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Lecture 1.docx

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Erin Black

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Lecture 1: Wednesday September 14, 2011 HIS271Y1 : America Since 1607 “New” Worlds and “Old” Worlds 1. The First Americans  More of an encounter between different peoples (3 – Native, European, African) as opposed to a conflict between 2 peoples  Originated as a migration of peoples during an ice age – 15,000 years ago o Most Native Americans are descendents of an Asiatic nomadic hunting people (hunted wooly mammoth) o Resulted in a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska – Beringia  Was crossed without the realization of moving across continents o Found an environment teeming with plants and animals that had never encountered human life  Hunting was much easier and people were able to spread themselves further out o Melting of the ice turned the bridge back into an ocean and separated the people from the rest of Europe  Huge diversity of Native peoples – languages, cultures, traditions, etc.  A result of where they lived  North American Cultural Groupings o Based on the environmental surroundings in which people lived  Iroquois  Northeastern woodlands  Relatively stable environment – agricultural – settled down more, less nomadic  Shoshone  Nevada Basin  Severe environmental challenges – hunter/gathers – more nomadic o Social and political groupings o Environments shape the population density o Majority lived in the Eastern Woodlands area  Major Differences from Europeans o Don’t have organized religion in comparison to the Catholic Church o Do not believe in one God o Have creation stories from the Great Spirit o Completely different land ownership beliefs  Land is seen as a gift to the people – communal as opposed to individual o “Possessed less the land itself and more the use derived from the land” o To the Europeans, land was owned, the ownership was individual, and the land must be improved – building a house, growing food, etc. o Did not have a written culture, it was all oral o Most Native societies did not have currency, it was al
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