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European settlement of America

Settlers and Native Americans fighting during the Pequot War. This was a conflict between the Pequot Native American tribe and...Read More >>Settlers and Native Americans fighting during the Pequot War. This was a conflict between the Pequot Native American tribe and English colonists which occurred between 1634 and 1638. While Spain and Portugal established colonies in their newly claimed lands in Central and Southern America, the other great powers of Europe—England, France and the Netherlands—started to do the same on the Caribbean Islands and the eastern coast of North America. European settlers first started to arrive in eastern North America after 1600. By then, most of the Native Americans living in the region had died from diseases, which had already been introduced by European explorers and sailors. No more than 1 million European settlers arrived in North America in the 17th and 18th centuries. Immigration did not increase until the 1820s: then over the next century, more than 30 million Europeans arrived.



René-Robert de la Salle on the Mississippi River

New France

In 1534, the French explorer Jacques Cartier landed on the east coast of Canada. The following year he travelled up the St Lawrence River, encountering the native Huron peoples. Later French explorers, including Samuel de Champlain and René-Robert de la Salle, travelled across the American interior in the 1600s, claiming the lands they discovered for France. These territories, which included large areas of Canada and the American Midwest, was called New France. The colonists lived by trading furs with Native Americans.
Presidio La Bahía, Goliad, Texas. It was built by the Spanish in the early 1700s.

New Spain and Florida

The city of St Augustine, Florida, was founded by Spain in 1565 and is the oldest continuously inhabited European city in the United States.

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