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North America

The People

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North America was sparsely populated until relatively recent times. With the conspicuous exception of the inhabitants of the Mexican heartland (the plateaus and valleys around present-day Mexico City), the indigenous peoples of the continent were geographically scattered and culturally diverse. The settlement of the continent by Europeans began an almost total change in its human geography; Europeans decimated and displaced the indigenous peoples, and the living patterns of most were greatly altered. The contemporary population of North America is mostly European in background, but the continent's population also contains many other important groups.

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