Part I

BEGINNINGS

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Beginning in the late fifteenth century, the peoples of Europe and the Americas, having lived in isolation from one another for thousands of years, began to interact. Prior to contact, indigenous peoples had built vibrant civilizations, created highly diverse cultures, and established trade over long distances—just like their European counterparts. Europeans did not quickly, easily, or inevitably dominate this “new” world. The inroads that they made were accomplished over many generations of contact, and depended on native peoples' decisions. From a native perspective, Europeans represented both danger and opportunity. They carried ...

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