Migrations in New World culture history

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Later, once these people were on their incredible journey, "we see evidence of a population expansion, after 16, years ago and before 14, years ago, when we see the earliest unequivocal sites in the Americas. Furthermore, the oldest archaeological sites from the Aleutian Islands to Yakutat Bay , which are now part of Alaska, date to about 8, years ago — more than 6, years after the dates of the earliest interior Beringian sites, the researchers wrote in the review.

This suggests that the first migrants took the inland route, as these sites have older archaeological dates, the researchers said. Most archaeologists agree that by 13, to 12, years ago, the ancient people of the Clovis culture were already living in what is now New Mexico. But which route did the first Americans take to get there: the inland or coastal corridor?

Archaeologists have long debated this issue. For much of the 20th century, scientists thought that ancient people traveled inland, over the ice-free corridor in North America between two massive ice sheets. But over the past two decades, more archaeologists have favored the idea of the coastal kelp highway. That's in part because it's unclear whether the ice-free corridor appeared early enough to fit dates of known archaeological sites in the Americas, and whether this corridor could support a group of migrating humans.

But newer evidence suggests that the ice-free corridor opened up earlier than researchers previously realized, the review authors said.

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And I want to emphasize these are minima. The viability of the corridor could be even older; these are just the first actual dates that we have. In any event, these data place the corridor back into contention as a hypothesis for a colonization route. Other factors also point to an inland route : All of the ancient cultures that these early Americans came from in Siberia and northeast Asia were inland-bound.

They were hunting mammoth and bison and horse," Potter said. While there are a few archaeological sites along the Beringia coast, they are younger than the ones inland, the researchers noted. Proponents of the coastal-route hypothesis say that many coastal sites that did exist are likely now underwater or didn't survive due to the elements. But Potter and his colleagues argue that large swaths of ice-age coastal land are still above water, and that surveys have failed to find coastal sites older than 12, years old, making them about 1, years younger than the "earliest unequivocal sites in interior Berginia," the researchers wrote in the review.

So, if people took the coastal route that far back, more evidence should have survived. However, it's also possible that the ancestors of today's Native Americans had a low population density that left behind small sites that either didn't preserve or would be challenging for archaeologists to find, said Justin Tackney, a postdoctoral researcher of anthropology at The University of Kansas who wasn't involved with the review. In addition, over the past 20 years, some archaeologists have argued that the Clovis people weren't the first culture in the Americas, and that the pre-Clovis existed before them, Tackney said.

But the review researchers claim that there weren't many pre-Clovis sites. Thus, in many cases, direct migration to a desired location did not always occur; people took time in migrating to the West, pausing for a year or more in several places before reaching their final destination. While the population of central Indiana had strong ties to the South and to Ohio and Pennsylvania, it did not possess strong ties to New England.

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As stated by Lois Mathews in her book Expansion of New England , "Indiana was never a favorite stopping place for New Englanders, for the Southern element was strong here. Foreigners also constituted a portion of the migrating population. English, Scotch, Irish, German, and other immigrant groups came to America to seek new opportunities in the vast western lands.

However, the massive migration of these groups from Europe did not occur until the late s, so these ethnic groups did not contribute to the initial settlement of central Indiana. Up to the early s, westward migration was contained by the Appalachian Mountains and legal provisions which forbade movement beyond.

In time, the Wilderness Road in Kentucky became the primary "highway" for early migrations to the west. By , the Ohio River had emerged as an important route, especially if the migrants lived within reach of its many tributaries.


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Consequently, migration could occur from the northeast by following the Allegheny River to Fort Pitt, the Ohio River to Cincinnati and the southeastern corner of the Indiana Territory see travel accounts of the Mace family. Completion of the Erie Canal in and the Ohio Canal in also facilitated access to western lands.

The Schramm family, immigrants from Germany, left New York for Indiana in , arriving twenty days later. They traveled up the Hudson River to Albany by steamboat, to Buffalo by canalboat, to Cleveland by steamboat, to the Ohio River by canalboat, and then by river boat to Cincinnati, completing their trip to Indiana by rough wagon ride over Indiana roads.

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Even though river traffic was in full swing, overland routes were not abandoned. The Federal Government wished to improve transportation with the National Road which would run from Baltimore to the Mississippi River. Other trails and roads were utilized in the westward migration, however, many of them were extremely primitive and treacherous, which prolonged the trip west. Numerous travel accounts describe the impassable roads, the dense forests and the "cleared" roads spotted with fifteen inch tree stumps.

It is quite clear that the American people have been a "people in motion" ever since the initial colonization of the continent. While statistics of state populations indicate the degree of growth, the best testimony on the extent of this mobility has come from the numerous travelers who visited the United States, most of whom concluded that mobility was a unique trait that distinguished Americans from Europeans. One Englishman wrote that "Americans are a travelling people.

Charles Dickens saw the West as peopled by a vast human army, consisting of people who had dedicated their lives to leaving home after home behind. The westward-moving population ultimately could be explained by the quest for cheap land and natural resources, economic opportunities, more amenable living conditions for families and self-improvement.

Likewise, Henry Fearon noted in his Sketches of America that "The American has always something better in his eye, further west; he therefore lives and deis on hope, a mere gypsy in this particular. Finally, while pioneer life was one of movement and adaptation, pioneer life was also one of transplanting culture. Americans did not become totally new creatures in the western wilderness, as many have assumed.

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Rather, the pioneers relied on the familiar past, holding on to those things which they cherished and valued in an attempt to establish and develop a "community" in the newly opened lands of the American West. Western Immigration.

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Author: David G. Vanderstel "The condition of the people of America is so different from aught that we in Europe have an opportunity of observing They are great travellers, and in general better acquainted with the vast expanse of country, spreading over their eighteen states They are also a migrating people, and even when in prosperous circumstances, can contemplate a change of situation, which under our old establishments and fixed habits, none, but the enterprising, would venture upon, when urged by adversity.

When discussing the westward migration of people, one must consider three major points: Migration did not occur in orderly fashion. All people did not choose to move at the same time nor to the same location.


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Pioneers decided to migrate and to settle where they believed they would best continue their traditional ways of life and thought and still seek new opportunities and improvement of lifestyle. Several immigrant and religious groups decided to migrate and resettle together in an effort to preserve and to perpetuate their culture and beliefs with which they were accustomed and to escape the force of Americanization that accompanied contact with the American population.

Migration was a selective process: not everyone pulled up stakes in the East pushed into the open western lands. Migration was primarily a personal decision, dependent upon a variety of factors:age of the head of household; economic status; personal attitudes; and projected costs and benefits of the resettlement. Westward migration was not an easy proposition, despite the romanticization in literature and idyllic fashion removal to and settling in a new region posed numerous problems for the pioneers, as described by R.


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Buley in his work, The Old Northwest: "As the earlier settlers came into the region north of the Ohio, they were confronted with two sets of problems: the one concerned with shelter, food, health, and protection - things vital and immediate to the individual and his family; the other with ownership of land, transportation, and currency - things necessary for his economic advancement. Incentive for Migration The incentives for migration were many and varied since each person responded to factors which either repelled him from his old home or attracted him to a new location: transportation, both the means and the routes, seemed to be of minor concern to the pioneer.

Attracting Forces Hope for economic improvement - "this is a land of plenty, but we are proceeding to a land of abundance. Birbeck, Notes of a Journey in America, p. While it was true that western lands were somewhat more fertile than the now-depleted lands of the East, many of the pioneers were attracted to the frontier in order to speculate in land, i.

Billington provides a succinct summary of the incentives for westward migration: "Whether men went west in search of adventure or wealth, they were driven by impulses that failed to motivate their neighbors who stayed behind. When Did Migrations Occur? Origins of the Settlers of Indiana Settlement of Indiana began initially with trading, commercial, and military outposts.