Who Was Early American History?

Early American history is a fascinating subject that has intrigued historians and laypeople alike for generations. It encompasses a vast span of time, from the arrival of the first humans in North America over 12,000 years ago to the establishment of the United States as an independent nation in 1776. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at who the early Americans were and how they lived.

The First Americans

The first humans to arrive in North America are believed to have crossed a land bridge from Asia to Alaska during what is now known as the Ice Age. These early people, known as Paleo-Indians, were hunters and gatherers who relied on the natural resources of their environment for survival.

They hunted large game animals such as mammoths and bison, as well as smaller animals like rabbits and birds. They also gathered wild plants and berries for food.

The Native Americans

Over time, these early humans evolved into distinct groups with their own languages, cultures, and traditions. Today, we refer to them collectively as Native Americans or Indigenous Peoples. There are more than 500 different tribes in North America, each with its own unique history and way of life.

Native American societies were diverse and complex. Some tribes were nomadic hunters who followed herds of buffalo across the Great Plains, while others were sedentary farmers who grew crops such as corn, beans, and squash. Some tribes lived in elaborate permanent dwellings like adobe pueblos or longhouses made from tree bark, while others lived in simple tents or teepees that could be easily moved.

The European Colonizers

In 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived in what he believed was Asia but was actually the Caribbean islands off the coast of North America. This event marked the beginning of European exploration and colonization of the Americas.

Over the next several centuries, European powers including Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands established colonies in North America. They came seeking wealth, new trade routes to Asia, and religious freedom. They brought with them new technologies, ideas, and diseases that would forever change the course of Native American history.

The American Revolution

By the mid-18th century, tensions between the American colonies and Great Britain had reached a boiling point. The colonists were unhappy with British rule and taxation without representation. In 1776, they declared their independence and formed a new nation: the United States of America.

The American Revolution was a turning point in early American history. It marked the end of colonial rule and the beginning of a new era of democracy and freedom. It also set the stage for westward expansion and the displacement of Native American tribes from their ancestral lands.


Early American history is complex and multifaceted. It encompasses the stories of many different groups of people who lived vastly different lives but who all contributed to shaping the America we know today.

From Paleo-Indians to Native Americans to European colonizers to revolutionary patriots, each played a role in creating our shared history. By learning about these diverse perspectives, we can gain a deeper understanding of our past and present as a nation.