Present History compares and contrasts the vast cultures of the Americas in this presentation that traces the development of early American civilization through European contact and conquest in the sixteenth century. This world history presentation includes a definition and explanation of the term Latin America, the earliest signs of civilization with the Olmec, the first major city of Teotihuacan, the significant aspects of Mayan civilization and culture, the rise of the Toltec and then the Aztec with their capital at Tenochtitlan and their conquering by Cortez, the Moche of South America and then the rise of the Inca and their city of Machu Pichu, Pizzaro's conquering of the Inca, and the role of small pox in the 90 percent decimation rate of the native peoples. This presentation continues on with the cultures of North America and the role physical geography plays in the development of these diverse cultures. It includes a look at peoples of the eastern woodlands, the Southwest, and the Plains. Essential questions include: Describe the diverse characteristics of early American civilizations and societies of North, Central and South America. Compare and contrast the social, economic and political aspects of these civilizations and societies. Find a student note guide on this presentation by searching "Peoples of the Americas Notes and Review."