After this introduction to the unit vocabulary, students will know how to use social studies terminology correctly, including: conquistador, viceroy, province, and navigate.
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This unit is a two week study of the age of contact. Suggested pacing minutes are based on the average time it takes a class to complete each lesson; however, as the educator, use your best judgment based on the average pace of your class learning styles.
The Age of Contact (1528-1690) was the era when Spaniards – and later the French – arrived in Texas searching for wealth and hoping to find native empires (like the Aztecs or the Incans) to conquer. What followed was a series of European explorations of Texas that failed to find gold or silver, but nonetheless wrought lasting effects on American Indians in Texas. European diseases brought by these explorers, such as smallpox, ravaged indigenous populations in Texas. Spanish explorers also introduced horses (which were not native to North America) to Texas and thereby began a process of transforming groups like the Apache, which soon adapted themselves into a powerful horse culture that could more effectively raid their neighbors and defend against enemies.
By the 1540s, Spain had determined that Texas contained no gold or silver, and therefore its only real value to the Spanish was in serving as a buffer that could prevent other European powers from coming too close to the silver mines in central Mexico that brought great wealth into the Spanish Empire. When the French explorer Robert La Salle landed on the coast of Texas in February 1685, Spain launched a series of expeditions into Texas with the sole intent of finding and stamping out La Salle’s forces. Although La Salle’s settlement failed by the late 1680s, Spain decided to set up permanent settlements in Texas to prevent France – or any other European power – from establishing a foothold in Texas. To that end, Spaniards set up their first missions in 1690 near the Caddo Indians in east Texas, although these missions soon failed and were abandoned by the Spanish in 1693.
We've assembled the following list of lessons that are applicable to this unit. Most lessons contain downloadable and printable documents, activities, and other resources to aid in classroom instruction.
The Age of Contact Unit Vocabulary
We've assembled the following list of maps that are applicable to the Age of Contact.
Tabula nouarum insularum, quas diuersis respectibus Occidentales & Indianas uocant
Map shows known mid-sixteenth century geography of the Western Hemisphere. Scale not given.
Map of Europe as queen
"Map shows a stylized Europe in the form of a woman. [Spain] is her head and [Gaul], [Germany], [Denmark], [Poland], [Hungary], [Greece], [Bulgaria], [Macedonia], and Scythia are the remainder of her body."
Nueva Hispania tabula nova
Map shows known geography, rivers, and settlements in early sixteenth century New Spain [Mexico].
Hispaniae novae sivae magnae, recens et vera descripto 1579
Map shows Pacific Coast of the central portion of New Spain with large lake and four named islands (with numbered key) in upper left corner and "Notularum circa Mexico explanatio" in the lower right corner; title cartouche in upper right corner, secondary cartouche in lower left corner.
Maris Pacifici (quod vulg ̣Mar del Zur) : cum regionibus circumiacentibus, insulisque in eodem passim sparsis, novissima descriptio
Map shows known and assumed geography and place names of land masses and islands in the late sixteenth century Pacific Ocean.
Relief shown pictorially. Prime meridian: Ferro.
Map shows early seventeenth century known and assumed geography, settlements, territorial claims, and areas of Native American habitation in North America, South America, and West Indies.
America noviter delineata
Map of North and South America showing political boundaries and place names. Includes inset of Greenland and illustrations of ships and sea monsters.
Audience de Mexico
Map of Mexico and surrounding areas. Relief shown pictorially. Prime meridian: Ferro.
Map shows a late seventeenth century "Nova Mexico" settlement. Streets and buildings are visible in the settlement and there are Native Americans, Spanish landlords, and domestic animals depicted in the foreground.
Nova Hispania, Nova Galicia, Guatimala
Map shows geography and settlements in late seventeenth century Central America and Mexico.
Le nouveau Mexique, appelé aussi Nouvelle Grenade et Marata, avec partie de Californie : selon les memoires les plus nouveaux
Map shows settlements, areas of Native American habitation, and coastal points along "Isle de Californie" and "Mer de Califronie" and inland to the Rio del Norte beyond Santa Fe.
Hos Globos Terracqueum, ac Cœlestem dicat, et donat Rm̃o P.D. Sigismundo Pollitio à Placentia Prœposito Generali Monachorum Eremitorum S. Hyeronimi Congreg: Lombardiæ, P.M. Coronelli, Cosmographus P.
Map shows world continents and oceans, with vague boundaries for parts of Australian coast, Antarctica, and Pacific coast of North America.
Mexique ou Nouvelle Espagne
Map shows geography, political boundaries, and major cities of late seventeenth century New Spain [Mexico].
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Spanish exploration, covering: (1) The Aztecs and Cortes, (2) The Debacle of Cabeza de Vaca, (3) Coronado’s Expedition, (4) De Soto’s Expedition, (5) Transforming and Abandoning Texas.
The following list of resources provide additional information to help you dive deeper into the context of the unit. Books are linked to OCLC WorldCat, allowing you find a copy in your nearest local library or to make a request for it using interlibrary loan.
website Results for The Age of Contact in The Portal to Texas History