Firearms in American History

Firearms in American History

Firearms in American History

Firearms in American History

Excerpt

So significant were firearms to early American history that one writer has claimed, "Firearms, the axe, and the plow were the three cornerstones upon which the pioneer Americans built this nation."

When the European settlers began to arrive in North America in the seventeenth century, they found an immense area of relatively untouched land and incredibly abundant supplies of wild game, fish, and fruits. The firearm was to become one of the most important tools for settling this new land.

It is difficult for us today to imagine the tremendous numbers and variety of game that populated America early in its history. As late as 1808, huge flocks of passenger pigeons--containing perhaps millions of birds each--were still being reported. Single herds of over 500,000 buffalo still roamed the Great Plains. So numerous were birds and animals that, in addition to being killed for practical reasons, they were also shot just for practice and sport. American wildlife seemed boundless.

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