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Glossary

Chapter 1: New World Beginnings, 33,000 B.C.-A.D. 1769

Capitalism

an economic system characterized by private property, generally free trade, and open and accessible markets.

Caravel

a small vessel with a high deck and three triangular sails.

Confederacy

an alliance or league of nations or peoples looser than a federation.

Conquistador

Spanish conqueror or adventurer in the Americas.

Demographic

concerning the general characteristics of a given population, including such factors as numbers, age, gender, birth and death rates, and so on.

Ecosystem

a naturally evolved network of relations among organisms in a stable environment.

Encomienda

the Spanish labor system in which persons were held to unpaid service under the permanent control of their masters, though not legally owned by them.

Inflation

rising prices that occur when the supply of currency or credit grows faster than the available supply of goods and services.

matrilineal

the form of society in which family line, power, and wealth are passed primarily through the female side.

Mestizo

a person of mixed Native American and European ancestry.

Middlemen

in trading systems, those dealers who operate between the original buyers and the retail merchants who sell to consumers.

nation-state

the form of political society that combines centralized government with a high degree of ethnic and cultural unity.

Plantation

a large-scale agricultural enterprise growing commercial crops and usually employing coerced or slave labor.

Primeval

concerning the earliest origins of things.

Province

a medium-sized subunit of territory and governmental administration within a larger nation or empire.

Saga

a lengthy story or poem recounting the great deeds and adventures of a people and their heroes.



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