You are here:

U.S. History/3 AP american history question


Q1) Indian people have often been described as living  within nature without changing it considering their reaction to the end of the Ice Age, is this accurate, or is it a generalization? Explain

Q2) Who was Prince Henry the Navigator, and why is he significant?

Q3) What was the effect of the Protestant Reformation on the French and English colonization efforts?

Q1 seems a bit silly since we all live within nature and all humans change things in nature as a matter of course. Some people argue that Native Americans did not alter the environment nearly as much as people in Europe or other parts of the world.  But this is just not the case.  First, there were civilizations that built large cities in the Americas.  Just look at the Aztec, Mayan, and Incan civilizations.  Even in what is today the US, many tribes build houses, cleared land to grow agricultural crops, etc.

American Indians may not have had as extreme an effect on the environment as humans in other areas.  This was in part due to the fact that humans have only populated the Americas for the past 10,000 years or so, as opposed to other areas where modern humans have lived for 40,000 or 50,000 years.  Native Americans did not develop use of metal tools, still mostly using stone tools when Columbus arrived.  This lack of technology inhibited advancement and made it difficult to have as much of an impact on the environment.  It also kept population levels at a lower level than existed elsewhere.

Even where Indians lived as simple hunter-gatherers, that did not mean they always lived in ways that protected the environment.  Many tribes burned down forests to clear trees.  Some ran entire hers of buffalo off of cliffs in order to collect some of them for food and fur.

The bottom line is that Native American cultures were quite divers depending on where and when they lived.  They had quite different lifestyles with varying impacts on the environment.  To say otherwise is quite a generalization.

Q2. Prince Henry the Navigator was the son of King John I of Portugal.  He lived in the early 1400's.  His significance is that he used ships to explore parts of the Atlantic Ocean and the coast of Africa.  He claimed several Atlantic Islands for Portugal as well as creating colonies along the African coast.  This brought a great deal of wealth to Portugal and encourage subsequent generations of explorers, including Columbus.

Q3.  The Protestant reformation led to religious wars throughout Europe.  France, as a Catholic nation, expelled Protestants from their country, but also did not allow them to settle in French colonies.  As a result, the French limited their population resources at a time when excess population was needed to settle and secure new colonies.

The British became a protestant country, but the Church of England separated from the Catholics more for political than religious reasons.  England did not much like the European protestants who wanted more religious change in England.  England, allowed many religious dissenters to settle in the Americas where they were allowed to practice their religious while remaining loyal to England politically.  This encouraged many British subjects to colonize North America, giving England a much stronger hold on these lands as colonies.

I hope this helps!
- Mike  

U.S. History

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]