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8. The Americas

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Chapter Summary

The boundaries, in the two continents, were produced by distinct processes and considered separately. This review suggests five conclusions. First the indigenous populations, that had established themselves in north, central and south America, played no significant role in fixing the international boundaries that divide the two continents. Second in North America, the early involvement of French and British colonists and administrators and Russian hunters, was overtaken by divisions between colonists seeking independence and British authorities maintaining control over Canada. Third in Central and much of South America, Spanish authorities and colonists overcame the indigenous population and the difficult terrain to establish several large colonies. Fourth in the beginning and medium term, the Portuguese seemed more successful than any of the other European invaders by spreading widely throughout the Amazon Basin. Finally it is clear that throughout the Americas the European colonists played the dominant role in fixing the international boundaries.

Keywords: colonists; continents; European colonists; independence; indigenous populations; international boundaries; The Americas



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