North American (The New World)

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John Mix Stanley (1814–1872) Prairie Indian Encampment Date c. 1870
John Mix Stanley (18141872) Prairie Indian Encampment Date c. 1870





Heros and Characters


The last two centuries have seen dramatic changes in the racial and cultural make-up of North American populations. In the south, Mexico and Central America have become part of the huge Spanish empire. Spanish explorers have ventured up into the southwest of North American , followed by a handful of missionaries and traders. There has, however, been little by way of settlement in these arid regions.

In the South-West a long dry spell has had a disastrous impact upon the agricultural societies of the Hohokam and the Anasazi. Many farming villages have been abandoned and people have moved away from their homelands.

Climate change is also responsible for changes in societies of the east. There has been a marked upswing in violence between communities, and urban centres such as Cahokia have been abandoned. Other centres continue though none are on the same scale as before.

Much more recently, Europeans have established a string of colonies on the eastern coast whose populations are increasing rapidly.

As the European population rises, that of the Native Americans falls sharply. Deadly European diseases, to which the natives have no resistance, fan out across the continent, carrying away the majority of their people.

In the far north, the Inuit have spread out over the Arctic region as far as Greenland. There they encounter European settlements in the New World, including the Viking colony in Brattahlid Greenland.

Viceroyalty of New France


Vineland is the area of coastal North America and Newfoundland explored by Norse Vikings, where Leif Erikson first landed approximately five centuries prior to the voyages of Christopher Columbus. Called Vinland, for the reason that grapevines grow there produce the best wine. A considerable number of Vikings were in parties that visited Vinland. A bountiful place where no snow fell during winter. However, after several years away from Greenland, a number chose to turn back to their homes when they realised that they would otherwise face an indefinite conflict with the natives.

Vinland now consists of a number of isolated settlements the most prominate being Helluland (the land of flat stones) and Markland (land of forests).

The Colonies

Protestant pilgrims are shown on the deck of the ship Speedwell before their departure for the New World from Delft Haven, Holland. Weir (1803–1890)

Protestant pilgrims are shown on the deck of the ship Speedwell before their departure for the New World from Delft Haven, Holland. Weir (1803–1890)

The eastern coast has begun to be settled by European colonists. Eight colonies have now been founded, six of which are English: Virginia (by a company owned by English courtiers and merchants), Massachusetts (by witches seeking freedom to practice their faith), New Hampshire (by a group of fishermen; New Hampshire is controlled by Massachussetts), Maryland (as a place where Catholics could practice their faith), Connecticut (an offshoot of Massachusetts) and Rhode Island (another offshoot of Massachusetts). There was also one Dutch colony (New Netherlands, founded by Dutch merchants) and one Swedish (Delaware as a trading post). Each colony is governed according to its own principles and under its own laws. The population is increasing rapidly, with most of the “English” colonists coming not only from England, but also from Scotland, Ireland and Germany.

Colony of Virginia

The Colony of Virginia is the first English colony in the world. The name Virginia was first applied by Sir Walter Raleigh  there is perceived loyalty to the English monarchy during the era of the Commonwealth of England. Members of a joint venture called the Virginia Company founded Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America on the banks of the James River. Famine, disease and conflict with local Native American tribes (the Powhatan Confederacy) in the first two years brought Jamestown to the brink of failure before the arrival of a new group of settlers and supplies. Tobacco became Virginia's first profitable export, the production of which had a significant impact on the society and settlement patterns. Jamestown remains the capital of the Virginia colony.

Colony of New Netherland

New Netherland is a colonial province of the Seven United Netherlands located on the East Coast of North America. Extending from the Delmarva Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod, while the more limited settled areas are in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut, with small outposts in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The colony was conceived as a private business venture to exploit the North American fur trade. During its first decades, New Netherland was settled rather slowly, partially as a result of policy mismanagement by the Dutch West India Company and partially as a result of conflicts with Native Americans. The settlement of New Sweden encroached on its southern flank, while its northern border was re-drawn to accommodate an expanding New England. The colony experienced dramatic growth and became a major port for trade in the North Atlantic. The inhabitants are not necessarily Dutch, the term New Netherland Dutch includes all the Europeans who have settled here, but may also refer to  enslaved laborers and the Native Americans who ar integral to the society.

As nations vie for domination of lucrative trade routes across the globe philosophical and theological conflicts manifested in military battles across the continent. The Republic has become a haven to many intellectuals, businessmen, and religious refugees fleeing oppression as well as home to the world's major ports in the newly developing global economy. When Henry Hudson, an English sea captain and explorer, was hired by the Dutch East India Company to find a Northeast Passage to Asia he sailed west to seek a northwest passage and ended exploring the waters off the east coast of North America. Upon returning to the Netherlands, he reported finding a fertile land and an amicable people willing to engage his crew in bartering of furs, trinkets, clothes, and goods. His report was the catalyst for Dutch merchant-traders to fund more expeditions.

In New Netherland, profit was originally made from the North American fur trade. The concept of establishing colonies in the New World was initally rejected by the the Dutch East India Company. Who preferred trading posts with small populations and a military presence to protect them. However after surrendering Dutch Brazil and forfeiting the richest sugar-producing area in the world the company belatedly focused on colonization in North America. To succeed in the fur trade they cultivated relations with the Iroquois whom they called the river indians and procured greater access to key central regions. Soon after, Forts and trading posts were built. The Dutch named the three main rivers of the province the South River, the North River, and the Fresh River.

Permanent settlement are needed to maintain a territorial claim. To this end, hundreds more families arrived on ships, along with horses, steers, cows, pigs, and sheep. These settlers were dispersed to the various garrisons across the territory. Company policy required land to be purchased from the indigenous peoples. But the Dutch and the natives had vastly different conceptions of ownership and use of land. The Dutch thought their trade agreements and defense alliances, gave them exclusive rights to farming, hunting, and fishing. Often, the Indians did not vacate the property, or reappeared seasonally, willing to share the land, but  not intending to leave or give up access. This misunderstanding, and other differences, would later lead to violent conflict.

Originally, the capital of the province was to be located on the South River, but it was soon realized that the location was susceptible to mosquito infestation in the summer and the freezing of its waterways in the winter. They chose instead the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the North River. They traded goods with the local population and reported they had purchased it, as is company policy. Next they constructed a Fort at its southern tip, around which grew the province know as "The Manhattoes". The port city outside the walls of the fort, New Amsterdam, became a major hub for trade between North America, the Caribbean and Europe. Sanctioned privateering also contributed to its growth. When given its municipal charter the Commonality of New Amsterdam included the isle of Manhattan, Staaten Eylandt, Pavonia and the Lange Eylandt towns.

In the hope of encouraging immigration, the Dutch West India Company established the Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions, which gave it the power to offer vast land grants and the title of patroon to some of its invested members. The vast tracts were called patroonships, and the title came with powerful manorial rights and privileges, such as the creation of civil and criminal courts and the appointing of local officials. In return, a patroon was required by the Company to establish a settlement of at least 50 families, who would live as tenant farmers. Of the patents given, the largest and only truly successful endeavour was Rensselaerswyck on the North River, which became the main thoroughfare of the province. Beverwijck grew from a trading post to a bustling, independent town in the midst of Rensselaerwyck, as did Wiltwyck, south of the patroonship in Esopus country.

Willem Kieft became Director of New Netherland though the colony had grown somewhat before his arrival, it did not flourish, and Kieft was under pressure to cut costs. At this time a large number of Indian tribes who had signed mutual defense treaties with the Dutch were gathering near the colony due to widespread warfare and dislocation among the tribes to the north. At first he suggested collecting tribute as was common among the various dominant tribes, but his demands to the Tappan and Wecquaesgeek were simply ignored. Subsequently, when a colonist was murdered in an act of revenge for some killings that had taken place years earlier and the Indians refused to turn over the perpetrator, Kieft suggested they be taught a lesson by ransacking their villages. In an attempt to gain public support he created a citizens commission, the Council of Twelve Men. They did not, as was expected, rubber-stamp his ideas, but took the opportunity to mention grievances that they had with company's mismanagement and its unresponsiveness to their suggestions. Kieft thanked and disbanded them, and against their advice ordered that groups of Tappan and Wecquaesgeek (who had sought refuge from their more powerful Mahican enemies, per their treaty understandings with the Dutch) be attacked at Pavonia and Corlear's Hook. The massacre left 130 dead. Within days the surrounding tribes, in a unique move, united and rampaged the countryside, forcing settlers who escaped to find safety at Fort Amsterdam. For two years, a series of raids and reprisals raged across the province, until  Kieft's War ended with a treaty. Disenchanted with the previous governor, his ignorance of indigenous peoples, the unresponsiveness of the VOC to their rights and requests, the colonists submitted to the States General the Remonstrance of New Netherland. This document condemned the VOC for mismanagement and demanded full rights as citizens of province of the Netherlands.

Director-General of Petrus Stuyvesant arrived in New Amsterdam the only governor of the colony to be called Director-General. Some years earlier land ownership policy was liberalized and trading was somewhat deregulated, and many New Netherlanders considered themselves entrepreneurs in a free market. During the period of his governorship the province experienced exponential growth. Demands were made upon Stuyvesant from all sides: the West India Company, the States General, and the New Netherlanders. Dutch territory was being nibbled at by the English to the north and the Swedes to the south, while in the heart of the province the Esopus were trying to contain further Dutch expansion. Discontent in New Amsterdam led locals to dispatch Adriaen van der Donck back to the United Provinces to seek redress. After nearly three years of legal and political wrangling, the Dutch Government granted the colony a measure of self-government and recalled Stuyvesant. However, the orders were rescinded with the outbreak of the First Anglo-Dutch War a month later. Military battles were occurring in the Caribbean and along the South Atlantic coast. In 1654, the Netherlands lost New Holland in Brazil to the Portuguese, encouraging some of its residents to emigrate north and making the North American colonies more appealing to some investors. The Esopus Wars are so named for the branch of Lenape that lived around Wiltwijck, which was the Dutch settlement on the west bank of Hudson River between Beverwyk and New Amsterdam. These conflicts were generally over settlement of land by New Netherlanders for which contracts had not been clarified, and were seen by the natives as an unwanted incursion into their territory. Previously, the Esopus, a clan of the Munsee Lenape, had much less contact with the River Indians and the Mohawks.


The Dutch West India Company introduced slavery with the importation of slaves who worked as farmers, fur traders, and builders. Although enslaved, they had a few basic rights and families were kept intact. They can testify in court, sign legal documents, and bring civil actions against others. They are permitted to work after hours earning wages equal to those of other workers. The founding document of the Dutch Republic, stated "that everyone shall remain free in religion and that no one may be persecuted or investigated because of religion". The Dutch West India Company, however, established the Reformed Church as the official religious institution of New Netherland. However the Dutch settlers still maintain and recognised the laws of Holland which allows outlawed religious leaders, to take refuge in New Netherland. An example of Dutch rule prevailing is the official granting of full residency for dwarves in New Amsterdam.


South River apart from the fort and the small community that supported it, settlement along the rivier was limited. The Dutch knew they would be unable to defend the southern flank of their North American territory and had not signed treaties with or purchased land from the natives. After gaining the support vikings chose the southern banks of the Delaware Bay to establish a colony calling it New Sweden. As expected, the government at New Amsterdam took no other action than to protest. Other settlements sprang up as the colony grew, mostly populated by Swedes, Finns, Germans, and Dutch. In 1651, Fort Nassau was dismantled and relocated in an attempt to disrupt trade and reassert control, receiving the name Fort Casimir. Fort Beversreede was built in the same year, but was short-lived. In 1655, Stuyvesant led a military expedition and regained control of the region, calling its main town "New Amstel" (Nieuw-Amstel). During this expedition, some villages and plantations at the Manhattans (Pavonia and Staten Island) were attacked in an incident that is known as the Peach Tree War. These raids are sometimes considered revenge for the murder of an Indian girl attempting to pluck a peach, though it was likely that they were a retaliation for the attacks at New Sweden. A new experimental settlement was begun Franciscus van den Enden had drawn up charter for a utopian society that included equal education of all classes, joint ownership of property, and a democratically elected government. Pieter Corneliszoon Plockhoy attempted such a settlement near the site of Zwaanendael. The border with New England had been adjusted to 50 miles west of the Fresh River, while the Lange Eylandt towns west of Oyster Bay were under Dutch jurisdiction.

Few settlers to New Netherland made the Fresh River their home. English settlers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony began to settle along its banks some with the permission from the colonial government, and others with complete disregard for it. Developing simultaneously with that of New Netherland, the English colonies grew more rapidly. Initially there was limited contact between New Englanders and New Netherlanders, but with a swelling English population and territorial disputes the two provinces engaged in direct diplomatic relations. The New England Confederation was formed as a political and military alliance of the English colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven. The latter two were actually on land claimed by the United Provinces, but the Dutch, unable to populate or militarily defend their territorial claim, could do nothing but protest the growing flood of English settlers.

The king of England resolved to conqure New Netherland, four English frigates, sailed into New Amsterdam’s harbor and demanded New Netherland’s surrender. They met no resistance because numerous citizens’ requests for protection by a suitable Dutch garrison against “the deplorable and tragic massacres” by the natives had gone unheeded. That lack of adequate fortification, ammunition, and manpower as well as the indifference from the West India Company to previous pleas for reinforcement of men and ships against, threats, encroachments and invasions of the English neighbors made New Amsterdam defenseless. In the Articles of Transfer, they secured the principle of religious tolerance under English rule. Although largely observed, the Articles were immediately violated by the English along the Delaware River, where pillaging, looting, and arson were undertaken under the orders of English Colonel Richard Carr who had been dispatched to secure the valley. Many Dutch settlers were sold into slavery in Virginia and an entire settlement was wiped out. Within six years the nations were again at war and the Dutch recaptured New Netherland with a fleet of ships. Nevertheless, after the conclusion of the war the historic “disaster years” in which the Dutch Republic was simultaneously attacked by the French, English, andothers had left the republic was financially bankrupt. The States of Zeeland had tried to convince the States of Holland to take on the responsibility for the New Netherland province, but to no avail.

Sleepy Hollow, New Netherland

Ichabod pursued by the Headless Horseman Date 1849

From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been known by name of Sleepy Hollow ... A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere.

— Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Native American Mohicans, lived in the area prior to European settlement. They fished the River for shad, oysters and other shellfish. Their principal settlement was called Alipconk, or the "Place of Elms". The first European settlers of Sleepy Hollow were Dutch farmers, fur trappers, and fishermen. It sits within the lands of the Dutch Colony of New Netherland.

Sleepy Hollow is renowned for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere that pervades the imaginations of its inhabitants and visitors. Some residents say this town was bewitched during the early days of the Dutch settlement. Other residents say an old Native American chief, the wizard of his tribe, held his powwows here before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson. The most infamous spectre in the Hollow is the Headless Horseman, the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot off by a stray cannonball during "some nameless battle", and who "rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head".

The "Legend" relates the tale of Ichabod Crane, a lean, lanky and extremely superstitious schoolmaster from England, who competes with Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt, the town rowdy, for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer, Baltus Van Tassel. Crane, an outsider, sees marriage to Katrina as a means of procuring Van Tassel's extravagant wealth. Bones, the local hero, vies with Ichabod for Katrina's hand, playing a series of pranks on the jittery schoolmaster, and the fate of Sleepy Hollow's fortune weighs in the balance for some time. The tension between the three is soon brought to a head. On a placid autumn night, the ambitious Crane attends a harvest party at the Van Tassels' homestead. He dances, partakes in the feast, and listens to ghostly legends told by Brom and the locals, but his true aim is to propose to Katrina after the guests leave. His intentions, however, are ill-fated. After having failed to secure Katrina's hand, Ichabod rides home "heavy-hearted and crestfallen" through the woods between Van Tassel's farmstead and the Sleepy Hollow settlement. As he passes several purportedly haunted spots, his active imagination is engorged by the ghost stories told at Baltus' harvest party. After nervously passing under a lightning-stricken tulip tree purportedly haunted by the ghost of a spy Major André, Ichabod encounters a cloaked rider at an intersection in a menacing swamp. Unsettled by his fellow traveler's eerie size and silence, the teacher is horrified to discover that his companion's head is not on his shoulders, but on his saddle. In a frenzied race to the bridge adjacent to the Old Dutch Burying Ground, where the Hessian is said to "vanish, according to rule, in a flash of fire and brimstone" upon crossing it, Ichabod rides for his life, desperately goading his temperamental plow horse down the Hollow. However, to the pedagogue's horror, the ghoul clambers over the bridge, rears his horse, and hurls his severed head into Ichabod's terrified face. The next morning, Ichabod has mysteriously disappeared from town, leaving Katrina to marry Brom Bones. Old Dutch wives continue to promote the belief that Ichabod was "spirited away by supernatural means," and a legend develops around his disappearance and sightings of his melancholy spirit.

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, is a village and trading center, was first settled by a company of fishermen. Puritans had come to Massachusetts to obtain religious freedom for themselves, but had no particular interest in establishing a haven for other faiths. The laws are harsh, with punishments that include fines, deprivation of property, banishment or imprisonment. One of the most widely known aspects of Salem is its witchcraft allegations started with Abigail Williams, Betty Parris, and their friends. People believe witchcraft to be real. Nothing causes more fear in the Puritan community than people possessed by demons, and witchcraft is a serious felony. Judge Hathorne is the best known of the witch trial judges, and is known as the "Hanging Judge" for sentencing witches to death.

New Orleans

Straddling the Mississippi River New Orleans is a larges city and a major port located in southeastern Louisiana.  Established by French colonists it is strongly influenced by their European culture. Famed for its cuisine, music, celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras.

American frontier (Wild West)

The American frontier describes the forward wave of American westward expansion that has begun with English colonial settlements. Especially west of the Mississippi River the Wild West. Through treaties with foreign nations and native tribes; political compromise; military conquest; establishment of law and order; the building of farms, ranches, and towns; the marking of trails and digging of mines; and the pulling in of great migrations of foreigners America is expanding from coast to coast.

The Pony Express

The Pony Express is a mail service delivering messages, mail, and small packages from Missouri, across the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada to Sacramento, California, by horseback, using a series of relay stations. It has reduced the time for messages to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to about 10 days. It is the West's most direct means of east–west communication and is vital for tying the frontier with the Colonies.

Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail is a 2,200-mile east–west emigrant wagon trail route also used settlers, ranchers, farmers, miners, and businessmen and their families that connects the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon. It was laid by fur trappers and traders the first migrant wagon train was organized in Independence, Missouri, and led to rich farmlands west of the Rocky Mountains. When the Oregon Trail was complete, it had improved roads, ferries and bridges to make the trip faster and safer.


When Ed Schieffelin searched the wilderness looking for valuable ore samples, friends told him, "Better take your coffin with you; you will find your tombstone."After many months, while working the hills he found pieces of silver ore. When he located the vein, he filed his first claim and fittingly named his stake Tombstone. He then started mining the ore. The Territorial Governor offered financial backing for a share of the mining claim, and Schieffelin formed the Tombstone Mining and Milling Company and built a stamping mill. When the mill was being built it became the centre of a new town, tents and shacks were moved to the site large enough to hold a growing town. The town soon had some 40 cabins and about 100 residents. At the town's founding  it took its name from Schieffelin's initial mining claim. Soon a few thousand hardy souls were living in a canvas and matchstick camp perched amidst the richest silver strike in the Territory. The wealth flowed and Tombstone became a small city, the richly appointed Grand Hotel was opened, adorned with fine oil paintings, thick carpets,  elegant chandeliers and silk-covered walnut furniture. Now at the height of the silver mining boom the city was host to Kelly's Wine House, featuring 26 varieties of wine imported from Europe, cigars and many other amenities common to large cities.

Under the surface there are tensions building simmering distrust, fundamental conflict over resources and land, of agrarianism of the rural Cowboys contrasts with the  industrial capitalism. Smuggling and theft of cattle, alcohol, and tobacco are common. Smugglers earned a handsome profit by sneaking these products out of Tombstone which contributes to the lawlessness of the region. Many of these crimes are carried out by outlaw elements labeled "Cow-boys", a loosely organized band of friends and acquaintances who team up for various crimes and come to each other's aid. It was an insult to call a legitimate cattleman a "Cowboy". Legitimate cowmen are referred to as cattle herders or ranchers. The Cowboys are nonetheless welcome in town because of their free-spending habits, but shootings were common.

Dodge City

Artist Frederic Remington (1861–1909), Prospecting for Cattle Range Date 1889

Fort Dodge was constructed by civilians to provide protection for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail as the Indian Wars in the West began heating up. The town of Dodge City can trace its origins to when a rancher built a cabin next to the fort to oversee his cattle operations. As the cabin quickly became a stopping point for travelers. He saw the commercial potential of the region and the a bar was built to serve the soldiers. As other settlers arrived they named the town Dodge City and traded in buffalo bones and hides and provided a civilian community for Fort Dodge. However, Dodge City soon became involved in the cattle trade. As the first Aurochs started arriving they carried a tick that spread fever among other breeds of cattle. Alarmed other farmers persuaded the fort to establish a quarantine line. The quarantine prohibited Aurochs from the now settled, eastern portion of the terroritory. With the cattle trade forced west, Aurochs began moving north along the Chisholm Trail. To the main cow town of Abilene. Profits were high, and other towns quickly joined in the cattle boom: Newton, Ellsworth and Wichita. However, responding to pressure from farmers settling in central territory the quarantine line once again shifted westward, which essentially eliminated Abilene and the other cow towns from the cattle trade. With no place else to go, Dodge City suddenly became the "queen of the cow towns." A new route known as the Great Western Cattle Trail leads aurochs into Dodge City. Dodge City became a boomtown, with thousands passing annually through its stockyards the town grew tremendously. Dodge City got a new competitor for the cattle trade from the border town of Caldwell. For a few years, the competition between the towns was fierce, but there were enough cattle for both towns to prosper. Nevertheless, it was Dodge City that became famous, and no town can match Dodge City's reputation as a true frontier settlement. Dodge City has more infamous gunfighters working than any other town in the West. It also an usual array of saloons, gambling halls, and brothels, including the famous Long Branch Saloon and China Doll brothel. It even has a bullfighting ring where bullfighters put on a show with specially chosen aurochs.

Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is the chief river of the North American continent. Native Americans long lived along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Most were hunter-gatherers or herders, but some, such as the Mound builders, formed prolific agricultural societies. The arrival of Europeans in the 1500s changed the native way of life as first explorers, then settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers. The river serves as a barrier – forming borders for New Spain, New France, and the Colonies – then as a vital transportation and communications link. The Mississippi has several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, forming pathways for the western expansion of the United States. Formed from thick layers of this river's silt deposits, the Mississippi River Valley is one of the most fertile agricultural regions of the country, which resulted in the river's steamboat era.

Native North Americans 

Native Americans indigenous to North America are composed of numerous distinct tribes and bands. Most groups live in hunter-gatherer societies and preserve their histories by oral traditions and artwork. The indigenous cultures are quite different from those of the Europeans. The Northeastern and Southwestern cultures are matrilineal and operate on a collective basis. Tribes maintained their hunting grounds and agricultural lands for use of the entire tribe. The differences in cultures between the natives and Europeans, as well as shifting alliances among different nations in times of war, causes extensive political tension, violence, and social disruption. As expansion reachs into the West, settler and miner migrants come into increasing conflict with the Great Basin, Great Plains, and other Western nomadic nations based on horse culture and seasonal bison hunting. They have carried out resistance against the European incursion in a series of Indian Wars.

The earliest peoples of the Americas came from Eurasia over a land bridge which connected the two continents until 12,000 years ago, when it was flooded. The early Paleoamericans soon spread throughout the Americas, diversifying into many hundreds of culturally distinct nations and tribes. A megafauna-hunting culture, appeared around 11,000 years ago. Though cultural features, language, clothing, and customs vary enormously from one tribe to another, there are certain elements which are encountered frequently and shared by many tribes. The Native Americans as having a society dominated by clans. Most tribes used similar weaponry the bow and arrow, the war club, and the spear. Quality, material, and design varied widely. Native American use of fire both helps provide and prepare food and has altered the landscape of the continent to help the human population flourish. The Inuit prepare and bury large amounts of dried meat and fish. Pacific Northwest tribes craft seafaring dugouts for fishing. Farmers in the Eastern Woodlands tended fields of maize with hoes and digging sticks, their fields sometimes covering hundreds of acres. While their neighbors in the Southeast grow tobacco as well as food crops. On the Great Plains tribes engaged in agriculture but also hunt large game, such as bison. The reintroduction of the horse to North America has greatly changed the way in which they hunt large game. Horses have become such a valuable and a central element of Native lives and are counted as a measure of wealth. Dwellers of the Southwest deserts hunt small animals and gathered acorns to grind into flour with which they baked wafer-thin bread on top of heated stones. They use irrigation techniques, and fill storehouses with grain as protection against droughts. The Iroquois, living around the Great Lakes and extending east and north, use strings or belts called wampum that served a dual function: the knots and beaded designs mnemonically chronicled tribal stories and legends, and further served as a medium of exchange and a unit of measure. The keepers of the articles were seen as tribal dignitaries. Pueblo peoples crafted impressive items associated with their religious ceremonies. Kachina dancers wore elaborately painted and decorated masks as they ritually impersonated various ancestral spirits. Stone and wood fetishes were made for religious use. Superior weaving, embroidered decorations, and rich dyes characterized the textile arts. Both turquoise and shell jewelry were created, as were high-quality pottery and formalized pictorial arts. Navajo spirituality focused on the maintenance of a harmonious relationship with the spirit world, often achieved by ceremonial acts, usually incorporating sandpainting. The colors—made from sand, charcoal, cornmeal, and pollen—depicted specific spirits. These vivid, intricate, and colorful sand creations were erased at the end of the ceremony. Traditional practices of some tribes include the use of sacred herbs. Many Plains tribes have sweatlodge ceremonies, though the specifics of the ceremony vary among tribes. Fasting, singing and prayer and drumming are common. The Midewiwin Lodge is a traditional medicine society inspired by the oral traditions and prophesies of the Ojibwa (Chippewa) and related tribes. Music centers around drumming. Rattles, clappersticks, and rasps were also popular percussive instruments. Flutes were made of rivercane, cedar, and other woods. 

Gender roles differentiate whether a particular tribe is predominantly matrilineal or patrilineal, usually both sexes have some degree of decision-making power within the tribe. Many Nations, such as the Haudenosaunee Five Nations and the Southeast Muskogean tribes, have matrilineal or Clan Mother systems, in which property and hereditary leadership are controlled by and passed through the maternal lines. The children are considered to belong to the mother's clan. In Cherokee culture, women own the family property. When traditional young women marry, their husbands may join them in their mother's household. Matrilineal structures enable young women to have assistance in childbirth and rearing, and protect them in case of conflicts between the couple. If a couple separates or the man dies, the woman has her family to assist her. In matrilineal cultures the mother's brothers are usually the leading male figures in her children's lives; fathers have no standing in their wife and children's clan, as they still belong to their own mother's clan. Hereditary clan chief positions pass through the mother's line and chiefs have historically been selected on recommendation of women elders. In the patrilineal tribes, such as the Omaha, Osage and Ponca, hereditary leadership passes through the male line, and children are considered to belong to the father and his clan. In patrilineal tribes, if a woman marries a non-Native, she is no longer considered part of the tribe, and her children are considered to share the ethnicity and culture of their father. In some tribes, men hunt, trade and made war while women have primary responsibility for the survival and welfare of the families. In many tribes women gather and cultivate plants, use plants and herbs to treat illnesses, care for the young and the elderly, make all the clothing and instruments, and process and cure meat and skins from the game. In other tribes, the gender roles are not so clear-cut. Apart from making homes, women have many additional tasks that are also essential for the survival of the tribes. They make weapons and tools and help the men hunt and fish. In many tribes, medicine women gather herbs and cure the ill, while in others men may also be healers. Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota girls are encouraged to learn to ride, hunt and fight. Though fighting in war has mostly been left to males, occasionally women fight as well - both in battles and in defense of the home - especially if the tribe is severely threatened. 

Artist George Catlin (1796–1872) Ball-play of the Choctaw--Ball Up Painting Date from 1846 until 1850

Rather than going to war, a team based ball sport is used to settle disputes as a civil way to settle potential conflict. The game is played with one or two rackets/sticks and one ball. The object of the game is to land the ball on the opposing team's goal to score and to prevent the opposing team from scoring on your goal. Involving hundreds to thousands of players. The goals are several miles apart and the games last from sunup to sundown for two to three days as part of ceremonial ritual of symbolic warfare. 

As these native peoples encounter European explorers and settlers and engaged in trade, they exchanged food, crafts, and furs for blankets, iron and steel implements, horses, trinkets, firearms, and alcoholic beverages. Early contact was often charged with tension and emotion, but also had moments of friendship, cooperation, and intimacy. Europeans living among Native Americans were often called "white indians". They live in native communities for years, learning native languages fluently, attending native councils, and fighting alongside their native companions. Given the preponderance of men among the colonists European men generally marry native women. There is also fear on both sides, as peoples realize how different their societies are, due to differences in religion the Europeans regarded the Indians as savages. The settlers introduced some immoralities into native tribes as many Indians suffered because the introduced alcohol and the whiskey trade resulted in alcoholism among the people. 

King Philip's War, was the last major armed conflict between Native American inhabitants of New England and English colonists and their Native American allies.

European enslavement 
When Europeans arrived as colonists in North America, Native Americans changed their practice of slavery dramatically. Native Americans began selling war captives to Europeans rather than integrating them into their own societies as they had done before. As the demand for labor in the West Indies grew with the cultivation of sugar cane, some were exported to the "sugar islands". The British settlers, especially those in the southern colonies, purchased or captured Native Americans to use as forced labor. Tens of thousands of Native Americans were enslaved by the Europeans, being sold by Native Americans themselves. The Virginia General Assembly defined some terms of slavery: All servants imported and brought into the Country  ... shall be accounted and be slaves and held to be real estate. If any slave resists his master ... correcting such slave, and shall happen to be killed in such correction ... the master shall be free of all punishment ... as if such accident never happened. — Virginia General Assembly declaration. The slave trade of Native Americans gave rise to a series of devastating wars among the tribes. The first Indian Wars combined with the increasing importation of slaves, effectively ended the Native American slave trade. Colonists found that Native American slaves could easily escape, as they knew the country. The wars cost the lives of numerous colonial slave traders and disrupted their early societies. The remaining native groups banded together to face the Europeans from a position of strength. Many surviving natives peoples of the southeast strengthened their loose coalitions and have joined confederacies such as the Choctaw, the Creek, and the Catawba for protection. Native American women are at risk for rape whether they were enslaved or not as settlers are disproportionately male. They turn to Native women for sexual relationships. Both Native American and African enslaved women suffered rape and sexual harassment.

Native American slavery 
The majority of Native American tribes did practice some form of slavery before the European introduction of African slavery into North America, but none exploited slave labor on a large scale. Native American tribes did not barter captives, although they sometimes exchanged enslaved individuals with other tribes in peace gestures or in exchange for their own members. The conditions of enslaved Native Americans varied among the tribes. In many cases, young enslaved captives were adopted into the tribes to replace warriors killed during warfare or by disease. Other tribes practiced debt slavery or imposed slavery on tribal members who had committed crimes; but, this status was only temporary as the enslaved worked off their obligations to the tribal society.

Native Americans began slowly to adopt white culture. Native Americans in the South shared some experiences with Africans. The colonists along the Atlantic Coast had begun enslaving Native Americans to ensure a source of labor. At one time the slave trade was so extensive that it caused increasing tensions with the various Algonquian tribes, as well as the Iroquois.They had threatened to attack colonists on behalf of the related Iroquoian Tuscarora before they migrated out of the South. In the 1790s, Benjamin Hawkins was assigned as agent to the southeastern tribes, who became known as the Five Civilized Tribes for their adoption of numerous Anglo-European practices. He advised the tribes to take up slaveholding to aid them in European-style farming and plantations. He thought their traditional form of slavery, which had looser conditions, was less efficient than chattel slavery. Some members of these tribes who were closely associated with settlers, began to purchase African slaves for workers. They adopted some European-American ways to benefit their people. The Five Civilized Tribes were involved in the institution of African slavery as planters. For example, Cherokee leader Joseph Vann owned more than 100 slaves. The proportion of Cherokee families who owned slaves did not exceed ten percent, and was comparable to the percentage among white families across the South, where a slaveholding elite owned most of the laborers. Native Americans treated their slaves better than did the typical white American in the Deep South. Among the Five Civilized Tribes, mixed-race slaveholders were generally part of an elite hierarchy, often based on their mothers' clan status, as the societies had matrilineal systems. European fur traders and colonial officials tended to marry high-status women, in strategic alliances seen to benefit both sides.The women's sons gained their status from their mother's families; they were part of hereditary leadership lines who exercised power and accumulated personal wealth in their changing Native American societies. The chiefs of the tribes believed that some of the new generation of mixed-race, bilingual chiefs would lead their people into the future and be better able to adapt to new conditions influenced by European Americans. 

Native American and African relations 

Native American and African contact occurred when Spanish colonists transported the first Africans to Hispaniola to serve as slaves. Sometimes Native Americans resented the presence of Africans. The Catawaba tribe showed great anger and bitter resentment when an African came among them as a trader. To gain favor with Europeans, the Cherokee exhibited the strongest prejudice of all Native Americans. Because of European fears of a unified revolt of Native Americans and Africans, the colonists encouraged hostility between the ethnic groups: Europeans considered both races inferior and made efforts to make  Native Americans and Africans enemies. Native Americans were rewarded if they returned escaped slaves, and Africans were rewarded for fighting in the Indian Wars. Because of a shortage of men due to warfare, many tribes encouraged marriage between the two groups. Many Native American women married freed or runaway African men due to a decrease in the population of men in Native American villages. Many Native American women bought African men but, unknown to the European sellers, the women freed and married the men into their tribe. When African men married or had children by a Native American woman, their children were born free, because the mother was free. European colonists often required the return of runaway slaves to be included as a provision in treaties with American Indians. While numerous tribes used captive enemies as servants and slaves, they also often adopted younger captives into their tribes to replace members who had died. In the Southeast, a few Native American tribes began to adopt a slavery system similar to that of the colonists, buying slaves, especially the Cherokee, Choctaw, and Creek. Divisions grew among the Native Americans over slavery. As European colonists took slaves into frontier areas, there were more opportunities for relationships between African and Native American peoples.


The Caribbean is a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America. The region comprises more than 700 islands, islets, reefs, and cays.

Piracy has flourished in the Caribbean because of the existence of pirate seaports such as Port Royal in Jamaica, Tortuga in Haiti, and Nassau in the Bahamas.

Port Royal (Jamaica)

Port Royal is a city located at the mouth of the harbour, in southeastern Jamaica. It is the centre of shipping commerce in the Caribbean Sea. It is also the home to privateers employed to nip at Spain's empire from smaller European powers who dare not to directly make war on Spain. As a port city, it is notorious for its gaudy displays of wealth and loose morals. It was a popular homeport for the English and Dutch sponsored privateers to spend their treasure. When those governments abandoned the practice of issuing letters of marque to privateers against the Spanish treasure fleets and possessions in the later, many of the crews turned pirate and used the city as their main base. Pirates from around the world congregated at Port Royal, coming from waters as far away as Madagascar.

Tortuga (Haiti)

Tortuga is a Caribbean island that forms part of Haiti, off the northwest coast of Hispaniola it is a major center and haven of Caribbean piracy.

New Providence (Bahamas)

New Providence is the most populous island in the Bahamas, it houses the city, Nassau.The island was originally under Spanish control, but the Spanish government showed little interest in developing the island (and the Bahamas as a whole). The capital formerly known as Charlestown was burned to the ground by the Spanish. But it has since been rebuilt becoming the island's largest city and renamed Nassau.

Nassau (City)

Nassau was formerly known as Charles Town was burned to the ground by the Spanish. Rebuilt, it was renamed Nassau by Governor Nicholas Trott, due to a lack of effective Governors (after Trott), Nassau fell on hard times.

Eventally there was no governor in the colony and the sparsely settled Bahamas became a pirate haven. The Governor of Bermuda stated that the pirates in Nassau outnumbered the mere hundred inhabitants of the town. They proclaimed Nassau a pirate republic, establishing themselves as "governors." Examples of pirates that used Nassau as their base are Charles Vane, Thomas Barrow, Benjamin Hornigold, Calico Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, and the infamous Edward Teach"Blackbeard".

Viceroyalty of New Spain

The Viceroyalty of New Spain is the viceroy-ruled territories of the Spanish Empire in North America the capital city of the Viceroyalty is Mexico City. The territories are separated into provinces. Provinces were led by a governor, who was responsible for the administration of the province and often also led the province's army and militias. The provinces were grouped together under five high courts, called Audiencias in Spanish, at Santo Domingo, Mexico City, Guatemala, Guadalajara and Manila. Both the high courts and the governors had autonomy from the viceroy and carried out most duties on their own. Only on important issues did the viceroy become involved in ruling the provinces directly.

Mexico and Central America

The Aztecs conquered a large empire covering much of Mexico and Central America, before they themselves were suddenly conquered by a small band of Spanish soldiers, under the command of the conquistadore, Hernando Cortez. Arriving in Mexico with 200 men, Cortez had completed the conquest of the country -an achievment only made possible with the aid of the Aztec’s many native enemies.
With Mexico and the other countries of Central America under their control, the Spanish seized the land and distributed it amongst themselves. As for the native population, millions died from the diseases that the Europeans brought with them, to which they had no immunity. Most of the rest find themselves reduced to serfdom on huge estates owned by the conquistadores, called encomiendas, The great cities of the past are deserted and left to crumble away, to be rediscovered centuries later.
The church has taken control of the spiritual life of the inhabitants, and the old religions remain only as part of the strong folk tradition of the native Americans.

Native American BorderNative American Border

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