The Predominant Economy of North America c. 1500

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Map Code: Ax01400

Before the arrival of Europeans in North America, the numerous Native American tribes had developed different lifestyles and ways of living off the land. In the east, the Mississippian tribal groups were some of the first to transition away from the hunter-gatherer nomadic lifestyle, developing agriculture and settlements on a larger scale in the rich soils around the Mississippi River. Staple crops included sunflowers, pumpkins and corn and the Mississippians built larger towns often with religious temples and more complex structures of governance. To the west and north in the grassland plain regions the local tribes were more geared towards hunting large game, which could provide skins as well as meat, and supplemented their diet by foraging berries and wild plants. In coastal regions, fishing provided the main source of food with salmon being particularly abundant in the northern regions.

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