America History

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America History

The making of what would later become the great nation called United States of America was achieved through the industrious efforts of migrants from virtually every part of the world. Today, the United States is a melting pot of all races from all over the world including native Indian Americans, European Americans, and African Americans each of whose ancestors arrived on its shores at different periods of time, under different circumstances, and for equally different reasons. However, there are some major similarities in the way each of these groups migrated to the land that later became the United States of America and the harsh hostile conditions that they had to confront in this new land.

Each group of migrants arrived on the American shores at a different period of time. Long before the ‘discovery’ of the American continent by Christopher Columbus, internal migration by hunters from Siberia and other parts of Asia. This migration from Eurasia to the American continent took place through a land bridge called the Beringia that used to connect the two continents across what is presently called the Bering Straits. The Bering land was a bridge joining Alaska to Siberia that had been created by falling sea levels between around 60,000 and 25,000 years ago. The migration of people who would later be known as Native American Indians took place during the last ice age and continued through the centuries that followed. The Native Americans made their way through Alaska and spread along the Pacific to the middle of North America. By 8000 BCE, the North American climate had stabilized to its present conditions and migrant Native Americans had diversified into hundreds of tribes and nations that were culturally distinct from each other. The favorable climatic conditions led to cultivation of crops and a dramatic rise in population. The primary reason for migration at this period was the rise of big-game hunting using flaked flint spear-points called the Clovis points. Artifacts of these flint point projectiles were found in archeological sites in Clovis, New Mexico. The ancestors of Native Americans were mainly drawn to the American continent and what would later become the United States of America by the abundance big game like mammoths and mastodonts. Long distance trading and warfare later led to greater interaction and territorial dominance among the tribes.

Migration to the American continent by Europeans began after the post-Columbus explorations that revolutionized people’s perceptions of the Old and New Worlds. One of the first European and American contacts in the South happened when a Spanish conquistador called Juan Ponce de Leon arrived in Florida in the year 1513 (Rodriguez 47). He was later followed by many other Spanish explorers such as Hernando de Soto and further European colonialists who came to expand their respective empires under the presumption that they were civilizing a pagan, and barbaric, world through Christianity. The Spanish colonization involved policies such as Indian Reductions which involved forced conversions of the natives from their traditional beliefs and religious practices. The arrival of Europeans in the American continent brought economic benefits in trade and new ways of life. However, they also brought along diseases such as chicken pox and measles which were previously unknown in these lands. Though control and cure of such diseases had be.............


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