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Military History - Territorial conquest

Wars are often fought over control of territory. Since ancient times, as historical pictures show, people have migrated into new lands, pushed by famine, growing populations, enemy attacks, or habitat destruction. Groups already in place push back, and conflict results. As seen in historical illustrations, Mesopotamia and the whole Mideast region was subjected to military domination by one group after another, beginning in prehistoric times. Groups who fought for land there throughout history included the Assyrians, Babylonians, Hebrews, Phoenicians, Persians, ancient Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Ottoman Turks. Similarly, Europe was overrun by a succession of aggressive Eurasian tribes, contributing to the fall of the Roman Empire. Boundaries were continually shifting in the Middle Ages as rulers fought for territorial power. The Norman Conquest in 1066 was the last successful invasion of England. However, the Hundred Years' War continued the conflict between French and English kings for control of the two countries.

Discovery of the New World opened an era of colonialism, during which Spain, France, Portugal, England, the Netherlands, and other European powers competed to control new lands in the Americas. Forts defended territory against attack by other colonizers or by natives. An important clash seen in historical pictures was the French and Indian War.

Europeans invading the Americas came into immediate conflict with indigenous people, including Inca and Aztec civilizations, shown in historical illustrations. Superior weapons and horses of the Spanish conquistadors prevailed. Historical images of colonial Indian conflicts in North America portray a similar outcome: Native Americans were displaced by colonists. Canadian Aboriginals integrated with French-Canadian settlers but suffered territorial and cultural losses.

Native Americans continued to lose territory as the western US was settled, shown in many historical images. After the US Civil War,Indian warfare on the Great Plains occupied US Army troops, including African-American buffalo soldiers as well as Custer's 7th Cavalry infamous for the Battle of Little Bighorn seen in historical illustrations.

Another North American territorial conflict was the Mexican-US War, resulting in US takeover of huge areas, adding Hispanic-American areas illustrated in historical pictures, namely New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Texas had already become a US possession.

In Europe the Napoleonic Wars expanded the French Empire at the expense of most of western and central Europe plus some of North Africa. The British Empire was even more global, reaching every continent except Antarctica. Imperialism by competing nations led to the Sepoy Mutiny in India, the Boxer Rebellion in China, and the Boer War in South Africa, to name only a few open conflicts.

As a result of territorial conquest,maps were redrawn, languages were replaced and interwoven, and cultures were forever changed, as shown in historical images. In Canada the British capture of Louisbourg in the French and Indian War changed eastern Canada's administration from French-speaking to English-speaking, cemented by the expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia. French-Canadian culture was suppressed but never extinguished. Louisiana became home to many of the expelled 'Cajuns, thus reinforcing French culture there.


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