European Colonization of North America
The invasion of the North American continent and its peoples began with the Spanish in 1565 at St. Augustine, Florida, then British in 1587 when the Plymouth Company established a settlement that they dubbed Roanoke in present-day North Carolina. This first settlement failed mysteriously and in 1606, the London Company established a presence in what would become Jamestown, Virginia. From there, the French founded Quebec in 1608, then the Dutch started a colony in 1609 in present-day New York. While Native Americans resisted European efforts to amass land and power during this period, they struggled to do so while also fighting new diseases introduced by European colonization and Europeans’ enslavement and forced transportation of Africans to the Americas.
Learn more about the colonization of North America and the plight of Native Americans with these classroom resources.
Social Studies, U.S. History
When was the first settlers in America?
The first settlers of North America arrived in North America by crossing over a land bridge that formed during an Ice Age occurring between 26,000 and 19,000 years ago
Where did the first American settlers come from?
The Spanish were among the first Europeans to explore the New World and the first to settle in what is now the United States. By 1650, however, England had established a dominant presence on the Atlantic coast. The first colony was founded at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607.
Who actually discovered America?
Explorer Christopher Columbus (1451?1506) is known for his 1492 ‘discovery’ of the New World of the Americas on board his ship Santa Maria.
How did the first people come to America?
People travelled by boat to North America some 30,000 years ago, at a time when giant animals still roamed the continent and long before it was thought the earliest arrivals had made the crossing from Asia, archaeological research reveals today.
How did Indians get to America?
Scientists have found that Native American populations – from Canada to the southern tip of Chile – arose from at least three migrations, with the majority descended entirely from a single group of First American migrants that crossed over through Beringia, a land bridge between Asia and America that existed during the …
Where did Native Americans come from?
Previous genetic work had suggested the ancestors of Native Americans split from Siberians and East Asians about 25,000 years ago, perhaps when they entered the now mostly drowned landmass of Beringia, which bridged the Russian Far East and North America.
Who lived in America before natives?
The earliest populations in the Americas, before roughly 10,000 years ago, are known as Paleo-Indians.
What is Native American race?
American Indian or Alaska Native ? A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
1. First Arrivals, Settlement, American Beginnings: 1492-1690 …
1492-1690, Primary Resources in U.S. History and Literature, Toolbox Library, National Humanities Center 1. First Arrivals When we talk about the European settling of North America, the word “first” creeps into the discussion very soonthe first ever, the first “permanent,” the first “permanent” that still exists today, the first with women and children, the first Spanish/French/English, etc. While the discussion may force us to define our terms, a valuable exercise, we will begin this topic, SETTLEMENT, with “first arrivals”Europeans who cross the Atlantic, disembark on land unsettled by Europeans, find a suitable site, and begin to build with the intention of staying, not merely exploring. ISABELLA was a small town that Columbus ordered his men to build on the northeastern shore of Hispaniola (in present-day Dominican Republic) during his second voyage to the New World in 1493. Hunger and disease soon led to mutiny, punishment, disillusion, and more hunger and disease. Isabella barely survived until 1496 when Columbus ordered a new town built on the island as the Spanish capital (now Santo Domingo). Isabella was the “first of the Indies,” declares Antonio de Herrera, the seventeenth-century historian who compiled this history of early New Spain from state archives. [Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, Historia general de los hechos de los Castellanos en las islas y tierra firme del Mar Oceano (General History of the Deeds of the Castilians on the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea), Madrid, 1601-1615] JAMESTOWN is justifiably called “the first permanent English settlement” in the New Worlda hard-won designation. As historian Alan Taylor recounts, of the first 104 colonists who landed in April 1607, only thirty-eight survived the winter. Of the 10,000 who left England for Jamestown in its first fifteen years, only twenty percent were still alive, and still in Jamestown, in 1622. The first months of the colony were chronicled by John Smith, Edward Wingfield, and in this selection by George Percy, who twice served as the colony’s governor. After writing several accounts to justify his actions as governor, Percy left Jamestown for good in 1612. (John Smith, who also felt compelled to defend his leadership, had left for good in 1609.) [George Percy, Observations Gathered out of a Discourse of the Plantation of the Southern Colony in Virginia by the English, 1606, publ. 1608] PLYMOUTH. To American schoolchildren of many generations, the term “colonist” spurs images of stalwart Pilgrims setting sail on the Mayflower to land at Plymouth Rockan epic tale of adventure and determination. And it’s true. Unlike the single menthe courtiers, soldiers, and adventurerswho built Isabella, Jamestown, and many other early European settlements, the Pilgrims were skilled, hardworking, and self-disciplined. In addition, they settled as families for the most part, unique in Atlantic coast settlement at this point. Here we read from the journal of the colony’s longtime governor, William Bradford, of the colonists’ hard first year after landing in November 1620 to the first harvest in autumn 1621. [William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation, written between 1630 and 1647] To gain a fresh perspective on these well-known “first arrivals,” view the European and Indian artifacts unearthed from each settlement before you read the documents. (13 pages, excluding the…
Colonial America (1492-1763)
Colonial America (1492-1763) The Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock, December 1620 European nations came to the Americas to increase their wealth and broaden their influence over world affairs. The Spanish were among the first Europeans to explore the New World and the first to settle in what is now the United States.By 1650, however, England had established a dominant presence on the Atlantic coast. The first colony was founded at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. Many of the people who settled in the New World came to escape religious persecution. The Pilgrims, founders of Plymouth, Massachusetts, arrived in 1620. In both Virginia and Massachusetts, the colonists flourished with some assistance from Native Americans. New World grains such as corn kept the colonists from starving while, in Virginia, tobacco provided a valuable cash crop. By the early 1700s enslaved Africans made up a growing percentage of the colonial population. By 1770, more than 2 million people lived and worked in Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies. Choose Another Time Period “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” “Patrick Henry Was Born” A Mover and a Quaker “William Penn Was Born” A River from Canada to Asia? “Jacques Cartier Sailed Up the St. Lawrence River” A Settlement with Unsettling Challenges “Jamestown Was Established” Bubble Bubble, Toil, and Trouble “Salem Witch Trials” Can I Get Your Autograph, Mr. Hancock? “John Hancock Was Born” Deerfield Invasion “Raid of Deerfield, Massachusetts in Queen Anne’s War” Do You Know This Founding Father? “John Jay, One of the Nation’s Founding Fathers, Was Born” Fighting For Freedom “Stono’s Rebellion” Freedom in Rhode Island “Roger Williams, Founder of Rhode Island, Arrived in Boston” How Harvard University Got Its Name “Clergyman John Harvard Died” Land Ho! “Christopher Columbus Saw Land!” Livingston, I Presume “Statesman Robert R. Livingston Was Born” Reading the Stars “Mathematician and Astronomer Benjamin Banneker Was Born” Sailing to Albany! “Henry Hudson and His Crew Sailed into the River that Would Bear His Name” Saved by Pocahontas “John Smith Became a Leader of Jamestown” The Clever General “Nathanael Greene Was Born” The Clue In The Letter “George Washington Was Born” The First Synagogue in the British Colonies “First Jewish Synagogue Was Dedicated in the United States” The Multitalented Mr. Jefferson “Thomas Jefferson Was Born” The Oldest City in the U.S. “A Spanish Expedition Established St. Augustine in Florida” The Tale and Music of Old Maryland “Maryland Day”
Colonial Settlement, 1600s – 1763 | U.S. History Primary …
Colonial Settlement, 1600s – 1763 | U.S. History Primary Source Timeline | Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress Presentation U.S. History Primary Source Timeline Overview When the London Company sent out its first expedition to begin colonizing Virginia on December 20, 1606, it was by no means the first European attempt to exploit North America. Evolution of the Virginia Colony, 1611-1624 Almost from the start, investors in the Virginia Company in England were unhappy with the accomplishments of their Jamestown colonists. They therefore sought a new charter, which the king granted in May 1609. Virginia’s Early Relations with Native Americans Those living in the area where Jamestown was settled must have had mixed feelings about the arrival of the English in 1607. One of their first reactions was hostility based on their previous experience with Spanish explorers along their coastline. Part of Primary Source Sets Lesson Plans Presentations Additional Navigation Teachers Home The Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library’s vast digital collections in their teaching. Analysis Tool & Guide To help your students analyze these primary sources, get a graphic organizer and guides.
Colonization of North America | Who Were the First Settlers in …
Colonization of North America | Who Were the First Settlers in America? – Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com Lindsay Brinkmann, Christopher Muscato Author Lindsay Brinkmann Lindsay has taught high school and middle school history for the last 17 years. She has an undergraduate degree in History and English and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She has also completed an Educational specialist degree in curriculum and instruction, and will have a doctorate in curriculum and assessment. View bio Instructor Christopher Muscato Chris has a master’s degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado. View bio Explore the colonization of North America and the first settlement in America . Learn about the Europeans who became the first settlers in America. Discover examples of failed European colonization of North America. Updated: 11/09/2021 The first settlers of North America arrived between 26,000 and 19,000 years ago. Early man was nomadic, which meant these settlers were hunter-gatherers, following their food source from place to place. Due to an Ice Age, a period of very cold temperatures, a land bridge called Beringia formed which enabled early man to cross from Asia into modern-day Alaska. The nomads followed animal herds over the land bridge and then settled in different locations in North America. As the early nomadic tribes adapted to and settled into their new environments, they developed new cultures, religious practices, and languages, which resulted in the nomads developing into the Native American cultures of North America. The Cool Kids of ColonialismIn every school there was always that one kid who just defined ‘cool’. Everything they did started a trend. They wore sunglasses, and suddenly everybody was rushing to the store to buy those same sunglasses. They got a smartphone, and everybody rushed to trade in their old phones. They started colonizing North America, and everybody rushed across the Atlantic Ocean to start their own colonies. In the 16th century, Spain was the cool kid of Europe. The Spanish kingdom, brand new at the time, sponsored the voyage of a man named Christopher Columbus in 1492. Spain was trying to find a new route to China, because nations like Portugal and cities like Venice already had the good routes around Africa and across the Asian continent. Columbus’ voyage paid off, and Spain learned that there was an entire continent across the ocean. They established colonies in the Bahamas and Cuba, and started exploring North America in 1513 as they mapped the area they named Florida. However, they really made news after conquering the Aztec Empire in 1521 and gaining the wealth of Mexico. Spain became instantly wealthy, profiting from the gold, silver, spices, flowers, foods, and minerals of the New World. The treasure ships sailing back to Spain, overflowing with goods, were enough to convince the other European nations to start colonizing the lands north of Spanish control. Although Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and other nations managed to establish colonies, the biggest contenders were France, Britain, and the Netherlands. Video Quiz Course Who were the first Europeans to explore North America?The first Europeans to explore and settle in North America were Norwegian Vikings around 1000 CE. The first known exploration by the Vikings was completed by Leif Erickson in the area of Newfoundland. The Vikings called the land Vineland and established some early settlements in the area. In recent years, historians and archaeologists have suggested that the Viking settlements could have reached as far south as New York. Recent research indicates that the Viking settlements were occupied for only a brief time period. Successful European settlements in North AmericaIn Europe, the Renaissance brought about a period of cultural and intellectual rebirth. In Portugal, Prince Henry the Navigator made exploration a priority for the country. As a result of Prince Henry’s efforts, Portugal was one of the first European countries to map out the coastline of Africa, and then to reach Asia and India by oceanic travel in 1497. In the wake of Portugal’s successful oceanic travel, Spain, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Russia would each eventually set sail to explore and establish settlements in North America. European countries…
European Colonization of North America
European Colonization of North America | National Geographic SocietyEuropean Colonization of North AmericaThe invasion of the North American continent and its peoples began with the Spanish in 1565 at St. Augustine, Florida, then British in 1587 when the Plymouth Company established a settlement that they dubbed Roanoke in present-day North Carolina. This first settlement failed mysteriously and in 1606, the London Company established a presence in what would become Jamestown, Virginia. From there, the French founded Quebec in 1608, then the Dutch started a colony in 1609 in present-day New York. While Native Americans resisted European efforts to amass land and power during this period, they struggled to do so while also fighting new diseases introduced by European colonization and Europeans’ enslavement and forced transportation of Africans to the Americas.Learn more about the colonization of North America and the plight of Native Americans with these classroom resources.SubjectsSocial Studies, U.S. History
Colonial history of the United States – Wikipedia
Colonial history of the United States Colonial Era of the United States1492–1776Interview of Samoset with the Pilgrims, book engraving 1853LocationUnited StatesKey eventsExploration of North America European colonization Native American epidemics Settlement of Jamestown Atlantic slave trade ← Preceded byPre-Columbian era Followed by →American Revolution-History of the United States (1776–1789) The colonial history of the United States covers the history of European colonization of North America from the early 17th century until the incorporation of the Thirteen Colonies into the United States of America, after the War of Independence. In the late 16th century, England (British Empire), Kingdom of France, Spanish Empire, and the Dutch Republic launched major colonization programs in North America. The death rate was very high among early immigrants, and some early attempts disappeared altogether, such as the English Lost Colony of Roanoke. Nevertheless, successful colonies were established within several decades. European settlers came from a variety of social and religious groups, including adventurers, farmers, indentured servants, tradesmen, and a very few from the aristocracy. Settlers included the Dutch of New Netherland, the Swedes and Finns of New Sweden, the English Quakers of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English Puritans of New England, the English settlers of Jamestown, Virginia, the English Catholics and Protestant Nonconformists of the Province of Maryland, the “worthy poor” of the Province of Georgia, the Germans who settled the mid-Atlantic colonies, and the Ulster Scots of the Appalachian Mountains. These groups all became part of the United States when it gained its independence in 1776. Russian America and parts of New France and New Spain were also incorporated into the United States at later times. The diverse colonists from these various regions built colonies of distinctive social, religious, political, and economic style. Over time, non-British colonies East of the Mississippi River were taken over and most of the inhabitants were assimilated. In Nova Scotia, however, the British expelled the French Acadians, and many relocated to Louisiana. No civil wars occurred in the Thirteen Colonies. The two chief armed rebellions were short-lived failures in Virginia in 1676 and in New York in 1689–91. Some of the colonies developed legalized systems of slavery, centered largely around the Atlantic slave trade. Wars were recurrent between the French and the British during the French and Indian Wars. By 1760, France was defeated and its colonies were seized by Britain. On the eastern seaboard, the four distinct English regions were New England, the Middle Colonies, the Chesapeake Bay Colonies (Upper South), and the Southern Colonies (Lower South). Some historians add a fifth region of the “Frontier”, which was never separately organized. A significant percentage of the native Americans living in the eastern region had been ravaged by disease before 1620, possibly introduced to them decades before by explorers and sailors (although no conclusive cause has been established). The goals of colonization Colonists came from European kingdoms that had highly developed military, naval, governmental, and entrepreneurial capabilities. The Spanish and Portuguese centuries-old experience of conquest and colonization during the Reconquista, coupled with new oceanic ship navigation skills, provided the tools, ability, and desire to colonize the New World. These efforts were managed respectively by the Casa de Contratación and the Casa da Índia. England, France, and the Netherlands had also started colonies in the West Indies and North America. They had the ability to build ocean-worthy ships but did not have as strong a history of colonization in…
Who were the first settlers in North America and where did …
European colonization of the Americas – Wikipedia
European colonization of the Americas “Colonization of the Americas” redirects here. For the initial prehistoric migration from Asia, see Settlement of the Americas. During the Age of Exploration, a large scale European colonization of the Americas took place between about 1492 and 1800. Although the Norse had explored and colonized areas of the North Atlantic, colonizing Greenland and creating a short term settlement near the northern tip of Newfoundland circa 1000 CE, the later and more well-known wave by the European powers is what formally constitutes as beginning of colonization, involving the continents of North America and South America. During this time, several empires from Europe—primarily Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia, the Netherlands and Sweden—began to explore and claim the land, natural resources and human capital of the Americas, resulting in the displacement, disestablishment, enslavement, and in many cases, genocide of the indigenous peoples, and the establishment of several settler colonial states. Some formerly European settler colonies—including New Mexico, Alaska, the Prairies/northern Great Plains, and the “Northwest Territories” in North America; the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the Yucatán Peninsula, and the Darién Gap in Central America; and the northwest Amazon, the central Andes, and the Guianas in South America—remain relatively rural, sparsely populated and Indigenous into the 21st century. Russia began colonizing the Pacific Northwest in the mid-18th century, seeking pelts for the fur trade. Many of the social structures—including religions, political boundaries, and linguae francae—which predominate the Western Hemisphere in the 21st century are the descendants of the structures which were established during this period. The rapid rate at which Europe grew in wealth and power was unforeseeable in the early 15th century because it had been preoccupied with internal wars and it was slowly recovering from the loss of population caused by the Black Death. The strength of the Turkish Ottoman Empire over trade routes to Asia prompted Western European monarchs to search for alternatives, resulting in the voyages of Christopher Columbus and the accidental re-discovery of the “New World”. Upon the signing of the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494, Portugal and Spain agreed to divide the Earth in two, with Portugal having dominion over non-Christian lands in the eastern half, and Spain over those in the western half. Spanish claims essentially included all of the Americas, however, the Treaty of Tordesillas granted the eastern tip of South America to Portugal, where it established Brazil in the early 1500s. The city of St. Augustine, in current-day Florida, founded in 1565 by the Spanish, is credited as the oldest continuously-inhabited European-established settlement in the United States. It quickly became clear to other Western European powers that they too could benefit from voyages west and by the 1530s, the British and French had begun colonizing the northeast tip of the Americas. Within a century, the Swedish had established New Sweden, the Dutch had established New Netherland, and Denmark–Norway along with the other aforementioned powers had made several claims in the Caribbean, and by the 1700s, Denmark–Norway had revived its former colonies in Greenland, and Russia had begun to explore and claim the Pacific Coast from Alaska to California. Deadly confrontations became more frequent at the beginning of this period as the Indigenous peoples fought fiercely to…
A Short History of Jamestown – National Park Service
A Short History of Jamestown – Historic Jamestowne Part of Colonial National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service) The English arrive at Jamestown. NPS Image On December 6, 1606, the journey to Virginia began on three ships: the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery. In 1607, 104 English men and boys arrived in North America to start a settlement. On May 13 they picked Jamestown, Virginia for their settlement, which was named after their King, James I. The settlement became the first permanent English settlement in North America. The site for Jamestown was picked for several reasons, all of which met criteria the Virginia Company, who funded the settlement, said to follow in picking a spot for the settlement. The site was surrounded by water on three sides (it was not fully an island yet) and was far inland; both meant it was easily defensible against possible Spanish attacks. The water was also deep enough that the English could tie their ships at the shoreline – good parking! The site was also not inhabited by the Native population. Once the spot was chosen the instructions sent by the Virginia Company, with the list of the council members (chosen by officials in England), was read. The names were kept in a sealed box on the ship (each ship had a sealed copy). The first President of the new Virginia colony was to be Edward Maria Winfield. The other six council members were: Bartholomew Gosnold, Christopher Newport, John Martin, John Ratcliffe, George Kendall, and John Smith. By June 15, the fort was completed. It was triangle shaped with a bulwark at each corner, holding four or five pieces of artillery. The settlers were now protected against any attacks that might occur from the local Powhatan Indians, whose hunting land they were living on. Relations had already been mixed between the newcomers and the Powhatan Indians. On June 22, Captain Newport left for England to get more supplies for the new settlement. Not long after Captain Newport left, the settlers began to succumb to a variety of diseases. They were drinking water from the salty or slimy river, which was one of several things that caused the death of many. The death tolls were high. They were dying from swellings, fluxes, fevers, by famine, and sometimes by wars. Food was running low, though then Chief Powhatan starting to send gifts of food to help the English. If not for the Powhatan Indians help in the early years, the settlement would most likely have failed, as the English would have died from the various diseases or simply starved. By late 1609, the relationship between the Powhatan Indians and the English had soured as the English were demanding too much food during a drought. That winter of 1609-10 is known as the “Starving Time.” During that winter the English were afraid to leave the fort, due to a legitimate fear of being killed by the Powhatan Indians. As a result they ate anything they could: various animals, leather from their shoes and belts, and sometimes fellow settlers who had already died. By early 1610 most of the settlers, 80-90% according to William Strachey, had died due to starvation and disease. In May 1610, shipwrecked settlers who had been stranded in Bermuda finally arrived at Jamestown. Part of a fleet sent the previous fall, the survivors used two boats built on Bermuda to get to Jamestown. Sir Thomas Gates, the newly named governor, found Jamestown in shambles with the palisades of the fort torn down, gates off their hinges, and food stores running low. The decision was made to abandon the settlement. Less than a day after leaving, however, Gates and those with him, including…