CSET Pre-colonial America Review

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CSET Pre-colonial America Review

Archaeological as well as geological evidence suggests that the present-day United States was originally populated by people migrating from Asia via the Bering land bridge starting some 20,000 years ago. These people became the indigenous people who inhabited the Americas prior to the arrival of European explorers in the 1400s and who are now called Native Americans.  This may be valuable to know as part of your CSET review.

For the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) you may also wish to know that many cultures thrived in the Americas before Europeans came, including the Puebloans (Aztec) in the southwest and the Adena Culture in the east. Several such societies and communities, over time, intensified this practice of established settlements, and grew to support sizeable and concentrated populations. Agriculture was independently developed in what is now the eastern United States as early as 2500 BC, based on the domestication of indigenous sunflower, squash and goosefoot. Eventually, Mexican maize and legumes were adapted to the shorter summers of eastern North America and replaced the indigenous crops. 

The first European contact with the Americas was with the Vikings in the year 1000. Leif Erikson established a short-lived settlement called Vinland in present day Newfoundland. It would be another 500 years before European contact would be made again.

Several medieval Arabic sources also suggest that Muslim explorers from Islamic Spain and Northwest Africa may have traveled in expeditions across the Atlantic to the Americas between the 9th and 14th centuries.


The above CSET-related article on pre-colonial America is predominantly excerpted from Wikipedia and used under permission of the GNU license agreement.  It is provided as a free CSET study resource for those seeking additional review on pre-colonial America.  Please note, however, that it is not written specifically for CSET prep purposes, and does not cover all material needed to pass the test.

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