were the tribes of Tupinambas who lived on the east-coast of South America. Iron was unknown to this tribe. Hence, they could not tend to farming. There were fruits, vegetables and fish in ample quantity. Hence, they did not depend on agriculture to survive. They were simple people. They agreed to cut the trees and carry the logs to the ships in exchange of iron knives and saws. They provided Europeans with loads of monkeys, hens, wax, cotton thread, etc. free of cost. They were the complacent people with their motherland.
Write a short note on the Mayan culture.
- The Mayan culture flourished between 11th and 14th centuries in Mexico, but in the sixteenth century they had less political power than the Aztecs.
- They performed religious ceremonies that were centred on the planting, growing and harvesting of corn.
- Agricultural production was at its peak. Astronomy and mathematics developed a lot in this culture.
- They devised a pictographic form of writing.
Discuss in brief the early people and geographical features of America.
Since a very long time, the people have been inhabiting North and South America and its nearby islands. Asian people and the people of South Sea Islands also inhabited there. South America was covered with intensely dense forests and mountains. The Amazon river flowed through the dense forests of this region. In Central America, the settled areas of habitation were there along the coast and in the plains.
In which period did Islam spread in Africa? Discuss its influence on the African civilization.
Islam spread in Africa during 8th to 16th century. In the beginning, it spread in the coastal areas of Eastern Africa. Later on it spread in Mali, Hausa, Aksum and Sudan. Islamic influence on African civilization:
- Trade was the backbone of economy. People earned a lot of money through trade and they became well-off.
- Due to Islamic influence, a number of mosques, forts and tombs were constructed.
- Due to the mixture of Bantu and Arabic languages, the Swahili language developed.
- Due to Islamic influence, African states became centres of Islamic learning, education and culture.
Discuss in detail the Spanish policy towards the Arawaks. What were its consequences?
The Spanish people had much fascination for gold. But the Arawaks were not so. The Arawaks were interested in glass beads and the art of weaving. The Spanish exchanged their gold for glass beads with the Arawaks. The Arawaks were very humble and generous people. They were also very co-operative. They also co-operated with the Spanish people in the beginning. But after sometime, the behaviour of Spanish towards the Arawaks changed. They became more furious and brutal towards them. It gave disastrous results.
Discuss the political life of the Inca culture.
The Inca civilisation was the largest of the indigenous civilisations in South America. Manco Capac, the first Inca, established his capital at Cuzco in the twelfth century. The state was widely expanded. In the reign of the ninth Inca, the Inca empire stretched 3,000 miles from Ecuador to Chile.
There was highly centralised system in the Inca empire. The power of the state highly rested with the king. The king was the higher authority. Quechua was the language of the court. It was necessary to speak Quechua language. Each tribe was ruled over by a council of elders. But the tribe owed its allegiance to the ruler as a whole. Local rulers were often rewarded for their military cooperation. The Inca empire included over more than a million people. Inca people made ornaments of gold, silver and copper. They also did immense progress in the field of medicine and surgery.
Discuss the various reasons behind discoveries of New routes and New lands.
- Missionary Zeal: The Christian Missionaries were inspired to discover New lands to spread their religion.
- Renaissance: The curiosity to achieve difficult targets made the men voyage loving and adventurous.
- Invention of Mariner’s Compass: It made the sailors confident that they would not lose the way in bad weather and prompted them to explore new lands.
- Craze for Trade: When Turkey captured Constantinople and the old trade route, the enthusiastic traders did not lose hope. They set out to discover new routes.
There was huge growth of commerce and trade in Europe. What were its results?
The results of growth of commerce and trade may be summed up in the following ways:
- In the discovered lands, the Europeans set up their colonies. Later on they were used as markets.
- Large companies were established for trade. Ruling class were also its members.
- The growth of commerce and trade increased the number of members of European middle class. They played an important role in the politics of the continent.
- As a result of the growth of trade and commerce, Europeans prospered a lot.
Long Answer Type Questions
Discuss in detail the arguments that were placed in favour of the continuation of slavery.
King of Spain, Philip II, publicly banned forced labour. A law was enacted in 1609 CE., under which the local people, Christians and non-Christians were given full liberty. The European settlers were enraged over this law. After the completion of two years, they forced the king to scrap this law and to permit enslavement once again.
New economic activities began. Lands covered with forests were cleared. Cattle-rearing was started. After the discovery of gold in 1700 CE, mining work began in full swing. But for this work, there was the need of cheap labour. Abolishment of slavery was the matter of debate in 1780s. Some were of the opinion that even before the entry of Europeans in this trade, slave existed in Africa. After 15th century, slaves formed the bulk of the labour force in the states of Africa. Some Africans helped the Europeans to capture youngsters so that they could be sold as slaves. For this, they were given crops by the European traders.
The only alternative was to bring slaves from Africa to meet this problem. More than 36 lac African slaves were brought into Brazil between 1554 and 1885 CE. In 1750 CE., some people were there who owned thousands of slaves. There were some debates from the 1780s on abolishing slavery. Some people argued that slavery existed in Africa even before the entry of Europeans in this trade. It is right that after the fifteenth century, in the states formed in Africa, slaves formed the bulk of the labour force. They also argued that few Africans even helped the Europeans to capture young men and women so that they could be sold as slaves. In return, European traders gave them crops imported from South America.
“Cortes without any explanation placed the emperor under house arrest and attempted to rule his name.” Explain how it happened?
- Mexico was conquered by Cortes and his soldiers. In 1519, Cortes sailed from Cuba to Mexico, where he made friends with the Totonacs. It was a group who wanted to secede from Aztecs rule. The Aztecs king, Montezuma, sent an official to meet him. He was terrified at the aggressiveness of the Spanish, their gunpowder and their horses. Montezuma himself was convinced that Cortes was reincarnation of an exiled God who had returned to avenge himself.
- The invading Spaniards were dumbstruck at the sight of Tenochtitlan. It was five times larger than Madrid and had about 1 lac inhabitants. It was twice the population of Seville, the largest city of Spain.
- Cortes was cordially received by Montezuma. The Aztecs took the Spaniards into the heart of the city, where the emperor showered them with gifts. His people were apprehensive, having heard of the massacre of the Tlaxcalans.
- The fears of the Aztecs proved to be well founded. Without any explanation, Cortes put the emperor under house arrest and attempted to rule in his name. Cortes also installed Christian images in the Aztec temple. Montezuma suggested a compromise and placed both Aztec and Christian images in the temple.
- The high-handedness of the Spanish occupation and their incessant demands for gold provoked a general uprising. Alvarado ordered a massacre during the Aztecs spring festival of Huizilpochtli. When Cortes returned on 25 June, 1520, he had on his hands a full-blown crisis. The Spaniards faced acute shortage of food and drinking water.
- The Aztecs continued to fight the Spaniards. Around 600 conquistadors and more of their Tlaxcalan allies were killed in what is known as the ‘night of tears’. Cortes was forced to retreat to Tlaxcala to plan his strategy, against the newly elected king, Cuatemoc. With just 180 soldiers and 30 horses, Cortes moved into Tenochtitlan as the Aztecs prepared for their final stand. The Aztecs thought they could see omens foretelling that their end was near, and because of this the emperor chose to give up his life.
Discuss the following with regard to the people of the native Mayan civilization:
The Mayan civilization occupied a distinct place in the native American civilization.
- Society: Priest was the chief of the Mayan society. They were highly respected. They had full control on government. So far state was concerned, they had the full authority but at local level, there was a provision of self-government.Agriculture was the backbone of the Mayan society. Com was the main crop of the Mayans. Some people were engaged in weaving and dying of clothes while coin, beans, potato, papaya, etc. were major food items of people.
- Religion: Gods and goddesses were worshiped by Mayan people. These included the gods of forest, rain, fertility, fire and corn. For more rains people pleased gods. Human sacrifice was also in practice.
- The Mayans made tremendous progress in the field of science. They invented a calendar. This calendar symbolized their progress in astronomy. According to this calendar, there were 365 days and 18 months in a year. Each month had 20 days.
- The Mayans imparted the knowledge of zero in mathematics.
- Hieroglyphic script was their other achievements. It can be said that the Mayan civilization did not lag behind the other American civilizations on any aspect.
Why were Spanish and Portuguese rulers in particular so respective to the idea of funding a maritime quest?
European economy went through the phase of a decline from the mid-fourteenth to mid-fifteenth centuries. Due to plague and wars, a lot of people died in various parts of Europe. Trade became slack. There was a shortage of gold and silver, used for making European coins. In the late fourteenth century, long-distance trade declined, and then became difficult after the Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453. Italians established their business with Turks. They were now required to pay higher taxes on trade.
The possibility that more people could be brought into the fold of Christianity made devout Christian Europeans ready to face adventure. After this, ‘the Crusades’ against the Turks began as a religious war. They increased Europe’s trade with Asia and created a taste for the products of Asia, especially spices. Its trade could be followed by political control, with European countries establishing colonies in regions.
Gold and spices were found in new regions. Portugal was a small country which got independence from Spain since 1139 which had developed fishing and ailing skills, took the lead. Prince Henry of Portugal attacked Ceuta in 1415. After that, more expeditions were organised and the Portuguese established a trading station in Cape Bojador in Africa.
In Spain, economic reasons encouraged individuals to become knights of the ocean. The memory of the Crusades and the success of the Reconquista fanned private ambitions and gave rise to contracts known as Capitulacion.es. Under these contracts, the Spanish ruler claimed rights of sovereignty over newly conquered territories and gave rewards to leaders of expeditions in the form of titles and the right to govern the conquered lands.
What do you know about the Arawakian Lucayos? Discuss the way of life the Arawakian Lucayos led.
The Arawakian Lucayos inhabited a cluster of small islands in the Caribbean sea and the Greater Antilles. They had been expelled by the Caribs from the Lesser Antilles.
The Arawakian Lucayos always preferred negotiations. They ignored conflict. They were boat-builders and used to sail the open sea in canoes made from hollow tree trunks. They lived on hunting, fishing and agriculture. Com, sweet potatoes, tubers and cassava were major agricultural produce. The Arawakian people produced food collectively and fed everyone in the community.
The Arawakian Culture: The Arawakian people were organised under the elders of the clan. The tradition of polygamy was common. They were animists. In many other societies, shamans played an important role as healers and intermediaries between this world and that of the supernatural.
Relations with Europeans: The Arawakian people wore the ornaments made of gold. They did not give as much value to the gold as the Europeans did. Gold was exchanged from glass beads. The Arawakian Lucayos people were quite happy with this. These beads looked more beautiful. They were highly skilled in the art of weaving. It was much developed. The
hammock was one of their specialties.
The Arawakian people were very generous. They always collaborated with the Spanish in their search of gold. When the Spanish policy became brutal, they resisted. Its results were quite disastrous.
What do you understand by geographical discoveries? What were the main reasons behind these discoveries?
During this period, a number of geographical discoveries happened. The period from 1490 to 1523 is known as the golden period of geographical discoveries. South and North America were discovered during this period. They were named as the New World. European ships started sailing in the Indian ocean and the Chinese sea. Geographical Discoveries: European people were too much interested in Asia particularly about the Indian goods. Merchants carried their goods to Mediterranean and Black sea through surface route. These goods were sent through sea route from that place. The Turks occupied Turkey and its nearby places by the middle of 15th century. Later on, Asian trade with Europe came to an end. Europeans were not interested in breaking the relations of trade. That is why they made an attempt to explore new routes.
Copernicus and Marco Polo sailed across Asia. In their travelogues, they wrote a lot of strange stories. A lot of scientific inventions were done. Copernicus asserted that the earth is round. This improvement in geographical knowledge gave an impetus to travel and explorations. The invention of magnetic compass helped in identifying the cardinal points.
The Incas empire was highly centralized with the king representing the highest source of authority. Elaborate.
- The Incas empire was centralized. The king was the highest authority. Quechu was the language of the court. Each people spoke Quechu language. A council of elders ruled each tribe independently. The tribe owed its allegiance to the ruler. Regarding population, there is no exact figure. But there were more than a million people in the empire who owed their allegiance to the ruler.
- The Incas were magnificent builders like the Aztecs. They built roads through mountains from Ecuador to Chile. Their forts were built of stone slabs. They used labour-intensive technology to carve and move stones from nearby rock falls. Many stones weighed more than 100 metric tons, but they did not have any wheeled vehicles.
- Agriculture was the main occupation of the people. They terraced hillsides and developed systems of drainage and irrigation to overcome the problem of infertility of soil. Cultivation in Andean highlands was much greater than what it is today. The Incas grew maize and potatoes.
- They were mainly interested in weaving and pottery. They were of high quality. There was an accounting system in place-the Quipu, or cords upon which knots were made to indicate specific mathematical units. It was the opinion of some scholars that the Incas wove a sort of code into these threads.
- The organisation of the Inca empire had pyramid-like structure. If the Inca chief was captured, the chain of command could quickly come apart. This was precisely what happened when the Spaniards decided to invade their country.
Who was Pizarro? Discuss his achievements in the Inca region.
Pizarro was a poor and illiterate Spaniard. After joining the army he visited the Caribbean Islands in 1502 CE. Inca kingdom was the land of silver and gold. He made numerous attempts to reach this kingdom from the Pacific. Once, when he came back home, he met the Spanish king. He showed the king beautifully designed gold jars made by Inca workmen. He promised Pizarro if he conquered the Inca lands, he would be made the governor of those lands. Pizarro made a plan to adopt Cortes’s method. Achievements: Atahualpa secured the throne of the Inca empire after a civil war in 1532 A.D. After that Pizarro arrived. He took the king under his possession. The king offered reserves of gold as their ransom for his release. But Pizarro did not deter from his word. He assassinated the king and his soldiers plundered freely. After this, Pizarro occupied the Inca state. The cruelty of the conquerors provoked an uprising in 1534. It continued for two years. In this uprising, thousands of people died in war. In another five years, the Spanish had found vast reserves of silver in Patosi (modem Bolivia).
Passage Based Questions
Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:
Bernard Diaz del Castillo! 1495-1584) wrote in his True History of the Conquest of Mexico that the people of Tabasco gave Cortes a woman attendant called Dona Marina. She was fluent in three local languages, and was able to play a crucial role as interpreter for Cortes. ‘This was the great beginning of our conquests, and without Dona Marina we could not have understood the language of New Spain and Mexico.
Diaz thought she was a princess, but the Mexicans called her ‘Malinche’, a-word meaning ‘betrayal’. Malinchista means someone who slavishly copies the costumes and language of another people.
(i) Who is the author of the book “True History of the Conquest of Mexico”! (it) What do you know about Dona Marina?
(iii) Who was Cortes?
(iv) What does ‘Malinchista’ mean?
(i) Bernard Diaz del Castillo.
(ii) Dona Marina was the Mexican princess. Her mother sold her as a slave to the people of Tobasco. She was well versed in three local languages and served as an interpreter for Cortes.
(iii) He was a famous Spanish Conquistador who invaded Mexico in 1519. He defeated Montezuma II, the ruler of the Aztec empire in 1521. As a result of his conquest, the Aztec empire came to an end.
(iv) ‘Malinchista’ means someone who slavishly copies the costumes and language of other people.
On the map of Central America and the Caribbean Islands mark and locate the following:
(v) the Bahamas
On the map of Africa, mark and locate the regions from where slaves were captured.