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After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection by James West Davidson, Mark Lytle

By James West Davidson, Mark Lytle

For greater than twenty-five years, After the Fact has guided scholars via American heritage and the equipment used to review it. In dramatic episodes that movement chronologically via American heritage, this best-selling publication examines a vast number of issues together with oral proof, photos, ecological info, movies and tv courses, church and city documents, census info, and novels. no matter if for an introductory survey or for a ancient equipment direction, After actually the right textual content to introduce readers, step-by-step, to the detective paintings and analytical ways historians use once they are literally doing heritage.

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Horses had become extinct in the Americas thousands of years ear­ lier, so these large creatures at first terrified many Indians. Deliberately, De Soto crowded so close that when his horse snorted, it ruffled the ceremonial fringe Atahualpa wore across his forehead. In an audacious surprise attack of cannon, cavalry, lances, and swords, Pizarro scattered the terrified Incan army while taking its king hostage. Then he demanded an entire roomful of gold and silver as ransom in return for freeing Atahualpa.

This day they lost many pigs," wrote one of De Soto's chroniclers, the current having carried them off while crossing a river. And some Indians snuck into the expedition's camp and poached them for a meal themselves. When the Spanish landed in 1539, they understood little of North American geography. Earlier expeditions to La Florida and the Carolina coast in 1S14 and 1521 believed these regions to be islands, like Cuba and Hispaniola. Even if we knew where De Soto landed (and that has been vigorously argued over), the descriptions of his overland journey are vague.

Another Extremaduran, Francisco Pizarro, cast his eye on the more recently discovered Incan civili­ zation in South America. In 1531 De Soto joined Pizarro's tiny army of 168 men, leading a vanguard of mounted horse. Pizarro boldly confronted the monarch Atahualpa, despite the presence of a ceremonial Incan army num­ bering perhaps 80,000. As the two leaders faced off, De Soto played his own dramatic part. On horseback, he rode directly up to Atahualpa to intimidate him. Horses had become extinct in the Americas thousands of years ear­ lier, so these large creatures at first terrified many Indians.

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