Essay on the Process of Migrations of Tribes to North America

From Mexico, the Spaniards expanded north into the southern portion of North America. In 1781 the Yuma rebellion thwarted Spanish expansion along the Colorado Valley into Arizona.

Due to pressure on the Great Plains, the tribes like Comanche and started moving south and exerted pressure along the northern section of the fledgling Spanish frontier.

These tribes were mounted on horses and equipped with firearms supplied by the French. By 1790 the Spaniards expanded in California.

The North American tribes practiced rudimentary hunting and fishing. The British in North America after settling down became fishermen, farmers, traders, etc. The early English settlements in Americas were at Jamestown and Virginia.

In 1760 fighting broke out between the British and the Cherokee whose hunting land in east Tennessee and west North Carolina were under pressure due to the advancing frontier of British-American control and settlement.

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In 1608, the French settled in Quebec. In 1699 Pierre Le Moyne founded Fort Mauriac in Biloxi Bay, Mobile was set up in 1702 and New Orleans in 1718. The French also consolidated their position on St. Lawrence in 1701. French missions were already established at Cahokia in 1699 and in Kaskaskia in 1703 on the upper Mississippi.

Fort St. Charles came up on the Lake of the Woods in 1732 followed by another fort at the southern end of Lake Winnipeg. In 1732 the French established a garrison post to check the Chickasaws.

Fort La Reine in 1738 was established on the Assiniboine River. Fort Bourbon in 1739 expanded French presence to the northwest shore of Lake Winnipeg and Fort Dauphin established French presence on the western shore of Lake Winnipegosis.


In 1748 Fort St. Jean was rebuilt to strengthen the French position near Lake Champlain. A new wagon road linked the fort to Montreal. In 1750 the French erected Fort Rouille (Toronto).

And Fort La Crone in 1753 came up near the Forks of the Saskatchewan. In the south the French expanded from Louisiana. The Natchez tribe around New Orleans was crushed by the French.

In the sixteenth century, between 1000 and 2000 Iberians migrated to the Americas annually. During the 1630-40s, the Europeans were attracted towards West Indies due to availability of land in easy terms which was used for growing tobacco, indigo and cotton. In 1640 the population of Barbados was 30000 or 200 per square mile.

St. Kitts’ population in the same year was 20000. In the middle of the century, the shift was towards large scale sugar plantations. Between 30000 and 50000 white migrants arrived in Jamaica in the first half of the eighteenth century. And they took to cultivation.


Many French immigrants went to West Indies especially Saint- Dominguez. The Spanish Americans took to farming, ranching and mining of precious metals. The Americas Exported hides tallow and sugar. In the 1540s the Spanish discovered the silver mines at Potsoi (Bolivia) and Zacatecas (Mexico).

There was a higher percentage of Spaniards in Central Mexico and Peru than in Columbia and Ecuador. The Cuiaba goldfields in the interior of Brazil were discovered in 1719. In the 1760s about 5000 Portuguese migrated to Brazil annually.

They totaled about 400,000 by the end of the eighteenth century. In 1763-4 about 9000 French colonists were shipped to Cayenne in South America. Many of the European settlers were wage laborers, peasants and indentured servants.

In Latin America the indigenous population was mostly rural and the Spaniards and the Portuguese were disproportionately present in the major towns.

In North America also the size of the European towns went on increasing. Philadelphia was planned in 1680 and had a population of 2500 in 1685; 4000 in 1690; and 25000 in 1760.

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