nation-state - The modern form of political society that combines centralized government with a high degree of ethnic and cultural unity. "No dense concentrations of population or complex nation-states...existed in North America...."
matrilinear - the form of society in which family line, power, and wealth are passed primarily through the female side. "...many North American native peoples, including the Iroquois. developed matrilinear cultures...."
confederacy - An alliance or league of nations or peoples looser than a federation. "The Iroquois Confederacy developed the political and organizational skills...."
primeval - Concerning the earliest origin of things. "...the whispering, primeval forests...."
saga - A lengthy story or poem recounting the great deeds and adventures of a people and their heros. "...their discovery was forgotten, except in Scandinavian saga song."
middlemen - In trading systems, those dealers who operate between the original buyers and the retail merchants who sell to consumers. "Muslim middlemen exacted a heavy toll en route."
caravel - A small vessel with a high deck and three triangular sails. "...they developed
plantation - A large-scale agricultural enterprise growing commercial crop and usually employing coerced or slave labor. "They build up their own systematic traffic in slaves to work the sugar plantations...."
ecosystem - A naturally evolved network of relations among organisms in a stable environment. "Two ecosystems...commingled and clashed when Columbus waded ashore."
demographic - Concerning the general characteristic of a given population, including such factors as numbers, age, gender, birth and death rates, and so on. "... a demographic catastrophe without parallel in human history."
conquistador - A Spanish conqueror or adventurer in the Americas. "Spanish conquistadors (conquerors) fanned out across...American continents."
capitalism - An economic system characterized by private property , generally free trade, and open and accessible markets. "...the fuel that fed the growth of the economic system known as capitalism."
encomienda - The Spanish labor system in which persons were help to unpaid service under the permanent control of their masters, though not legally owned by them. "...the institution known as encomienda."
mestizo - A person of mixed Native American and European ancestry. "He intermarried with the surviving Indians, creating a distinctive culture of mestizo...."
province - A medium sized subunit of territory and governmental administration within a larger nation or empire. "The proclaimed the area to be the province of New Mexico...."