Online College Courses for Credit

American History Part 1

American History Part 1

Author: Melissa Kinsey

To learn how early peoples arrived in the Americans and how they survived once the Ice Age ended.

Chapter 1, Section 1: Early Peoples

The first Americans arrived thousands of years ago.  Archaeologists have used artifacts to create a theory about how these early peoples arrived in North America.

Before listening to this lesson and taking notes, make sure you have read p. 16-19. The notes revealed in this video should be written in your spiral notebook. Each new section should be given a new page. This will help you better organize the information.

One widely accepted theory is that many of the early peoples traveled across a land bridge called Beringia during the last Ice Age.  During this time the Earth was experiencing very cold temperatures.  Large glaciers and ice sheets covered large portions of the earth.  Because of this, the sea levels dropped.  This exposed the stip of land between Asia and North America.  In fact it is believed that the land bridge extended from Siberia to Alaska.  It is believed that nomadic hunters were following woolly mammoths, mastadons, and saber-toothed tigers and crossed Beringia.  They continued following the herds of animals until the earth began to warm.  As the glaciers melted, the oceans rose and Beringia was once again covered up by the Bering Strait.  Soon the large game animals began dying off and the early peoples had to discovered new ways to feed their people.  They continued hunting, but they were much smaller animals such as deer, birds, and rodents.  Berries and grains were still a vital part of their diet too.  It wasn’t until a group of people living in Mexico about 9,000 years ago did they discover that they could plant and harvest maize, an early form of corn.  With the success of growing maize, the Native Americans began experimenting with other seeds, such as, pumpkins, beans, and squash.  With enough food to feed the tribe, the population began to steadily rise.  Farming allowed people to spend time on other activities and develop ways to improve their lives.  This eventually allowed communities to establish a unique culture.

See More

Chapter 1, Section 1

Early Peoples -- How did they get here? Watch this video to find out.

Source: The American Republic to 1877 (Glencoe)