American History Timeline

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American History Timeline Through 1848

Native Americans Prior to Colonization
The lands of North and South America were populated long before any Europeans arrived. Early Native Americans relied almost solely on hunting. Because of this and weather changes they would frequently be on the move to find new sources of food. The development of growing certain crops would change how they lived. Now they could have more permanent settlements instead of going from place to place. This would aid to the increase of populations and the expansions of various distinct Indian cultures in different areas all throughout the Americas. Great Indian societies such as the Aztec, Mayan, Inca, and Toltec would emerge. They had complex structures of government and built large cities. These cities would even be seen as impressive to the Europeans when they later arrived on the continent (Brands, Breen, Williams, Gross, 2009). The Aztecs were the most powerful of the Indians and expanded their empire as they conquered many other tribes all throughout what is now Mexico. The groups along the Atlantic coast were smaller in numbers and not as agriculturally advanced. These cultures were more peaceful and even had some democratic type qualities to them. Many of the Europeans first contact would be with these communities. British Colonization Effects on Native Americans

Despite Columbus and other explorers going off to the New World, the British did not show any major interest until the late 1500’s. The most immediate effect of the arrival of British settlers was the issue of land. They were taking land and resources that were not their own. However with peaceful relations there was plenty of land for both early settlers and the Native Americans. Early contact between English settlers and Native Americans was not filled with hostility but was rather peaceful. Both parties were interested in developing trade. The peacefulness would not last for long. The English did not understand their customs and viewed them as savages. They felt the need to attempt to civilize them. They pushed their religion and customs on them but for the most part these customs were rejected. The Native Americans welcomed trade but did not want to change their way of life. As more English continue to arrive in the New World they began to believe that they were entitled to this land and they were superior to these primitive cultures. The combination of a devastating amount of deaths to the Native Americans from diseases which they had no immunity to along with the increased hostilities caused them to be driven from their lands.

Christianity and Colonial Social Life in the 1600’s
Faith had a large impact on early colonial life. Many had left England because of religious persecution and were looking for a place where they could worship freely however they chose. There were different beliefs that settled in the areas. There was a catholic community in Maryland, Quakers in Pennsylvania, Puritans in New England, and other Protestant colonies. This created a vast amount of differences from one colony to another. The colonies had little tolerance for beliefs outside of their own despite leaving England for those very reasons. Most of the colonies had social instability except for the Puritan colonies of New England. The Puritans strong commitment to both scripture and family helped to maintain a stable social structure. This was in contrast to other settlements that were not family oriented and men made up the majority of the colony. They were also committed to keeping English traditions and many laws with them which helped keep order with disputes being settled in courts and not by violence. Seven Years’ War 1756-1763

The Seven Years’ War which is more commonly known as the French and Indian War was a battle of the British with the American colonies against France and its colonies. On May 18, 1756 the British officially declared war on the...
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