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US Historical Overview
Apart from the brief visit of the Scandinavians in the early eleventh century, the Western Hemisphere remained unknown to Europe until Columbus's voyage in 1492. However, the native peoples of North and South America arrived from Asia long before, in a series of migrations that began perhaps as early as forty thousand years ago across the land bridge that connected Siberia and Alaska.
Alaska Early History
First Early Inhabitants of Alaska
Early history examines the archaeological record that tells the story of the first inhabitants of Alaska. Learn about the history and culture of the first inhabitants, and what lessons it might teach us about the early history of Alaska.
Alaska First Early Inhabitants
The first native inhabitants of the area now known as Alaska probably migrated from Siberia, part of what is now Russia, at the end of the last ice age ten to twelve thousand years ago. Although experts are unsure whether they traveled a land bridge or by boat, archeologists have found signs of different native groups dating back thousands of years in Alaska.
The European exploration of Alaska began with the 1741 voyages of Vitus Bering and Alexei Chirikoff to the Aleutian Islands, the coasts of the Gulf of Alaska, and southeastern Alaska. Bering died from scurvy later that winter on an island named after him, Bering Island.
Around this time the British, Spanish, and French were exploring the coast of Alaska. The unregulated exploitation of the fur resources by rival companies led to a depletion of accessible fur areas and the killing and enslavement of the peaceful Aleut natives. Consequently, this led to the chartering of the Russian American Company in 1799. Under its first manager, Alexander Baranov, which was a period of about 20 years, there was an order and systematic exploitation of the fur resources.
United States of America has an early history beginning sometime prior to 15,000 years ago, as well as the past 200 years or so of rich and proud history, which is relatively short compared to other countries and nations. From Independence to the Civil War to the World Wars to the Cold War, we have a lot of things to tell and things to be proud of.