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Colonial history of the United States

Colonization Efforts in North America: – European kingdoms like Spain, Portugal, England, France, and the Netherlands established colonies in the West Indies and North America. […]

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Colonization Efforts in North America:
– European kingdoms like Spain, Portugal, England, France, and the Netherlands established colonies in the West Indies and North America.
– Spanish efforts led to the creation of New Spain, including territories in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and the western United States.
– Spanish explorers like Juan Ponce de León played significant roles in exploration and colonization.
– Challenges such as high death rates among immigrants and conflicts between European powers affected colonization efforts.
– The decline in the Native American population due to introduced diseases was a consequence of colonization.

Religious Persecution and Colonization:
– Colonization efforts were influenced by religious persecution in England, leading groups like the Pilgrims to settle in Plymouth Plantation in 1620.
– New England was settled by people fleeing persecution from King Charles I.
– The Province of Maryland was founded as a haven for Roman Catholics escaping persecution.
– Spain, France, and England established missions, forts, and settlements to convert indigenous peoples to Roman Catholicism.
– The Spanish influence can still be seen in various architectural structures in regions like Florida, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Mercantilism and Colonial Economics:
– Mercantilism was a policy imposed by Britain on its colonies from the 1660s to maximize exports and enrich the mother country.
– The government partnered with merchants to increase political power and private wealth.
– Trade barriers and regulations were used to control trade and run surpluses.
– The government’s efforts to combat smuggling led to conflicts with North American merchants.
– English entrepreneurs provided colonies with merchant-based investment to support economic growth.

Colonial Territories and Transitions of Control:
– Various colonial regions like New France, Pays den Haut, Illinois Country, Louisiana, New Netherland, New Sweden, and Russian colonies had unique histories and influences.
– French territories like Louisiana were ceded to Spain and later sold to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.
– The British and Spanish controlled different regions at various times, impacting the development and governance of these territories.
– Dutch influence in New Netherland lasted until the 1820s, despite the English capturing New Amsterdam in 1664.
– The United States gained territories in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, marking shifts in colonial control.

Specific Colonial Settlements and Figures:
– Notable figures like Lord Fairfax oversaw vast land holdings in the American colonies and had significant influence.
– Alexander Hamilton, a Scottish-born doctor and writer, provided valuable insights into colonial America through his travel diary.
– Jamestown in the Chesapeake Bay area survived by turning to tobacco as a cash crop, shifting to an export economy by the late 17th century.
– The establishment of colonies like Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Providence Plantation led to the creation of deeply religious and politically innovative cultures in New England.
– The use of convicts as a labor force in the American colonies between the late 1610s and the American Revolution contributed to economic development and growth.

Colonial history of the United States (Wikipedia)

The colonial history of the United States covers the period of European colonization of North America from the early 16th century until the incorporation of the Thirteen Colonies into the United States after the Revolutionary War. In the late 16th century, England, France, Spain, and the Dutch Republic launched major colonization expeditions 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.

Colonial era of the United States
The cover of Interview of Samoset with the Pilgrims, an 1853 book depicting Samoset meeting the Pilgrims
LocationUnited States
Key eventsEuropean exploration of North America
European colonization and settlement
Native American population decline from epidemics
Atlantic slave trade
Pre-Columbian era American Revolution
History of the United States (1776–1789)

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 Virginian Cavaliers, 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. The two chief armed rebellions were short-lived failures in Virginia in 1676 and in New York in 1689–1691. 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. The colonization of the United States resulted in a large decline of the Native American population primarily because of newly introduced diseases. 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).

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