Native American history stretches back many centuries and continues until the present day. There are many tribes and climates where indigenous populations left their mark in the form of artifacts, traditions and records made by white explorers. Native American history begins before European explorers arrived on American soil and deals with the culture of tribes as far north as modern day Canada, to Indians in Peru and Mexico. Each tribe has its own distinct history and culture, and to learn more about Native American history, it is worthwhile to concentrate on individual tribes.
Native American history covers tribes who built cities and other who subsisted by simple hunting and fishing. Some tribes had quite sophisticated forms of trade, and in later generations, money was used. Other tribes were mainly hunters and gatherers and wished to remain so. Native American history often includes battles between tribes, and the Iroquois were known as effective warriors. However, they included tribes they conquered into their sophisticated political system which included governing many small nations and forming legislative bodies.
When European explorers settled the continent, many tribes who once fought against each other were joined by a common enemy. However, some tribes were so at odds that they joined settlers in a fight against other colonists just to fight a tribe allied with the other side. For instance, during the French and Indian War, tribes chose to side with the British or French based on which tribe was on the opposition. Native American History is rich with such rivalries and alliances.
Native American History includes many unhappy episodes beginning with the European settlers. Many Native Americans died because they had no immunity to the settler's small pox. Some American Indians cooperated with the settlers and others fought them. However, Native American History records tragic events, such as the Trail of Tears, when American Indians were forced to march westward, and many died on the way.