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[Blog] The Early Americas: Frontier and Colonization

The Frontier and the colonization is a huge part of the American and European history. During the early 18th century European Colonists in the Americas moved west in order to seek a new life. In the following century colonists created the cities we know today as San Francisco, Chicago and hundreds more. The frontier quickly moved westwards and changed the course of the United States forever.

The period

The Frontier exists from multiple categories, the most famous is the Colonial Frontier, which tells the history of the colonial wars, migration and expansion of European nations in the Americas. Following the creation of the United States of America and winning the war, the expansion to the west gained focus in the country. However this meant that the settlers had to take territory from the natives, which resulted in dirty and bloody wars.

First the Americas where mainly uninhabited, except for the native americans.
First the Americas where mainly uninhabited, except for the native americans.

Colonial Period

The American Frontier began in 1607 when Jamestown was founded by British settlers in Virginia. During this era (until 1680), the Frontier basically spanned all the territory between the settlements founded by the Europeans, as there wasn’t any infrastructure beyond the settlements. Most settlements were about a square mile in size.

Conflicts with the Native Americans started early on, as Europeans claimed more land for their own. In the early 1770’s the Europeans were already moving into western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee and even Kentucky!

Post-Colonial Period

After the Revolutionary War ended in 1781, thousands of US citizens traveled westwards, moving the unknown frontier more and more west. Lots of the colonists came in conflicts with the Native American Tribes. The War of 1812 was the final blow for the Native American forces, who were utterly defeated by the American Frontier Militia. As more and more settlers traveled westward and settled down, lots of areas went quickly through a territorial stage and became states. This resulted in the dozens of states, which the United States consist of today.

The United States Civil War led to hundreds of thousands of casualties and the abolishment of slavery
The United States Civil War led to hundreds of thousands of casualties and the abolishment of slavery

After the secession of the eleven southern slave states, a nationwide civil war took place from 1861 to 1865. This event is known as the American Civil War, in which over 650.000 soldiers died. After the Northern Union emerged victorious, although it suffered heavy losses, the United States disbanded slavery for once and for all. With tens of thousands of people traumatized and jobless, most of them traveled to previous almost uninhabited states.

Old West

After the war the United States government wanted to connect the West and East coast as quickly as possible. This resulted in the creation of the Pacific Railroad, currently still in use and known as “The First Transcontinental Railroad”. The creation of this railroad was the catalyst to build hundreds of towns and settlements along the trail.

The period of the Old West as we know it started after the Westwards expansion in the aftermath of the Civil War.
The period of the Old West as we know it started after the Westwards expansion in the aftermath of the Civil War.

In contrast to popular belief the Wild West wasn’t that wild after all. Although the American Indian Wars were brutal and bandits were everywhere, the Wild West actually was quite civilized. Even the clashes between the Native Americans and the pioneers weren’t as frequent as we might think. However, the United States Military did kill millions of natives during this period.
Bank heists and train robberies weren’t as common either. Although the famous ones did happen, the robbers could only pull them off because of their numbers, power and intimidation. Most ordinary folk didn’t even try, because the Sheriff and his deputies (and even town folk) would simply throw you in jail, or worse.

Events of Assassin’s Creed

The Assassin’s Creed series featured quite a few games in the old frontier of the United States. Our first introduction to the frontier, in which the player could hunt and create its own settlement, was with Assassin’s Creed III. This game focused on Connor and the events of the Revolutionary War.

The Revolutionary War had many locations and in Assassin's Creed III you can walk between them via the Frontier.
The Revolutionary War had many locations and in Assassin’s Creed III you can walk between them via the Frontier.

Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation also featured some missions in the frontier. Assassin’s Creed Rogue was set in the Northern America’s and saw the frontier, the icy waters of the North Atlantic and the city of New York as main locations.

So there you have it. The history of the frontier of the United States and how it changed over time from a mainly uninhabited country, to the foundations of one of the most influential countries in the world.

Ivar Jens Harald Blaauw

Writer, Editor and Blogger at MyCreed Global and Cosplay. Cosplayer, writer and artist in my spare time.