Article

Post-Contact Cultural Dynamics in the Upper Great Lakes Region

Vergil E. Noble

in The Oxford Handbook of North American Archaeology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195380118
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195380118.013.0035

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Post-Contact Cultural Dynamics in the Upper Great Lakes Region

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Colonization efforts along the Atlantic seaboard and the St. Lawrence River valley came to impose intense pressure on native populations, increasing competition and conflict among many aboriginal groups. This in turn would bring about dramatic changes in political organization, settlement patterns, and demographics. Kin groups coalesced into larger tribal entities. Those closely involved with the commerce began to settle in large villages around trading centers, which made them more susceptible to European control and vulnerable to their devastating infectious diseases. Some would be displaced from their homelands in the East and moved westward, where they subsequently came into conflict with other groups that they encountered. Widespread epidemics of smallpox and other exotic maladies would eventually affect many native populations, reducing their numbers and fragmenting their traditional social systems.

Keywords: cultural dynamics; colonization; St. Lawrence River; aboriginal groups; social systems; tribes

Article.  4244 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of North America ; Historical Archaeology

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