North American Discovery

North American Discovery

Early North American Discovery

Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America led to new settlers migrating to the land. The changes in the climate assisted these settlers in reaching North America. The weather opened a route that they used to reach their destination. As both men and women began settling in these new lands, they encountered many cultural changes. North America was a whole new environment and a whole new way of life.

Early North Americans migrated from Asia and Siberia (Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle, 2005). They reached North America by crossing the Bering Strait. This route was made possible because of the drop in temperatures. The water froze creating a grassy plain (Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle, 2005). For many years settlers migrated to North America. Settlement into these new lands created cultural changes for many people.

Early North Americans experienced social, economic and political changes. One cultural change developed in language. Millions of people were able to speak nearly 1000 languages (Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle, 2005). Political authority was another change. The male who was head of household maintained political authority (Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle, 2005). Tribes also possessed political authority. The individual in charge of the tribe claimed authority. Men would venture the lands and hunt for what would become their meals. The women would prepare these meals from what the men delivered to them. Men and women assumed their own duties during these cultural changes.

Men assigned various families to certain areas that were designated for hunting (Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle, 2005). Providing food for their families was a necessity for survival. Anything these men killed was divided among all the families participating in hunting (Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle, 2005). Although hunting was one of the main sources of food supply, tending to the crops was important as well.

The harvesting of crops was carried out by the women (Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle, 2005). The women owned the fields, crops and tools (Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle, 2005). The crops were made available to everyone. Many were very thankful for these crops. Their thankfulness was presented by way of religious beliefs. Tribes would conduct religious ceremonies giving thanks for the hunting and harvesting (Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle, 2005). The lifestyles of early North Americans developed by men and women working together.

Many were competing to occupy these new lands. This competition was presented in a map designed by Diego Gutierrez (Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle, 2005). One can view this map and see the areas that were possessed by different countries and people. The various symbols on the map represent humans, animals and events that took place.

One of these symbols is that of the Native Americans. The Native Americans are presented at the bottom center of the Gutierrez Map. There are three of them standing together with their spears and bows. There are more Native Americans presented along the lands edge in the center of the map. This is an indication that they occupied these particular lands.

The maps indication of where Native Americans lived might have strengthened Europe’s claims of sovereignty by the size of the land they occupied. The map indicates that the Native Americans lived on land in the center of the map. This may have led others to believe Europe maintained power over the majority of the lands surrounding the waters. Power from other countries was presented by other symbols.

The Spanish and French coats of arms in the upper-left-hand corner of the map represent the treaty between Spain and France (Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle, 2005). This treaty brought peace and unity to these two countries. This was a huge accomplishment considering everyone was striving to gain power.

The Portuguese coat of arms in the lower-right corner of the map represents Portugal’s dominance of the southern Atlantic (Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle, 2005). Spain and Portugal established the Treaty of Tordesillas (Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle, 2005). This treaty presented an agreement between the two countries regarding control of specific lands.

The discovery of new lands led to the migration of many settlers. Climate changes paved the way for their voyage. Various cultures were established among all society. Everyone assumed a duty and worked together. The discovery of newfound lands also led to battles for control of the land. Countries strived to gain power. Eventually treaties were established to indicate peace among those striving for dominance.


Davidson, Gienapp, Heyman, Lytle. (2005). Nation of nations: A concise narrative of the

american republic, fourth edition. The McGraw-Hill Companies.

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