Early American Civilizations and Exploration to 1600: Government and Law Research Article from American Eras

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Government.

The history of government in North America begins with the coming together of two drastically different political traditions. The Europeans who first came to the Western Hemisphere were the agents of centralized monarchies that regulated the behavior of hundreds of thousands of national citizens. By the time of Christopher Columbus the governments of Spain, England, Holland, and France were powerful enough to tax, regulate, and defend the people living within the boundaries of thousands of square miles of national domain. In the Americas, European explorers and colonists encountered thousands of different Native American communities that ordered their social and political affairs in a manner that was quite different from the kings, parliaments, and courts of Europe. In fact, many anthropologists object to the use of the word "government" to describe the way that Indians regulated their societies. Government evokes images of judges in robes, politicians debating in grand...

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This section contains 4,478 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Early American Civilizations and Exploration to 1600: Government and Law Encyclopedia Article
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American Eras
Early American Civilizations and Exploration to 1600: Government and Law from American Eras. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.