As large masses of land drifted apart from a single continent, openings between the landmass formed creating the Atlantic and Indian Ocean and shrinking the Pacific. As the continent continued to shift mountain ranges popped up on the landmasses forming the Appalachians, Rockies, and the Sierra Nevada. About 10 million years ago the basic shape of North America had formed. In the tidewater region moved upward to the Appalachians. The Great Ice Age started about 2 million years ago creating two mile thick ice sheets along the land near the poles. With the melting and retreating of glaciers near the end of the Ice Age, large amounts of topsoil was moved creating valleys and lakes.
The Great Ice Age formed most of the North American continent 's geographical features and brought people to the continent as well. Though it has yet to be determined exactly how people came across to the continent, evidence shows that people may have crossed either by land bridge or boats. With the lowered sea level the bridge appeared between Siberia and Alaska, however, once the glaciers began to melt the sea rose and sunk it. Though the melted glaciers prevented the Americas from coming into contact with the Eurasian continent, the people continued to migrate southward developing their own civilizations and culture.
With the cultivation of corn, nomadic tribes began to settle down and start up villages. Because of the cultivation of corn civilizations, such as the Aztecs and Incans, developed. Corn came to the Pueblo peoples in the Rio Grande valley and shaped the way the people organized their irrigation systems. Corn 's late arrival to the northern parts of North America meant that development of tribes and t...
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...nes and plantations. Other European countries such as England and France also took interest in the New World and sent their own explores to colonize the land. Seeing other European powers take interest in the New World, Spain settled a fortress in St. Augustine, Florida which would remain the oldest European settlement in the future United States. Conquistador Coronado discoveries led to hundreds of Spanish men traveling northward. Eventually they discovered the pueblo people of the Rio Grande and fought them claiming their land. They called the area New Mexico with the capital being called Santa Fe. In 1680 Pope 's Rebellion occurred and the natives destroyed all of the Christian monasteries driving the Spaniards out creating kiva 's on the destroyed churches. For half a century the land would remain under native control before being retaken by the Spanish.
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