Macro Regional Coalescent Societies : A Study Of Native American Culture

1843 Words Nov 15th, 2016 8 Pages
Macro regional coalescent societies began to emerge in the late 1550’s out of the shatter zone period and are dominant in the Mississippi south throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Coalescent societies build on what was left from the chiefdom era. Decline in chiefdoms, changes in nature and the environment, and disease transfer all contribute to the shatter zone period, but perhaps changes in pre existing trade networks and patterns did the most to change cultural aspects for life of Native Americans in the southeast.[1] This paper will examine the rise of coalescent societies through a case study of the Choctaw people and explore how trading patterns were a crucial part of Native American culture.
From first encounters with Europeans, one of the earliest trade agreements between Native Americans and Europeans was the Columbian exchange. The Columbian exchange was the trade of animals, plants, and diseases between the old and new world. The Columbian exchange led to increased contact with Europeans, which resulted in population losses and dramatic cultural changes in native societies.[2] Many diseases such as smallpox and typhoid lead to large declines in native population; in addition there was a sudden abandonment of sacred lands, perhaps because of the environmental change and diseases within native cultures.[3] In 1633, the five Indian nations had been severely impacted by the smallpox epidemic that struck the interior Northeast, which was documented by…

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