What is the history of North America?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by PS Nystrom, Nov 19, 2001.

  1. PS Nystrom

    PS Nystrom Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 1999
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's a question in the spirit of Thanksgiving. In History class we all learned about Columbus and his trio of ships "discovering the new world." And before the land now known as the USA was established we were taught that Native Americans lived here, but that's about all I know. Isn't that sad?

    So what was North America like during the times of Native Americans and even prior to that? Did the land mass have a name? During what time period were people first native to the area? Did any people preceed the Native Americans? Were there any major conflicts or territorial changing of hands?

    I've done a couple of searches on the web for info but couldn't come up with anything prior to the Europeans, so links to good history sites would be appreciated as well. For this I shall give you my thanks!

    Pieter and Jessy
     
  2. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 1999
    Messages:
    4,203
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gee, this isn't a can of worms you're opening up. I think it's closer to a barrel. [​IMG]
    There have been some recent changes. I think that the latest is that they crossed over lower Alaska from East Asia about 10k years ago. Might have been Japanesse, but I'm not positive on that point.
    You can't really name a mass of land unless you have another one to go to, I think.
    Columbus didn't discover America. He was just the one that got the Europeans to come back over and over and settle in.
    Just my thoughts - Glenn
     
  3. Michael Warner

    Michael Warner Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 1999
    Messages:
    737
    Likes Received:
    0
    What's realy intriguing about Pre-Columbian North American history is just how much of it remains a mystery. None of the tribes north of Mexico had a written language and the vast majority of them were decimated by the diseases the Europeans brought over generations before the European explorers first ventured into the hinterlands to make contact. These explorers stumbled upon the ruins of an obviously advanced culture in the Cahokia area of Illinois but there wasn't a soul still living there. Similarly, the Ohio valley features some amazing mounds shaped like snakes and birds but even the Native Americans living there at the time they were "discovered" had no idea who made them as they were recents immigrants to the area themselves after having been pushed westward by the Europeans. And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the 50,000+ years that North America was inhabited before Columbus ambled over.
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,695
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    I bet more is known about the Aztecs and Mayans than all the other tribes combined because they left written stuff. The 500 NATIONS TV series hosted by Kevin Costner was really nice. I have it on LD, I imagine it's on VHS too. It covers the Ghoust Dance, smallpox, The Trail of Tears, highly recommended! First contact with Europeans created a heritage/info gap or loss. So many tribes were so decimated by smallpox and other imported diseases. I imagine alot of knowledge was lost then, alone. Best wishes!
     
  5. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 1999
    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wasn't it John Lennon saying "We just turned left at Greenland" :bg:?

    I just picked up a seven disc (Ric Burns) set of The history of New York City and the first DVD would address most of your inquiry.

    I won't bore everyone with the details but this is a great disc for young and old.
     
  6. Kirsten

    Kirsten Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, here goes......

    There are actually two theories as to the origins of the indigenous people in the Americas: The Bering Strait Theory and the American Genesis Theory.

    The Bering Strait Theory argues that man first migrated to North America between 14,000 and 15,000 years ago. These first inhabitants arrived in North America from East Asia via a land bridge that appeared when the waters of the Bering Strait receded during the Ice Age. Archeological evidence suggests that there was not one migration but many over the course of thousands of years. These migrants adapted to many different regions in the Americas, thereby encouraging the development of separate cultures and languages within North America. The evidence for this theory is based mainly in archeology and anthropology. Scientists are working on matching North American artifacts to similar artifacts found in Siberia, thus answering the questions “who influenced whom, when, and how”. Genetic similarities have also been observed between the North American Indian population and that of the Asian Mongoloid’s. These similarities are being used to determine when the two cultural groups split from one another, thereby providing information on when these early migrants first came to North America.

    The American Genesis Theory, on the other hand, maintains that the Paleo-Indians were the first true homo sapiens sapiens in the world, and that they originated in North America, not in East Asia. This theory is based on two main factors. First, that there are earlier dates for man’s presence in America than anywhere else in the world, and secondly, early dates established on a tool kit that was found in North America suggest early North American occupation. Goodman also uses evidence gathered from skulls and artifacts found at specific American sites, as well as Hope myths to further his case. Overall, the American Genesis Theory relies upon much earlier dates for the appearance of man in the Americas, and essentially states that modern man evolved in America and migrated to Asia.

    I hope that this helps in your understanding.
     
  7. Ken Wagner

    Ken Wagner Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 1999
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Let's see. First it was cold, then it got warmer, now it's gettng dirty.
    But seriously, I was surprised to see someone mention Cahokia Mounds. I live about 60 miles South of there and it is very interesting. If you're online you have the most powerful learning tool at your fingertips. I can't imagine not being abel to find anything possible by doing a search or two. I'm glad you're wanting to learn something about our great country. Good luck.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. PS Nystrom

    PS Nystrom Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 1999
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the suggestion John, I just put "History of New York" in my Netflix queue. I look forward to seeing it.

    Thanks as well to all those who replied. Interesting stuff,

    Pieter
     
  9. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 1999
    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    0
    PS... Listening to the radio on the way home from work, the announcer mentioned this series and said it will be played Thanksgiving on PBS.

    So check your local PBS station and get you VCR ready. The first part is what you are interested in.
     
  10. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2000
    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Real Name:
    Henry Carmona
    I sorta subscribe to the Bering Strait Theory.
    But the people of North American began about 20,000 yrs ago, during the Ice Age.
    There were lower sea levels, and theere was a tundra coastal plain over what is now the Bering Strait called Beringia.
    The Paleo Indians are believed to have followed the giant mammals over as they normally would when looking for food.
    Because this happened over thousands of years, the paleo-indains never developed a snese of common identity.
    Whats cool, is that for reasons unkown these small migrating groups stopped hosting a number of communicative diseases and no longer suffered the major epidemics that under normal conditions would have killed a large percentage of their poplulation. It is believed that this physical isolation from other bands of indians may have protected them from the spread of contagious disease.
    Whats bad, is that Native Americans lost inherited immunities that later might have protected them from many contagious germs that the first Europeans and Africans carried. They had no defense against the diseases that killed many of them.
    Not to mention that when the Spaniards came, since the indians had no unity, they were easily overcome and destroyed.
     

Share This Page