Why did people settle in North America?

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North America, the continent that is home to the United States, Canada, Mexico and many other countries, has been a home to many different people at many different times.

Today’s Native Americans were the first people to come to North America, when their relatives of long, long ago (over 11,000 years!) came here following food, like the huge mammoths that were still around back then!

Then, settlers from Europe (like the Vikings) began to come to the Americas starting about 1,000 years ago, followed a few hundred years later by someone you might have heard of: Christopher Columbus! Columbus famously sailed to North America by accident while trying to get from Spain to Asia. Before Columbus, people in Europe didn’t know the Americas existed, but after he told them about what he’d found, many more explorers began to come from places like France, England, and Spain. They came because they wanted to find new land for their countries, and to start new lives. Some people came because they wanted a place where they could practice whatever religion they believed in, or because they wanted to make a better living. Plus, it was a beautiful place!

Today North America is an interesting and diverse part of our world because so many different groups came together and settled on the land!

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Further information

    When the earliest North Americans, who were the ancestors of Native Americans, came to North America, they came over a land bridge that connected what are now Russia and Canada. That land bridge doesn’t exist any more. After the last ice age, it was flooded!
  • Exploration

    Local History

    What do you know about the history of the place where you live?  Chances are there are some very interesting facts to be found about what was in your area before you were!  You might find some clues by looking at the names of places around you.  

    The state of Massachusetts was named for the Massachusett tribe of Native Americans that lived in the Area. “New Mexico” comes from the Spanish name that was used to refer to the upper area of the Rio Grande River.  The name “Mexico” itself is a Native American term referring to the place of an Aztec God!  

    Place names give excellent clues to history.  Are there any strange or interesting sounding place names near you?  Where do you think they come from?

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