European Nations Settle North America

Describe the colonial activities of Europeans in North America.

The English & The French

Because the Spanish had found a route to Asia, other countries in Europe wanted to find an easier route to the Pacific. Their hopes of finding this route were crushed because they obviously didn’t find it so the French, English, and Dutch decided to establish in North America. Frenchman Jacques Cartier reached a gulf on the eastern side of Canada that led him to a broad river that he named St. Lawrence. He followed the rivers trail inland and found an island dominated by a mountain and named it Mont Real, which is now known as Montreal. In 1608 Samuel Champlain sailed through St. Lawrence and founded Quebec, which became the capital of France’s empire in North America known as New France. New France covered much of the Midwestern United States and Eastern Canada. Their main economic activity was the fur trade. As the Spanish inspired the French to start exploring, these two nations did the same for the English and the Dutch. In 1607 the English reached the coast of Virginia. They named this area Jamestown. Their start was a mess they were only concentrated on finding gold rather than planting crops for their own benefit. They started to die from starvation, diseases, and battles with the Native Americans. Jamestown did stay as horrible as they were when they discovered tobacco and how highly demanded it was they prospered. The pilgrims founded a second colony, Plymouth, in Massachusetts. They were a group of people who escaped religious persecution as well as the Puritans. These established a larger colony at Massachusetts Bay.

The Dutch & The Battles for North America

In service of the Dutch, Englishman Henry Hudson in 1609 sailed west looking for a route to Asia. He didn’t find it rather did he find three waterways that would be later named after him, Hudson River, Hudson Bay, and Hudson Strait. They established a fur trade with the Iroquois Indians in this area. The areas taken by the Dutch was later known New Netherland. The nations of Europe didn’t only colonize in North America they also did in the Caribbean. On the islands they conducted huge sugar plantations, enslaved Africans were the labor supply for such activities. The French, English, and Dutch began to battle each other constantly for more territory. When the English decided to fight with the Dutch for their lands, the Dutch gave in without a fight. The only thing left for the English was to take what was left, the French’s territory. The conflict between these two nations became known as the French and Indian War. This later became part of a larger conflict, the Seven Years’ War. The English defeated the French in 1763. Since the English won, they were now the “owners” of the eastern half of North America.

Gabriela Jimenez

The colonization of North America began when English, Scottish, French, Swedes, Germans and the Dutch began to migrate there for many reasons. Many went as conquistadors. The first to establish official colonies were the Spanish and Portuguese. Later the English, French, and Dutch went on to colonize the rest of Eastern America. When the Europeans had settled and acquainted with the native Indians they had improved their work with found crops by the Indians.
-Tiffani Chalas

Once the other European countries realized how successful Spain's discoveries and colonizations were in the Americas, they began to actually give a crap about it and explore the new world as well. England, France, and the Netherlands soon joined the adventure of explore and conquer and, ignoring the Treaty of Tordesillas, set their sails for the Americas. With so many countries having their eyes set on the Americas it was only natural that conflict would ride shot gun. However land wasn't the first thing they coveted. Most of these countries were mostly interested in finding a new route to Asia in the north that they could claim for themselves after seeing Spain claim the route around the southern tip of South America (now known a Argentina). Had they found this northwest route, the lucky country would be rewarded with great wealth. Unfortunately, such a route does not exist so instead, weary of traveling, they decided to settle in this foreign land, which would prove nothing but profitable for them in the future. The first to settle in North America were the French. After much exploring, a French explorer Samuel de Champlain sailed up the St. Lawrence river with 32 other fellow colonists and founded Qubec, which became the center of the French colonization in the Americas, then known as New France. The French didn't stop there. As they dug deeper into North America, French Jesuit priest Jacques Marquette and his buddy Louis Joliet, a trader, explored the Great Lakes as well as the upper Mississippi. Almost 10 years later, they find the Mississippi valley and claim its vastness to France. The next to follow were the English. After getting their dear King James' consent and a charter to found a colony in North America to boot, a company of London investor's set sail to… you guessed it! a life time vacation to North America (where all our dreams come true :P). All jokes set aside, the English land on the beautiful icy shores of North America after 4 months of ocean watching and enjoying the endless gleaming watery horizon. They had reached Virginia, then in 1607, and claimed it as theirs naming it after good old King James, Jamestown (very original I should say). After a clumsy first impression, of course this is a great understatement what with the disease, hunger, and disputes with the Native Americans, the colonists eventually got the hang of things after farmers discovered tobacco, which became a flourishing cash crop after appeasing the high tobacco demands in England. Despite such a large expanse, France’s North American empire was sparsely populated with about 65,000. Many were priests who sought people to convert, naturally, and others were young bachelors involved in the fur trade, another prosperous economic activity, and had no intentions of settling in the land as much as they wanted to milk it for all it was worth.

A couple years later the Pilgrims showed up on the American coasts of Massachusetts and founded England. This English group was a little more eager to find the Americas. They were being persecuted in their country and seeking religious freedom went to the Americas. The Puritans followed after 10 years later in about the same situation settling a little ways far of from where the Pilgrims had settled, in Massachusetts Bay. The Dutch are soon to follow as Henry Hudson, under service of the Netherlands, went west. Of course he was one of those to search for a northwestern route to Asia, and we all know how that turned out, and in the midst of his search he began exploring 3 waterways whom the Dutch later claimed as their own, the Hudson River, Hudson Bay, and Hudson Strait (emphasis on the :D). Through these water ways the Dutch established a fur trade with the Iroquois Indians. The merchants formed the Dutch West India Company. They eventually founded New Netherlands, after getting the blessings of the Dutch government across the Atlantic. Th colony opened its doors like open arms encouraging other European settlers to join them in their money making society. A great variety answered their call. The English later drive out the Dutch from the New Netherlands and it is renamed New York (:D) after The Duke of York, King Charles II brother. The English also picked a fight with the French. These people were very persistent and land starved. To feed its growing colonial population with more land began to interfere with the French and they did with them. This paved the way to the French and Indian War which became part of another conflict known as the Seven Years' War. Anyway, eventually the British succeed and gain control of the eastern half of North America. As for the Native Americans, there was the rule of move or be moved. Even though the Dutch and the French were relatively tolerant of them this cant be said about the English. Conflicts began to rise and the weak fell to the strong. The British ruthlessly pushed the Natives out of their own land and further prospered while the Natives were left homesick and ashamed.

-Genesis A. L.

Ambition makes it Difficult to THINK Right

When Spain started taking control of all this new land, they wanted their share as well since they looked at this opportunity to expand their trade and grow wealthy. Examples could be England, France, and the Netherlands. These countries were just looking for power, totally ignoring the Treaty of Tordesillas. They were all up to the race the winner taking most of the loot. The French take what present-day is Canada naming this being the foundation for New France. The English divided themselves in two unintentionally. One group fled the country to acquire religious freedom while the other was just to claim lands for the English crown. The colonists founded Jamestown and the Puritans ( the religious group) founded a colony in Massachusetts Bay.The Dutch took control of the northern part of Canada when Henry Hudson discovered this part, which is why the Hudson Bay, the Hudson River, and Hudson Strait take their names. This part was later called New Netherland. This profited their trading company, since they took the fur from those areas to create a fur trade.

The Caribbean area was divided between all these countries. The English took Barbados and Jamaica, the Dutch settled Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, and the French Haiti, Guadeloupe, and Martinique.They built huge sugar and cotton plantations which were brought to these countries. At first, these plantations were run by the Native Americans of this countries, which as we all know and have been repeated throughout our whole lives, were exploited technically to death. Since they so did not care about them since they "Didn't have a soul" they just replaced them by African Slaves. Fun Fact people: Did you know African Slaves were just people as me and you who were enslaves by their own people? Its so sad and yet true how they would just capture commoners and enslave them. Well, were was I, oh yes so the European nations weren’t satisfied with what they had; they were so selfish they wanted what the others had as well. The European countries developed kind of a distrust in each other, since they were all enemies throughout the colonization process.The English felt the Dutch were interrupting their trade line,so they just sent some Duke to take the land from them, which instantly worked. They still needed more, so they battled France in what is called the French and Indian War for France's North American belongings. This went on for so long it even merged with a bigger conflict called the Seven Years' War which was between European countries to gain control of America, the West Indies, and India. The English, with help of their Army, defeated the French, taking their North American belongings. Some of these countries had strained relationships with the Native Americans, some just being nice to them so they'll cooperate in their trading systems and others fought with them for land. The Dutch and the French traded with the Native Americans, having sometimes disputes with them. The English were a whole other matter, however, since they wanted their land to be populated by their people and not by the people who really owned them. Also, the viewed the as if they were evil, not wanting to do anything with them, the Natives having that same view of the colonists. The differences between these groups caused bloody conflicts, both groups massacring tons of people. The diseases were a disadvantage for the Native American. The Europeans had brought all these diseases to the new world, which they had grown immune to these diseases since they lived with all the animals that transmitted these diseases, while the Native Americans had never even seen these animals before, most of the population died because of diseases such as smallpox and measles. Because they died of disease, the Europeans had to replace them with the African slaves.
-Gaby H.(:

-Jonathan Vargas

French Explorers began sailing West hoping that they will reach the East Indies. Once they were able to reach it, France’s North American Empire was growing. These settlers of the French North America Empire included Catholics Priests, like every other etnic groups this sought to convert Americans. French had as its prority to make money of the land not to sparse it. Years later English started arriving to North America and received a letter from King James which said to create a colony in that location, this is what is now called James Town. The beginning of the colony wasn’t very good due to the fact that the English people where interested in shaking the land like the French, so this meant that most of them died from diseases, hunger or battles. The second colony was the one built by the Puritans, this was more of a religious colony because its point was to set an example from christians and to convert people.
Later the Europeans colonized the Caribbean, this was good for them since they made huge cotton and sugar plantations and this products were quiet profitable. As people were invading North America this brought trouble, people started wanting more land and colony supremacy; the english battled the dutch and won land and started spreading then they battle France, won and continued spreading. English started having more of the land. In times of war The British colonists with the help of the British Army defeated the French in 1763. French and Dutch settlers developed a mostly cooperative relationship with the Native Americans.

The first conquests were made by the Spanish and the Portuguese. In 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas, approved by the Pope, stated that these two kingdoms divided the entire non-European world between themselves, with a line drawn through South America that gave Spain practically all of North and South America and gave Portugal a piece of Brazil. The Spanish rapidly conquered territory, with Hernan Cortes overthrowing the Aztec and Francisco Pizarro conquering the Inca Empire. Because of this, they gained control of much of western South America, Central America and Mexico by the mid-16th century,apart from its earlier Caribbean conquests. Around this time, Portugal conquered much of eastern South America, naming it Brazil.

Other European nations soon disputed the terms of the Treaty of Tordesillas, which were not negotiated. England and France attempted to plant colonies in the Americas in the 16th century, but were unsucessful until the flowing century when they along with the Dutch, succeeded in establishing permanent colonies. Some of these were on Caribbean islands, which had often already been conquered by the Spanish or depopulated by disease, while others were in eastern North America, which had not been colonized by Spain north of Florida.
Erialbania Lopez

By ely

European colonization of the Americas - Early state-sponsored colonists

The first phase of modern European activity in this region began with the oceanic crossings of Christopher Columbus (1492-1500), sponsored by Spain, whose original attempt was to find a new route to India and China, known as "the Indies". These were followed by other explorers such as John Cabot, sponsored by England, who came in search of the riches the Spanish had found, and also Pedro Alvares Cabral, who discovered Brazil for Portugal. Other settlers included Giovanni da Verrazano, sponsored by France, and, according to some, the German Didrik Pining, and the Portuguese, João Corte-Real, in Newfoundland. The possibly mythical Polish sailor, John of Kolno, may have reached the Americas in 1476.Inspired by the Spanish riches from their conquest of the Aztecs, Incas, and other large Native American populations in the sixteenth century, the first Englishmen expected the same when they first established a settlement in Jamestown, Virginia. The main purpose of this colony was the hope of finding gold or the possibility (or impossibility) of finding a passage through the Americas to the Indies. It took strong leaders, like John Smith, to convince the colonists of Jamestown that searching for gold was not taking care of their immediate needs for food and shelter and that "he who shall not work shall not eat." (That is a direction from the New Testament.)

Other early explorers, such as Englishman Francis Drake, arrived in the Americas to plunder the wealth of the Spanish settlements. Altogether, there was a strong pull at the beginning of the colonial period to come to America for its possible imperial riches; the truth was that these riches were sparse. There was nothing in particular to push these colonists away from England; only an overwhelming opportunity at extreme wealth. Although the success of these wealth-stealing attempts failed, they did establish the first permanent European settlements in the modern day United States. Tobacco cultivation and trade quickly became the sustaining economic driver of Virginia and other fledgling British colonies in North America.These oceanic crossings were followed, notably in the case of Spain, by a phase of conquest: The Spaniards, just having finished a war driving the Muslims out of the Iberian peninsula, replaced the local Native American oligarchies and imposed a new religion: Christianity on the people. European diseases and cruel systems of work (the famous haciendas and the mining industry) decimated the American population. Black African slaves were introduced to substitute for Native Americans labor. On the other hand, the Spaniards did not impose their language in the same measure as other European conquerers and the Catholic Church even evangelized in Quechua, Nahuatl and Guarani, contributing to the expansion of these American languages and equipping them with writing systems. One of the first schools for Americans was founded by Fray Pedro de Gante in 1523.The Portuguese switched from an initial plan of establishing trading posts to extensive colonization of what is now Brazil.

Some of the colonial activities that were done included the line which gave the the spanish the west side and the portugese the east side, which was called the treaty of tordesillas. the portugese took control of what in modern day is brazil, but the spanish didnt know that there was more land beyond brazil. besides that henando cortes conquered the aztec empire also fransisco pizzarro conquered the incan empire. the colonization of the incan and aztec empire were very important because they were the most successful empires in the america.
Luis Restituyo 10A

European colonies in North America were a revelation for the rest of the world during the sixteenth century. The start of these was technically dated in 1492, when Christopher Columbus made his way to the West Indies in the Caribbean. The Spanish were the ones to begin, as Columbus set sail in representation of Spain. Now, this was all occurring while other European nations were occupying themselves with other types of voyages. Colonies were established not only in the Caribbean, but also on the coasts of Mexico, which were colonized by Hernan Cortes. The only other people who showed any sign of colonization during this time were the Portuguese, who spread their settlements along the coasts of Brazil. Now, take into consideration, the Spanish were already marking their territory, so the Pope approved the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. This treaty divided these newly discovered lands outside Europe between Spain and Portugal along a meridian 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands.

Later on, would more European nations make their way to the west to colonize even more of this new found land, such as the Puritans from Britain, who were seeking religious freedom and the French who established themselves in Guiana, sharing their ownership with the Dutch, and also establishing a great part of what is now Canada.

- Lily S. 10A

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License