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North American Civilization Essay

600 words - 3 pages

North American Civilization
While Christopher Columbus is widely believed to have discovered the New World, he was not the first to discover the Americas. The Native Americans were the first to discover these lands and make them their home.
The early Native Americans came to the Americas from Asia during an ice age that caused sea levels to drop enough to uncover a land bridge across the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska. They continued to migrate to America by sea even after global temperatures warmed and sea levels rose to cover the land bridge once more. The Native American continued to migrate south and east out of Alaska, down the west coast of America. Gradually the different groups of Native Americans had migrated throughout America as well as into Mexico and South America.
The Native Americans were not a single group of people, but instead were many diverse groups of people, ...view middle of the document...

Councils of elders, Chiefs, and Shamans are also examples of leaders in some Native American cultures. Some tribes believed in totems, or animals that they were descended from and who protected them. Other tribes believed in magic, or had other deities based in nature. The languages of the tribes were as varied as their beliefs.
The Gutierrez map only depicts Native American as living in South America. They are shown on the map as being naked and carrying bows. They are shown on the map as being primitive. The placement of Native Americans on the map might have strengthened the Europeans claims on the settlements and colonies in North America and Mexico. It would make those countries’ claims on the lands absolute if those territories are not occupied by the Native Americans. This would make their sovereignty unquestionable.
The placement of the coats of arms of the Spanish, French, and Portuguese on the map has symbolic meaning. The Spanish and French coats of arms in the upper left corner of the map could be said to have two different purposes. One purpose is to represent the claim to the territories of those countries in that part of the map. The French and Spanish both had stronger claims to the colonies and settlements in North America than in South American and Africa. The second purpose is to represent the Treaties of Cateau Cambresis of 1559. The treaties, signed first between Spain and France, and then between France and England, helped to bring peace to those countries. The Portuguese coat of arms in the bottom right corner of the map represents the claims of Portugal to territories in both South American and Africa.
The Native Americans were the first to discover these lands. Although these people may of all originated from Asia, but once here they originated into diverse tribes of people with many different beliefs, societies, and languages. When the Europeans arrived here in the Americas they immediately claimed these lands for themselves. They built their colonies and enriched their homelands with what they found here, all with little regard for the Native Americans who were here first.

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