By Philip Jenkins
This established introductory text provides a lucid, authoritative account of the process American background, discussing political, social, financial and cultural advancements. during this revised and updated new variation, Jenkins studies the 2008 presidential election, the commercial trouble and up to date environmental issues.
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Extra resources for A History of the United States (Palgrave Essential Histories)
There is often an added implication here that the destroyed cultures represented a kind of ecological harmony that was obliterated by selfish capitalist and Christian Europeans. While a demographic catastrophe certainly did occur in Central and South America, the situation to the north was different, as the numbers were much smaller and the pace of conquest far slower. The most plausible suggestion is that around 1500 AD at least two million people lived north of what is now the Mexican border.
THE CONQUISTADORES As in South America, the first European presence in the north was Spanish, when Juan Ponce de Leon sighted Florida Page 7 in 1513. After the fall of Mexico in 1519–20 the Spanish conquistadores travelled north and south to seek new empires, often drawn by tales of wealthy cities beyond the next range of mountains or over the desert. Sometimes the stories were true, and by 1533 the great Inca civilization had been discovered and crushed. North America offered much poorer pickings.
Once returned, the horse provided the basis of the powerful and militarily dangerous culture encountered by nineteenth-century Americans. Plains society was based on the apparently inexhaustible buffalo herds: there may have been 60–70 million buffalo in any given year before the 1840s. Further west were still more varied ecologies, including the Great Basin, centered on Utah and Nevada and inhabited by tribes such as the Utes and Paiutes; and the plateau region of Page 6 modern Idaho. In much of what later became southern California, the harsh desert conditions prevented the existence of all but small, impoverished groups dependent on foraging.
A History of the United States (Palgrave Essential Histories) by Philip Jenkins