America before Columbus

The Civilizations of the South

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Native Americans in South America included the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs. These cultures were not living amongst each other they were from overlapping times, the Incas were the first, more nothern too. They developed a written language and a complex number system. The Inca's were succeeded by the Aztec's, who's empire included much of modern day Mexico. The Aztecs were a more brutal society but made many more technological increases that were well worth it. They developed a harsh religion that required human sacrifices. Because of the Aztec blood lust, some Europeans started to call the Aztecs savages.The Mayans also used pyramids like the Aztecs and Egyptians. The economies of these southern cultures were based on agriculture, although they did have vast natural resources, they lacked the means to use them to their advancement. There society was in the form of a monarchy, with a religous figure at the head. Most people were peasents that worked the fields, then came the warriors and then the religious hierarchy which were at the top of society . The Incas lacked a written launage but were able to create huge, complex structures using man power and some few simple technologies.

The Civilizations of the North
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There were also Native Americans in North America. These native's empires were far less grand then their brethren of the south. Native Americans were then called Indians by the European settlers in ignorance because they thought they were in India. Indians in North America had no huge temples or pyramids, they were simpler, their society was not so much based on religion. The Native Americans used religion to explain things, not to tell people what to do.

The Northern Native Americans were hunter gatherers, they did not develop as much as Southern American empires such as the Aztec or the Incas, resulting in them being concerened with finding food for one day rather than worrying about developing an empire or a written language. Although their society was not as impressive, there was a variety of different civilizations; among them the Eskimos, big game hunters, tribes of the far west and the tribes of the east which had the longest interactions with the settlers in America. The Eskimos primary source of food was fishing, the big game hunters were tribes of nomads that romed the americas searching for mooses an buffalos.

The tibes of the far west fished, gathered, and hunted to stay alive, when most others just did one or two of these. The tribes that are now in modern day United States of America were know as the Woodland Indians. These tribes were very different from one another, different tribes used different methods of capturing food. The Native Americans main objective was surviving, henceforth they did not write anything down or create anything to mover them forward. Some natives helped the colonists and participated in conflicts such as the French and Indian War and later the American Revolution, while some wanted nothing to do with them, but whatever their action they did, it was done to survive.

A Survey, American History by Alan Brinkley