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A Companion to Colonial America (Blackwell Companions to by Daniel Vickers

By Daniel Vickers

A better half to Colonial the United States contains twenty-three unique essays by way of specialist historians at the key concerns and issues in American colonial heritage. each one essay surveys the scholarship and winning interpretations in those key components, discussing the differing arguments and assessing their benefits. assurance comprises politics, faith, migration, gender, ecology, and so on.

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Manual for Seneca Iroquois Archaeology (Honeoye Falls: Cultures Primitive, 1973). A Companion to Colonial America Edited by Daniel Vickers Copyright © 2003, 2006 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd CHAPTER TWO The Origins of Transatlantic Colonization CAROLE SHAMMAS For thousands of years, up to about AD 1500, the Americas were populated almost exclusively by Pacific migrants and their descendants. That situation changed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as several million people from western Europe and western Africa arrived in what to them was a New World.

16 DAVID G. ANDERSON AND MARVIN T. SMITH known tribes such as the Huron, Neutral, and Five Nation Iroquois had developed in the areas where Europeans found them. Community size continued to increase, as amalgamation reduced the number of villages but increased their size. Communities of 1,500 people became relatively common, greatly outnumbering the populations of typical Mississippian communities in the Southeast. Some villages, such as the Draper Site in Ontario, may have reached populations as large as 3,000.

Diamond’s contribution is to point out that even some seemingly fertile areas – such as the Western Hemisphere – had significant drawbacks as sites for human food production until flora and fauna from other continents could be transferred there. The Americas had comparatively few indigenous cereals and even fewer that actually merited cultivation. The large population of Meso-America had the advantage over other Western Hemisphere cultures in being able to cultivate a good mix of crops – corn, beans, and squash.

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