Human settlement on the American continent began at least 15,000 years ago, when bands of people from present-day Siberia crossed a now-vanished land strip into Alaska. ‘Beginnings: Pre-history to 1763’ charts the path of American history from the time of the first settlers to the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763. By 1500, the North American population comprised an estimated seven to ten million people. Then came the age of European expansion and settlement. This was an era of much strife. The era also saw the introduction of slavery, which planted the seeds of civil war and the racism that was to come.