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.
The history of the United States as covered in American schools and universities typically begins with either Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage to the Americas or with the prehistory of the Native peoples, with the latter approach having become increasingly common in recent decades.
Indigenous peoples lived in what is now the United States for thousands of years and developed complex cultures before European colonists began to arrive, mostly from England, after 1600. The Spanish had early settlements in Florida and the Southwest, and the French along the Mississippi River and Gulf Coast. By the 1770s, thirteen British colonies contained two and a half million people along the Atlantic coast, east of the Appalachian Mountains. The colonies were prosperous and growing rapidly, and had developed their own autonomous political and legal systems. After driving the French out of North America in 1763, the British imposed a series of new taxes while rejecting the American argument that taxes required representation in Parliament. "No taxation without representation" became the American catch phrase. Tax resistance, especially the Boston Tea Party of 1774, led to punishment by Parliament designed to end self-government in Massachusetts. All 13 colonies united in a Congress that led to armed conflict in April 1775. On July 4, 1776, the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson, proclaimed that all men are created equal, and founded a new nation, the United States of America.
The Siberian fur trade is an exchange concerned with the gathering, buying, and selling of valuable animal furs that originate from Siberia. The Siberian fur trade expanded from localized trade and Siberian fur is now traded around the world. The Siberian fur trade had a significant impact on the development of Siberia through exploration and colonization. The fur trade also precipitated a decline in the number of fur-bearing animals and resulted in Siberia being conquered by Russia.
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of a world fur market in the early modern period, furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued. Historically the trade had a large impact on the exploration and colonization of Siberia, northern North America and the South Shetland and South Sandwich Islands. Today the importance of the fur trade has diminished and is currently centered around fur farms and regulated furbearer trapping, but remains controversial. Several animal rights organizations oppose the fur trade, while supporters often cite their methods as not being cruel, that the animal populations are abundant, and their rights to practice a traditional lifestyle should be respected. The use of fur has been partly substituted by synthetic imitations.
Before the colonization of the Americas, Russia was a major supplier of fur pelts to Western Europe and parts of Asia. Fur was a major Russian export as trade developed in the Early Middle Ages ( 500-1000 AD/CE ), first through the Baltic and Black Seas. The main trading destination was the German city of Leipzig.
The Plains Indians are the Indigenous peoples who live on the plains and rolling hills of the Great Plains of North America. Their equestrian culture and resistance to domination by Canada and the United States have made the Plains Indians an archetype in literature art for American Indians everywhere. Plains Indians are usually divided into two broad classifications which overlap to some degree. The first group became fully nomadic and dependent upon the horse during the 18th and 19th centuries, following the vast herds of buffalo, although some tribes occasionally engaged in agriculture; growing tobacco and corn primarily. These include the Blackfoot, Arapaho, Assiniboine, Cheyenne, Comanche, Crow, Gros Ventre, Kiowa, Lakota, Sioux, Lipan, Plains Apache (or Kiowa Apache), Plains Cree, Plains Ojibwe, Sarsi, Nakoda (Stoney), and Tonkawa.
The second group of Plains Indians includes the aboriginal peoples of the Great Plains, as well as the Prairie Indians who come from as far east as the Mississippi River. These tribes were semi-sedentary, and, in addition to hunting buffalo, they lived in villages, raised crops, and actively traded with other tribes. These include the Arikara, Hidatsa, Iowa, Kaw (or Kansa), Kitsai, Mandan, Missouria, Omaha, Osage, Otoe, Pawnee, Ponca, Quapaw, Wichita, and the Santee Dakota, Yanktonai and Yankton Dakota.
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[