United States Modernization and Change

The first people to reach North America were Asian hunters and nomads. Following game along the Siberian coast, they crossed the land bridge that connected the two continents about 30,000 to 34,000 years ago. Once in Alaska, it took these first North Americans, the ancestors of Native American tribes, thousands of years to work their way south to what is now the United States. Evidence of early life in North America has been found at sites throughout North and South America, indicating that life was probably already well established in much of the Western Hemisphere by some time prior to 10,000 B.C.

Around that time the mammoth began to die out and the bison took its place as a principal ...

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and culture at the time were extraordinarily diverse, as could be expected, given the expanse of the land and the many different environments to which they had adapted. Some generalizations, however, are possible. By all accounts, Indian society in North America was closely tied to the land. Most tribes, particularly in the wooded eastern region and the Midwest, combined aspects of hunting, gathering and the cultivation of maize and other products for their food supplies. Indian life was essentially clan-oriented and communal, with children allowed more freedom and tolerance than was the European custom of the day. There was a good deal of trade among various groups.

The first Europeans to reach North America were Icelandic Vikings, led by Leif Ericson, in about the year 1000. In 1492, the Italian navigator Christopher Columbus, acting on behalf of the Spanish crown, sailed west from Europe and landed on one of the Bahama Islands. Columbus never saw the mainland United States, ...

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To help populate it, Penn actively recruited immigrants, among them many religious dissenters, e.g. Quakers, Mennonites, Amish, Moravians and Baptists. The first German community was established in Pennsylvania in 1683. By 1733, thirteen English colonies had been established along the Atlantic Coast.

Most emigrants left their homelands to escape political oppression, to seek the freedom to practice their religion, or for adventure and opportunities denied them at home. Most settlers were English, but there were also Dutch, Swedes and Germans, a few French Huguenots and a scattering of Spaniards, Italians and Portuguese. Few colonists could finance the cost of passage and in some ...

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Added: 6/28/2012 12:51:00 PM
Submitted By: ocheikhm
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 6270
Pages: 23

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