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Class 11 History Notes Chapter 8 Confrontation of Cultures

  • During the 15th century, the geographical discoveries made by Europeans heralded the beginning of a new era.
  • These geographical discoveries were mainly influenced by new scientific inventions, travelers’ accounts, political and religious motives, etc.
  • In 1492, a Spanish sailor Christopher Columbus discovered America. Later on Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci came to South America in 1499.
  • Economic motives gave a great impetus to European voyages and discoveries.
  • The invention of compass in 1380 helped the sailors to sail independently in different directions.
  • An Italian Amerigo Vespucci came to South America in 1499 and called it a New World.
  • The Spanish took only two years to conquer Mexico. Cartes became the Captain General of New Spain in Mexico.
  • Astrolab was invented which helped the sailors to look beyond the normal vision and also helped them to avoid the marine danger. Ptolemy’s geographical invention helped in locating places on the basis of latitudinal and longitudinal extents.
  • The Arawaks lived mainly on agriculture, hunting and fishing. Corn, sweet potatoes, tubers, etc. were mainly grown by them.
  • The Aztecs had migrated from the north into the central valley of Mexico in the 12th century.
  • The Aztecs had established a very vast empire, which was spread over an area of 2 lakh sq. kilometers.
  • Aztec rulers enjoyed supreme powers. Aztec women were given special status in the society.
  • In the twelfth century, the first Inca, Manco Capac established his capital at Cuzco.
  • Inca society was divided into many classes. The upper two classes enjoyed special privileges while the slave stood at the lowest level and were badly treated.
  • The women were given respect in the Inca society.
  • Inca society laid special emphasis on education.
  • Men were imparted military and priestly training in Inca society. The people of Inca were inspired to live an honest and pious lifestyle.
  • The Maya civilization was an important Mexican civilization which came into existence in 1500 BCE.
  • The Mayan civilization reached at its peak during the period between 300 to 900 CF,.
  • The important centers of Mayan civilization were Mexico, Honduras, El-Salvador and Guatemala.

Important terms:

  • Cosmography: Science of mapping universe.
  • Reconquista: It means reconquest.
  • Capitulaciones: Agreement made by the Spanish rulers, who used to award the right to govern the newly acquired lands to the leaders of successful expeditions.
  • Conquistador’s: It refers to Spanish conquerors and their soldiers who established their empire in the new world.
  • Quips: A system followed by Inca people which helped them in remembering things.
1492 Columbus claims Bahama Islands and Cuba for Spain.
1494 The ‘Undiscovered World’ divided between Portugal and Spain.
1497 John Cabot, Englishman, explores North American coast.
1498 Vasco da Gama reaches Calicut/Kozhikode.
1499 Amerigo Vespucci sights South American coast.
1500 Cabral claims Brazil for Portugal
1513 Balboa crosses Panama Isthmus, sights Pacific Ocean.
1521 Cortes defeats Aztecs.
1522 Magellan circumnavigates the globe.
1532 Pizarro conquers Inca kingdom.
1571 Spanish conquer the Philippines.
1600 British East India Company formed.
1602 Dutch East India Company formed.

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