Edit Pre-Columbian Further information: Settlement of the Americas, Paleo-Indians, and Pre-Columbian era map showing the approximate location of the ice-free corridor and specific Paleoindian sites Clovis theory. According to the still-debated Settlement of the Americas, a migration of humans from Eurasia to the Americas took place via Beringia, a land bridge which formerly connected the two continents across what is now the Bering Strait.
The big-game hunting culture labeled as the Clovis culture is primarily identified with its production of fluted projectile points.
The culture received its name from artifacts found near Clovis, New Mexico; the first evidence of this tool complex was excavated in The culture is identified by the distinctive Clovis point, a flaked flint spear-point with a notched flute, by which it was inserted into a shaft.
Dating of Clovis materials has been in association with animal bones and by the use of carbon dating methods. Recent reexaminations of Clovis materials using improved carbon-dating methods produced results of 11, and 10, radiocarbon years B.
Contemporary Native Americans today have a unique relationship with the United States because they may be members of nations, tribes, or bands of Native Americans who have sovereignty or independence from the government of the United States. Their societies and cultures flourish within a larger population of descendants of immigrants both voluntary and slave: African, Asian, Middle Eastern, and European peoples.
Native Americans who were not already U. Numerous Paleoindian cultures occupied North America, with some restricted to the Great Plains and Great Lakes of the modern United States of America and Canada, as well as adjacent areas to the west and southwest. According to the oral histories of many of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, they have been living there since their genesis, described by a wide range of traditional creation accounts.
Linguists, anthropologists, and archeologists believe their ancestors comprised a separate migration into North America, later than the first Paleo-Indians. They settled first around present-day Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, from where they migrated into Alaska and northern Canada, south along the Pacific Coast, and into the interior. They were the earliest ancestors of the Athabascan- speaking peoples, including the present-day and historical Navajo and Apache.
Their villages were constructed with large multi-family dwellings, used seasonally. People did not live there year round, but for the summer to hunt and fish, and to gather food supplies for the winter. Poverty Point culture is an archaeological culture whose people inhabited the area of the lower Mississippi Valley and surrounding Gulf Coast.
The term "Woodland" was coined in the s and refers to prehistoric sites dated between the Archaic period and the Mississippian cultures. The Hopewell tradition is the term used to describe common aspects of the Native American culture that flourished along rivers in the northeastern and midwestern United States from BC to CE.
The Hopewell tradition was not a single culture or society, but a widely dispersed set of related populations, who were connected by a common network of trade routes, known as the Hopewell Exchange System.
At its greatest extent, the Hopewell exchange system ran from the Southeastern United States into the southeastern Canadian shores of Lake Ontario. Within this area, societies participated in a high degree of exchange with the highest amount of activity along the waterways serving as their major transportation routes. The Hopewell exchange system traded materials from all over the United States.
Coles Creek culture is an archaeological culture from the Lower Mississippi Valley in the southern present-day United States. The period marked a significant change in the cultural history of the area. There is strong evidence of a growing cultural and political complexity, especially by the end of the Coles Creek sequence. Although many of the classic traits of chiefdom societies were not yet manifested, by CE the formation of simple elite polities had begun. It is considered ancestral to the Plaquemine culture.
Hohokam is one of the four major prehistoric archaeological traditions of the present-day American Southwest. The early Hohokam founded a series of small villages along the middle Gila River.
The communities were located near good arable land, with dry farming common in the earlier years of this period. The Southeastern Ceremonial Complex is the name archeologists have given to the regional stylistic similarity of artifacts, iconography, ceremonies, and mythology of the Mississippian culture, which coincided with the people's adoption of maize agriculture and chiefdom-level complex social organization from CE to CE. It developed independently, with sophistication based on the accumulation of maize surpluses, more dense population and specialization of skills.
The six-square-mile city complex was based on the people's cosmology and had more than mounds, oriented to their sophisticated knowledge of astronomy. It included a Woodhenge, whose sacred cedar poles were placed to mark the summer and winter solstices and fall and spring equinoxes. Its peak population in AD of 30,—40, people were not equaled by any city in the present-day United States until after In addition, Cahokia was a major regional chiefdom, with trade and tributary chiefdoms ranging from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Iroquois League of Nations or "People of the Long House" had a confederacy model that was claimed to contribute to political thinking during the later development of the democratic United States government. Their system of affiliation was a kind of federation, a departure from the strong monarchies from which the Europeans came. Representation was not based on population numbers, as the Seneca tribe greatly outnumbered the others, possibly even combined.
When a sachem chief died, his successor was chosen by the senior woman of his tribe in consultation with other female members of the clan, with descent occurring matrilineally. Decisions were not made through voting but through consensus decision making, with each sachem chief holding theoretical veto power. The Onondagas were the "firekeepers", responsible for raising topics to be discussed, and occupied one side of a three-sided fire the Mohawks and Senecas sat on one side of the fire, the Oneidas and Cayugas on the other.
For instance, archaeology and the tribes' oral histories have contributed to an understanding that the Iroquois' conducted invasions and warfare about CE against tribes in the Ohio River area of present-day Kentucky.
Finally, they drove many to migrate west to their historically traditional lands west of the Mississippi River. By the midth century, they had resettled in their historical lands in present-day Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. The Osage warred with native Caddo-speaking Native Americans, displacing them in turn by the midth century and dominating their new historical territories. It hangs in the United States Capitol rotunda. After European exploration of the Americas revolutionized how the Old and New Worlds perceived themselves.
The subsequent European colonialists in North America often rationalized the spread of empire with the presumption that they were saving a barbaric and pagan world by spreading Christian civilization.
Impact on Native populations Edit From the 16th through the 19th centuries, the population of Native Americans declined in the following ways: The lack of hard evidence or written records has made estimating the number of Native Americans living in what is today the United States of America before the arrival of the European explorers and settlers the subject of much debate.
A low estimate arriving at around 1 million was first posited by anthropologist James Mooney in the s, computing population density of each culture area based on its carrying capacity.
In , American anthropologist Henry Dobyns published studies estimating the original population at 10 to 12 million. By , however, he increased his estimates to 18 million. Dobyns combined the known mortality rates of these diseases among native people with reliable population records of the 19th century, to calculate the probable size of the original populations.
Chickenpox and measles, although by this time endemic and rarely fatal among Europeans long after being introduced from Asia , often proved deadly to Native Americans. Smallpox proved particularly fatal to Native American populations. The disease swept through Mohawk villages, reaching Native Americans at Lake Ontario by , and the lands of the western Iroquois by , as it was carried by Mohawk and other Native Americans who traveled the trading routes.
Native Americans fought on both sides of the conflict. The greater number of tribes fought with the French in the hopes of checking European expansion. The British had made fewer allies but had some tribes that wanted to prove assimilation and loyalty in support of treaties. They were often disappointed when these were later overturned. In addition, the tribes had their own purposes, using their alliances with the European powers to battle traditional Native enemies.
Native California Population, according to Cook For the next 80 to years, smallpox and other diseases devastated native populations in the region. Smallpox epidemics in — and — brought devastation and drastic depopulation among the Plains Indians.
It was the first federal program created to address a health problem of Native Americans. Sheep, pigs, and cattle were all Old World animals that were introduced to contemporary Native Americans who never knew such animals. It was hunted to extinction about BC, just after the end of the last glacial period. The reintroduction of the horse to North America had a profound impact on Native American culture of the Great Plains.
The tribes trained and used horses to ride and to carry packs or pull travois. The people fully incorporated the use of horses into their societies and expanded their territories.
They used horses to carry goods for exchange with neighboring tribes, to hunt game, especially bison, and to conduct wars and horse raids. Great Law of PeaceTreaty of Penn with Indians by Benjamin West painted in Some Europeans considered Native American societies to be representative of a golden age known to them only in folk history.
Several founding fathers had contact with Native American leaders and had learned about their styles of government. John Rutledge of South Carolina in particular is said to have read lengthy tracts of Iroquoian law to the other framers, beginning with the words, "We, the people, to form a union, to establish peace, equity, and order New confederacies were formed.
One such was to become a pattern called up by Benjamin Franklin when the thirteen colonies struggled to confederate: Congress passed Concurrent Resolution to recognize the influence of the Iroquois Constitution upon the U. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The painting shows a Native American boy in a blue coat and woman in a red dress in European clothing. During the American Revolution, the newly proclaimed United States competed with the British for the allegiance of Native American nations east of the Mississippi River. Most Native Americans who joined the struggle sided with the British, hoping to use the American Revolutionary War to halt further colonial expansion onto Native American land.
Many native communities were divided over which side to support in the war. The first native community to sign a treaty with the new United States Government was the Lenape. For the Iroquois Confederacy, the American Revolution resulted in civil war. The only Iroquois tribes to ally with the colonials were the Oneida and Tuscarora. Frontier warfare during the American Revolution was particularly brutal, and numerous atrocities were committed by settlers and native tribes alike.
Noncombatants suffered greatly during the war. Military expeditions on each side destroyed villages and food supplies to reduce the ability of people to fight, as in frequent raids in the Mohawk Valley and western New York. The expedition failed to have the desired effect: Native American activity became even more determined. American Indians have played a central role in shaping the history of the nation, and they are deeply woven into the social fabric of much of American life During the last three decades of the twentieth century, scholars of ethnohistory, of the "new Indian history," and of Native American studies forcefully demonstrated that to understand American history and the American experience, one must include American Indians.
Notice peace pipe atop the medalThe British made peace with the Americans in the Treaty of Paris , through which they ceded vast Native American territories to the United States without informing the Native Americans, leading immediately to the Northwest Indian War.