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  • - [Instructor] Often when we think about

  • the beginning of American history,

  • we think 1776, with the Declaration of Independence,

  • or maybe 1492, when Columbus arrived in the Americas.

  • But the history of America really begins

  • about 15,000 years ago,

  • when people first arrived in the Americas.

  • In this video, I want to provide a very brief overview

  • of native societies before contact

  • to give you an idea of just how diverse

  • and complex these societies were,

  • as native groups adapted to

  • and interacted with their environments.

  • Now there's recently been a scholarly debate

  • about how people first arrived.

  • We know that maybe 12,000 years ago,

  • during an ice age, the sea level was lower,

  • and so a spit of land in between

  • the Americas and Asia was exposed,

  • over which people may have traveled.

  • But recent archeological evidence suggests

  • that people were perhaps already in the Americas

  • at the time of this ice age,

  • so it's possible

  • that they may have come earlier in boats.

  • Now however it was that they arrived,

  • they spread north and south

  • and east throughout the Americas

  • so that by the time that Europeans arrived in the late 1400s

  • there were perhaps 50

  • million people.

  • That's kind of a mid-range number for the estimates,

  • that historians have made,

  • living in the Americas.

  • And of those, four to six million

  • were living in North America.

  • So how did these societies develop?

  • Well, a really big moment was around 5000 BCE,

  • when people in Mexico domesticated corn,

  • maize, as it's also known.

  • And domesticating maize meant that people

  • who had originally been hunters, gatherers,

  • following herds of animals

  • could partake in settled agriculture.

  • So they could develop villages, complex societies.

  • This isn't to say that they stopped hunting or gathering,

  • but they began staying in one place.

  • So let's zoom in a little bit and take a look

  • at some of the major societies in these regions.

  • Native American societies developed

  • around their natural environments,

  • using the resources that were available to them.

  • For example, the Southwest, Plains and Great Basin

  • were quite dry.

  • A lot of desert.

  • And so societies in these regions

  • adapted to the dry climate in several ways.

  • For example, Native American groups

  • that lived on the Great Plains

  • continued their hunting and gathering way of life.

  • Hunting bison,

  • and following the herds of animals

  • in teepees,

  • which were dwellings that were easy

  • to set up and then take down.

  • People in the Southwest, like the Ancestral Puebloan people,

  • dealt with this dry environment

  • by creating very complex irrigation projects

  • so that they could water their maize crops

  • using what little moisture there was.

  • The Puebloans lived in large cave complexes

  • as agriculture allowed them to grow their population.

  • In the Northwest, fishing in the Pacific Ocean

  • gave Native Americans a plentiful source of food,

  • while farming allowed the Mississippian peoples

  • to develop large settlements, like Cahokia,

  • near modern day St. Louis, which, at its peak,

  • may have had as many as 25,000-40,000 residents.

  • The Mississippians and other East Coast native peoples

  • relied a lot on what's known as three-sister farming,

  • in which people would plant corn, beans and squash together,

  • which was mutually beneficial to all three plants,

  • as the corn served as a trellis for the beans,

  • and the squash protected the root system of the corn.

  • All three together create a very nutritious diet,

  • which allowed for a relatively high population density

  • on the East Coast.

  • So by the time that Europeans began to arrive

  • in the late 1400s and 1500s,

  • native societies had been evolving for over 14,000 years.

  • But the introduction of European people, pathogens,

  • plants, and animals would introduce

  • an unprecedented amount of change in the Americas.

- [Instructor] Often when we think about

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B1 中級 美國腔

美國土著社會 (Native American societies )

  • 84 9
    Amy.Lin 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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