North American Civilization

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North American civilization began about 35,000 years ago in the time of the last ice age. A large land mass connecting Eurasia and Alaska brought the first Native American ancestors into North America. As the Ice Age ended, the sea levels rose, submerging the land bridge into the Ocean, thus leaving the ancestors of the Native Americans deserted on a remote continent. After crossing the land bridge, the Native Americans increased and shaped a mixture of cultures and several civilizations. Early North American Cultures

The route from Siberia to Alaska led the first descendants as well as animals to this new land. Over many years, settlement broadened throughout America, Central, and South America of the first inhabitants (Axia College, 2010). These early American’s were nomadic. Hunting and gathering as the main source of surviving is how the first American civilizations grew and adapted to the land. The cultures of early Americans grew vastly, learning economic, social, and political skills. Early Americans adapted to the land by hunting the terrain and the water.

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Animals became a major source of food as well as fish and other aquatic organisms. Native Americans had to adapt to the environment to strengthen their civilization. Many families organized male members to hunt and gather food to share with the neighboring settlements. Women also contributed to society. Agriculture dominated the role of the women. Planting, harvesting, and other domestic roles helped settlements to grow and flourish in their environments. Advancements in agriculture of Mesoamerica strengthened civilizations of many early Americans such as the Mayas and the Aztecs (Axia College, 2010).

Cities developed, small villages, many languages, and cultures evolved through economic, religious, and political advancements. Essentially, an empire formed through the efforts of early civilizations; however, new exploration from Europe would soon expand North American civilization. Changes in European society fueled the need to discover new and vast lands. This great conquest began with the Portuguese in the forefront of discovery. The Portuguese created much advancement in shipbuilding, which helped with successful voyages into the Atlantic Ocean (Axia College, 2010).

The voyages led to the discovery of Newfoundland as well as a new trade route along the African and Asian coasts. During this time, Europeans were eager to explore new routes for trade, as well as the possibility to expand land opportunities (Axia College, 2010). With the advancement of technology, economics, and political evolution, Europeans were eager to discover new lands for expansion. Factors such as overpopulation, religion, and government politics were creating situations for Europeans to explore the possibilities of transatlantic expansionism (Axia College, 2010).

Spain dominated the first efforts of exploration and colonization. Explorers such as Christopher Columbus, Hernando Cortez, and the Pizarro brothers, were the first to discover the new land of the America’s. As the Spanish continued to explore the civilizations of the Mayas and the Aztecs became dominated and conquered. Spanish colonization was easily established due to the diseases brought to the land, the Native Americans could not adapt to such sicknesses and therefore, the Spanish conquered Central and South America (Axia College, 2010).

An Empire created, the Spanish soon convinced other Europeans to expand to settlement of the Americas. English expansionism became top priority of Queen Elizabeth I. English merchants, politicians, and reformation encouraged expansion and colonization of America. Many efforts took place; however, English colonization did not occur until the later in the fifteenth century. Over a span of many of thousands of years, settlers of America migrated, adapted, and flourished with great societies.

Early Americans traveled to the continent through the land bridge, forming an environment that flourished with great economic, political, and religious advancements. With new, land discoveries, the Spanish, Portuguese, and English colonized and explored the America’s with the ambition to produce new wealth, land, and religious freedoms from their own lands, thus expanding and colonizing across the Atlantic. Gutierrez Map How and where are Native Americans presented on this map? Native Americans are presented on this map along the coasts of the Americas.

Some were given descriptions of being cannibals, other societies were reflected as wealthy with temples and other riches, and others reflected the types of animals that inhabited the land. How might have the map’s indication of where Native Americans lived strengthen European claims of sovereignty? The map’s indication of Native American societies strengthened the European claims of sovereignty through its imperial claims. What do the Spanish and French coats of arms in the upper left hand corner of the map represent?

The Spanish and French coat of arms in the upper left hand corner of the map represents the treaties of Cateau Cambresis signed between Spain, France, France, and England in 1559, which brought peace to Europe. What does the Portuguese coat of arms in the lower right corner of the map represent? The Portuguese coat of arms in the lower right corner of the map represents Portugal’s fleet off the Coast of Africa, which is dominating the southern Atlantic.


  1. Axia College. (2010). Week One Overview. Retrieved February 21, 2010, from Axia College, Week One, rEsource.
  2. HIS115—U. S. History to 1865 Course Website.

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North American Civilization. (2018, Mar 03). Retrieved from