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European Influence On Native Americans

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Long before Europeans encountered the American continents, Native Americans migrated across the land bridge between Asia and North America that the Ice Age exposed. They continued to spread across North America and South America and eventually formed civilizations where they settled. During this time, Native Americans relied on hunting and agriculture for sustenance. Agriculture, particularly corn, allowed for civilizations to multiply starting in Central and South America. Later, cultivation of the crop spread to the present-day Southwest United States and eventually into the rest of North America. At the time of the founding of massive empires like the Aztec empire, dense populations were virtually nonexistent north of Mexico. Agriculture allowed for some large civilizations to grow, but most Native Americans were still living in small tribes when …show more content…
Europeans brought with them the belief that humans could and should control and change the land for their own gain. Native Americans spent centuries respecting the land and taking only what they needed. Their low population density across North America meant that large expanses of land were left virtually untouched. When European explorers appeared in the New World, they brought horses, sugar, and diseases that would devestate the Native Americans. Animals and crops were a welcome addition, but lacking resistance to Old World diseases, Native American numbers declined rapidly. Europeans also brought with them the Old World idea of the patriarchy. Many North American natives developed societies in which women tended to crops and therefore were given equal if not more power than their male counterparts. Though European conquest certainly changed Native Americans’ way of life, some similarities persisted. The American continents remained mainly agricultural, due to existing and new European crops such as sugar, wheat, rice, and

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