Question:

How were Native Americans affected by European colonization of the Americas?

Answer:

The European colonization of the Americas forever changed the lives & cultures of the Native Americans. In the 15th - 19th centuries, their populations were decimated by displacement, disease, & in many cases by warfare with European groups.

More Info:

Americas

The population figure for Indigenous peoples in the Americas before the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus has proven difficult to establish. Scholars rely on archaeological data and written records from settlers from the Old World. Most scholars writing at the end of the 19th century estimated the pre-Columbian population at about 10 million; by the end of the 20th century the scholarly consensus had shifted to about 50 million, with some arguing for 100 million or more. Contact with the New World led to the European colonization of the Americas, in which millions of immigrants from the Old World eventually settled in the New.

The population of African and Eurasian peoples in the Americas grew steadily, while the number of the indigenous people plummeted. Eurasian diseases such as smallpox, influenza, bubonic plague and pneumonic plagues devastated the Native Americans who did not have immunity. Conflict and outright warfare with Western European newcomers and other American tribes further reduced populations and disrupted traditional society. The extent and causes of the decline have long been a subject of academic debate, along with its characterization as a genocide.


American culture

The culture of the United States is primarily Western, but is influenced by Native American, African, Asian, Polynesian, and Latin American cultures. A strand of what may be described as American culture started its formation over 10,000 years ago with the migration of Paleo-Indians from Asia, as well as from Oceania and Europe, into the region that is today the continental United States. The United States of America has its own unique social and cultural characteristics such as dialect, music, arts, social habits, cuisine, and folklore. The United States of America is an ethnically and racially diverse country as a result of large-scale migration from many ethnically and racially different countries throughout its history as well as differing birth and death rates among natives, settlers, and immigrants.

Its chief early European influences came from English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish settlers of colonial America during British rule. British culture, due to colonial ties with Britain that spread the English language, legal system and other cultural inheritances, had a formative influence. Other important influences came from other parts of western Europe, especially Germany, France, and Italy.]citation needed[


Native American history

Native Americans are the indigenous peoples within the boundaries of the present-day United States, including those in Alaska and Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes and ethnic groups, many of which survive as intact political communities. The terms used to refer to Native Americans have been controversial. According to a 1995 U.S. Census Bureau set of home interviews, most of the respondents with an expressed preference refer to themselves as "American Indians" or simply "Indians"; this term has been adopted by major newspapers and some academic groups, but does not traditionally include Native Hawaiians or certain Alaskan Natives, such as Aleut, Yup'ik, or Inuit peoples.

Since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas has led to centuries of conflict and adjustment between Old and New World societies. Many Native Americans lived as hunter-gatherer societies and told their histories by oral traditions; Europeans therefore created almost all of the surviving historical record concerning the conflict.

Native Americans are the indigenous peoples within the boundaries of the present-day United States, including those in Alaska and Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes and ethnic groups, many of which survive as intact political communities. The terms used to refer to Native Americans have been controversial. According to a 1995 U.S. Census Bureau set of home interviews, most of the respondents with an expressed preference refer to themselves as "American Indians" or simply "Indians"; this term has been adopted by major newspapers and some academic groups, but does not traditionally include Native Hawaiians or certain Alaskan Natives, such as Aleut, Yup'ik, or Inuit peoples.

Since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas has led to centuries of conflict and adjustment between Old and New World societies. Many Native Americans lived as hunter-gatherer societies and told their histories by oral traditions; Europeans therefore created almost all of the surviving historical record concerning the conflict.


Indigenous peoples of the Americas

The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America and their descendants. Pueblos indígenas (indigenous peoples) is a common term in Spanish-speaking countries. Aborigen (aboriginal/native) is used in Argentina, while "Amerindian" is used in Guyana but not commonly used in other countries. Indigenous peoples are commonly known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, which include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. Indigenous peoples of the United States are commonly known as Native Americans or American Indians, and Alaskan Natives.

According to a prevailing New World migration model, migrations of humans from Eurasia to the Americas took place via Beringia, a land bridge which connected the two continents across what is now the Bering Strait. The most recent migration could have taken place around 12,000 years ago, with the earliest period remaining a matter of some unresolved contention. These early Paleo-Indians soon spread throughout the Americas, diversifying into many hundreds of culturally distinct nations and tribes. 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.


European colonization of the Americas

European colonization of the Americas began in 1492, when a Spanish expedition headed by Christopher Columbus sailed west to find a new trade route to the Far East and inadvertently saw the American continent. Prior European contact existed on a limited basis when some Norse expeditions arrived on the shores of present-day Greenland and Canada in the 10th century. While Norse settlements in southern Greenland existed for several centuries, archaeologists have found remains of only one shortlived Norse settlement in North America.According to Norse folklore, violent conflicts with the indigenous population ultimately made the Norse abandon those settlements. It wasn't until five centuries later that the systematic conquest and colonization of America began with Columbus' discovery of Hispaniola. His first two expeditions (1492–93) further reached the Bahamas and various Caribbean islands, notably Puerto Rico and Cuba. In 1497, sailing from Bristol on behalf of England, John Cabot landed on the North American coast, though English colonization started a century later. In 1498, Columbus's third voyage reached the South American coast.

As the sponsor of the discovery voyage, Spain was the first European power to settle the Americas and colonize the largest areas, from North America and the Caribbean to the southern tip of South America. Spanish cities were founded as early as 1496 with Santo Domingo in today's Dominican Republic or San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1508 or Veracruz (Mexico) and Panama City in 1519. The city of St. Augustine, Florida founded by Spain in 1565 is the oldest continuously inhabited European city in present-day United States.

The population figure for Indigenous peoples in the Americas before the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus has proven difficult to establish. Scholars rely on archaeological data and written records from settlers from the Old World. Most scholars writing at the end of the 19th century estimated the pre-Columbian population at about 10 million; by the end of the 20th century the scholarly consensus had shifted to about 50 million, with some arguing for 100 million or more. Contact with the New World led to the European colonization of the Americas, in which millions of immigrants from the Old World eventually settled in the New.

The population of African and Eurasian peoples in the Americas grew steadily, while the number of the indigenous people plummeted. Eurasian diseases such as smallpox, influenza, bubonic plague and pneumonic plagues devastated the Native Americans who did not have immunity. Conflict and outright warfare with Western European newcomers and other American tribes further reduced populations and disrupted traditional society. The extent and causes of the decline have long been a subject of academic debate, along with its characterization as a genocide.


Atlantic slave trade

The Atlantic slave trade or transatlantic slave trade took place across the Atlantic Ocean from the 16th through to the 19th centuries. The vast majority of slaves transported to the New World were Africans from the central and western parts of the continent, sold by Africans to European slave traders who then transported them to North and South America. The numbers were so great that Africans who came by way of the slave trade became the most numerous Old-World immigrants in both North and South America before the late eighteenth century. The South Atlantic economic system centered on making goods and clothing to sell in Europe and increasing the numbers of African slaves brought to the New World. This was crucial to those European countries which, in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, were vying with each other to create overseas empires.

The Portuguese were the first to engage in the New World slave trade, and others soon followed. Slaves were considered cargo by the ship owners, to be transported to the Americas as quickly and cheaply as possible, there to be sold to labour in coffee, tobacco, cocoa, cotton and sugar plantations, gold and silver mines, rice fields, construction industry, cutting timber for ships, and as house servants. The first Africans imported to the English colonies were also called "indentured servants" or "apprentices for life". By the middle of the seventeenth century, they and their offspring were legally the property of their owners. As property, they were merchandise or units of labor, and were sold at markets with other goods and services.


Social Issues

A social issue (also called a social problem or a social situation) is an issue that relates to society's perception of a person's personal lives. Different cultures have different perceptions and what may be "normal" behavior in one society may be a significant social issue in another society. Social issues are distinguished from economic issues. Some issues have both social and economic aspects, such as immigration. There are also issues that don't fall into either category, such as wars.

Thomas Paine, in Rights of Man and Common Sense, addresses man's duty to "allow the same rights to others as we allow ourselves". The failure to do so causes the birth of a social issue.

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