The Meeting Of Cultures: America And Europe Essay

America Before Columbus

The People of the Precontact Americas

Clovis Scholars theorized that early migrants crossed the Bering Strait and into America in the South by deducing newly developed tools that depicted hunting large animals across North America and Asia.

To the Scholars’ surprise, most migrants came from all over the world using boats thus giving America its diversity and with genetical evidence not all of them had Asian Characteristics.

Before Columbus, it’s theorized that many people besides Mongolians traveled long to settle in the Americas and the Mongolians’ objective in America was to annihilate these population groups and reign.

The “Archaic” period was an era that represents the history of humans who developed new tools for farming, hunting and survival creating a foundation for colossal civilizations.

The Growth of Civilization: The South

From a small tribe, the Incas emerged as a powerful empire under the rule of Pachacuti who reigned by force and forming allies with nearby empires.

During his reign, the empire maintained proper government and advances in the development of roads.

Numerous societies emerged in another civilization called Mesoamericans(Aztec).

A complex tradition based society formed in Central America called Mayan who developed written languages, advanced in agriculture, and seeked for trade.

The Aztecs were known as Mexica who established Tenochtitlan, the largest populated city in the Americas, in which they built schools and dominated through small tributes, heavy taxes on goods/crops.

These powerful Tyrannical rulers established religion that was based on the sacrifices of human blood to meet their god’s expectations.

Lack of technology and vulnerability to the pandemics/inner conflict led irresistible European invasion, diminishing the great Aztec civilization.

The Civilizations of the North

New civilizations emerged north of Mexico implementing in foraging strategies.

Eskimos, from the north pole, were dexterous hunters who pursued for moose.

Pacific Northwestern civilization competed for natural resources based on fishing.

Other tribes were wealthy and densely populated whom also foraged

South Western Societies worked primarily in agriculture by building irrigation systems for farming and developed pueblos, apartment styled houses.

In Great Plains, numerous tribes weighed heavily on buffalo hunting and it wasn’t until European conquest that horses were introduced.

The Eastern part of United States was covered by forests in which so called Woodland Indians emerged and known for their greatest resources in the continent.

These Indians mainly foraged and traded corns/grains from the rich rivers.

Under the Indians, many major cities emerged such as Cahokia, a populated city that consisted of large earthen mounds.

In the Northeast, farming was ineffective because of less fertility, nonetheless the natives slashed trees and then started to plant their crops.

Tribes in the east of Mississippi river had common language of Algonquian and other important language called Iroquiaon, centered in New York.

Southernmost regions used Muskogean and European people were seen as tribes.

Tribal Cultures

Before the advent of Europeans, Native Americans faced agricultural revolution which elevated their population growth and focused on religion

Religion influenced the tribes’ customs and these natives had festives and created totems to express themselves.

Men had roles of foraging while women supervised economical and social settlements as well as harvesting crops and taking care of children.

Europe Looks Westwards

Europe in the Early Fifteenth Century wasn’t actively sending explorers to the New World for they had a wide expansion of lands and strong control over the continent by the Roman Catholic Church. Eventually, they started to explore.

Commerce and Nationalism

Population escalation after Bubonic Plague resulted in great affluence of landlords who seeked for resources across the world; thus advancement of navigation by sea

Incipiently trade was rare but as new emperors structured and centralized the government, they desired to expand trade among other nations worldwide.

Europeans became interested after gaining spices from the Asians who found faster trade routes becoming an annoyance. Thus, daring exploration occurred.

Portuguese explorer, Henry, had visions of exploring West Africa and establish Christian Empire to aid his country against North Africa but this got him to Cape Verde.

While Pedro Cabal seeked to find India, he was pushed west into Brazil.

Christopher Columbus

He Forethought that no land laid West Europe and with the help of Spain, Columbus set sail; 10 weeks later he found land and captured Indians to prove his great accomplishments.

Following his last voyage, he set on another large expedition finding South America which he thought as China and never reached Isthmus of Panama.

When Europeans gave the new world a name after a Portuguese Explorer, Amerigo Vespucci, Columbus was ignored.

Columbus’ expeditions inspired explorer Ferdinand Magellan who was named after a strait and Spanish have explored most of America.

The Conquistadors

Spanish viewed America as a source of wealth rivaling and exceed the indigenous indies.

Brazil controlled by Portuguese and Spain taking everything else was led by Hernando Cortes who led a small expedition of 600 men.

The Army faced the Aztecs but annihilated them through the usage of smallpox.

In Mexico, Silver was found and Spain sent many men to conquer.

While Europeans sent Francisco Pizarro to capture Peru and demolish the Incas, opening gates to South America.

Francisco Coronado, the 1st white man, traveled from Mexico searching for gold and silver but ended up opening the Southwest to Spanish Settlement.

Spanish America

Spanish aimed for wealth and broke down into three stages; Age of Exploration and Discovery, Conquest of Lands, Spanish Laws-banned brutal military conquests (Ordinances of Discovery). Expansion through colonization.

Besides riches, Spanish settlers visioned incorporating components of European civilization on American soil resulting change geographically and socially.

Catholic Church played a huge role in civilization: forced catholicism by converting natives, establishment of presidios, wide range of conquer

Northern Outposts

St. Augustine, 1st European settlement that was taken by the Spanish, served as a militaristic post and controlled missionaries but didn’t make huge impact on colonization.

Don Jon and his men forced labor and tribute from the Indians eventually colonizing New Mexico and founding Santa Fe.

Under Spanish missionaries, Don Jon Onate was removed as governor; many pueblos converted to christianity; Population grew and colonies raised animals.

Pueblos revolted due to the subduction of other tribal cultures by Spanish priests leading to the Indians killing 100s of European settlers and eventually driving the Spanish out. After 12 years, Spanish regained their Pueblos.

Spanish seeked for truce by offering land, converting Indian children to be baptized, and inter-marriage but eventually disease, war and migration wiped out the population.

The Empire at High Tide

Spaniards had a wide expansion of control as they set up many outposts and took control over countries such as Brazil.

Colonists had small commensurate possibilities of establishing political institutions; economy thrived under agriculture and farming rather than gold; placed restrictions on trade to ensure pirate-free.

English and other groups who came to the Americas visioned of a new family life while Spaniards came to govern by force and advance economically.

Biological and Cultural Exchanges

Europeans early contact with Natives brought the following: new diseases, era of war, introduction to new crops, advances in domestic values.

As a result, Natives did the following: Introduced maize, taught new agricultural techniques.

Natives also learned to speak Spanish and Portuguese and Europeans through trust forced catholicism upon the natives.

Intermarriage gave the right of an person to be a spaniard and the Natives became a source of labor resulting in a deportation of slaves from Africa.

Africa and America

Majority of slaves originated from Guinea, a diverse region of religion and culture which Americans depicted as uncivilized.

Due to trade, Guineans thrived in riches; subsequently their empire fell eventually unraveling to the formation of Mali.

Although politically disintegrated, these African societies developed complex trade and established economies based on climate changes.

Africans were based off of matrilineal societies-inheritance of property from mothers-and sexual equality among roles, although women played dominant.

West Africans are polytheistic who developed forms of ancestor worship and cared for tracing family history.

Africans had a common pyramid of elites on the top while slaves suffered on the bottom.

African Slave trade started way before Europeans and the Africans started to sell slaves at high demand.

The need for slaves urged Europeans to buy slaves and make them cultivate sugar-labor intensive crop.

The Arrival of The English

The Commercial Incentive

Amerigo Vespucci sailed to the New World and this land would bring Europe to peace, religious tranquility and economic recovery.

Before their visit, Europe’s countryside faced threats from tenants who robbed other householders.

Government passed enclosure acts that forced beggars to work but the law had no effect for they had disrupted farmers and limited food resources; starving the population.

Charted Merchants started to focus on the expansion of foreign trade by creating a domestic clothing industry.

The English traded wool for foreign goods and centered on mercantilism, a concept of securing wealth by exporting more than importing.

Mercantilism spread across Europe bringing extreme competition and acquisition of colonies from other countries.

At some point, the market collapsed but clergyman, Richard advocated that these colonies will help alleviate economic recession and decrease unemployment rate.

The poor were given new opportunities to work on the new colonies and intensity of trade among the colonies.

The Religious Incentive

Martin Luther launched a rebellion against the Catholic Church because he denied that divine communicates through Pope/Clergy rather than the Bible.

Many followed him creating Reformation across Europe including John colvin- went beyond Luther by saying that the divine elects people while giving others a condemn creating “Doctor’s of Predomination”.

The English Reformation was different because the dispute was based on the Monarch and Queen quarrel.

The Puritans-Separatists- started to worship based on their religion and placed women as preacher in church, going against the rules.

These Puritans resisted Separatism because they wanted to limit the bishop’s role but soon taxed after James I declared divine right, the concept that kings have no limit of their power.

The English In Ireland

Ireland was controlled by the Irish natives who behaved barbarically towards the English-who forethought that they are trouble and must be destroyed or isolated.

Gilbert, a governor of an Irish District, subdued the natives and beheaded all of them after battle. He and others brought these skills later to America. Also he was the first one to build a British colony in America.

English made another assumption that they must isolate the native population so they created a plantation which they took to America as well.

The French and the Dutch In America

The English are driven by mercantilist ideas of colonizing abroad while Spanish threatens the activity and have no aspirations of settling in North America.

Jamestown, first English colony, that was previously governed French who were restricted to leave or else they would be forbidden to return back.

The English had strong ties with Natives along the coastline for trade while the French had ties farther away from the coast.

French Jesuit missionaries created connections and the most important was “Coureur de bois” which meant extensive fur traders.

Algonquins and Hurons were the principle fur traders among the Indians and The French embedded their lives with the Natives’.

The Fur traded promoted Alliance, agricultural territories, and military centers.

The military centers provided a battle of conquer with British while the alliance with Algonquin brought Iroquois as an enemy bringing an uprising for the French.

Holland (The Dutch) became one of the top trading nations in the world for they had a strong merchant fleet larger than England’s.

Henry Hudson embarked on a voyage and stumbled upon a Dutch territory, New York, and a river was named after him.

Dutch’s presence increased fur trade, brought more immigrants from all over Europe to settle in Manhattan, loosely organized/controlled by the Dutch.

The First English Settlements

The English 30 years earlier had a strife to create colonies but under the rule of Elizabeth I, they had expressions of nationalism promoting further expansion.

Spain, the dominant naval power, brought the English to worry but Sir Francis Drake had successful raids through Spanish Merchant Ships.

Philip II sent a large fleet carrying troops to end English domination but backfired as the small English fleet ended the Spanish attack.

Gilbert, a friend of Queen Elizabeth, set sail on a voyage to find land but lost at sea after a storm.


Raleigh griefed over Gilbert and embarked on his own expedition, coming back with two natives who were part of the Roanoke.

Raleigh called the land he found virginia and but Queen Elizabeth didn’t give him the financial aid so he embarked on another journey.

Sir Francis Drake brought supplies to Roanoke and Raleigh called for an expedition which absurdly ended with the birth of John White, the 1st American Baby.

When the Commander came back, the island was deserted and no one even today can find the answer to the “Lost Colony.”

The Roanoke disaster ended Sir Francis Involvement and also Raleigh’s for he was executed because of convicted of plotting the king.

Plymouth and London parties were given a divided voyage finally establishing the first English colonies in America.

IV. Looking Back

Europeans established lands for millions of people using the resources left by the great empires of Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas.

After the Europeans Contact, the Native Americans faced pandemic influences, brutal invasion of Spain, Portugal, and English.

In the End, multiple nations world wide took control of America carving out our basis to the Present Day.

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