Colonization of America

Voyage of Christopher Columbus 1492

The Colonization of America - Voyage of Christopher Columbus 1492

This article on the first Colonization of America provides facts and information about the early exploration of America and the first explorers:

  • Colonization of America
  • Colonization of America - early explorers
  • Colonization of America Chart
  • Early Map prior to the Colonization of America
  • The Colonization of America
Explorers & Discovery of America
America, the New World
American Colonies Index

History of the Famous Explorers and the Colonization and Discovery of America

The discovery of America and the brave explorers who led the way for the early colonists

The Colonization of America
The Colonization of America began with the explorations of the early European explorers.

The map shows the known lands, colored in orange. The correct area of America is  shown in light blue. The first explorers did not know that the continent of America existed - the early explorers were looking for a different route to China (Cathay).

It is remarkable that in just 133 years, from the date of this map in 1474 to 1607, that the first colony in Jamestown, Virginia was established. The brave, early European explorers who took the perilous route across the Atlantic Ocean were the men who started the Colonization of America...

 


Map of America and Atlantic Ocean - 1474

Map of America and Atlantic Ocean - 1474

 

Colonization of America
The famous European explorers came from England, Spain, Italy, Portugal and France - Refer to the French in America and the Spanish in America. The voyages of the first explorers and the countries of Europe were motivated by various reasons, the foremost being to build great empires - which led to the Colonization of America. The other reasons were as follows:

  • Increased Power in Europe
  • Prestige
  • Wealth - gold, silver, spices and the raw materials of new lands
  • Opportunities for trade 
  • Spreading the Christian Religion - refer to Religion in the Colonies

Colonization of America - Chart of the Early Explorers
The Colonization of America was made possible by the voyages and discoveries of the early explorers who came from the great sea-faring nations of Europe. During the sixteenth century (1500's) the work of the Colonization of America was left almost entirely to Spain. The following chart of the early explorers provides a list of the famous men who made the colonization of America possible.

Colonization of America - Chart of the Early Explorers


Christopher Columbus
 

1451 - 1506

Discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus
 
 
Leif Ericson970 - 1020Established a colony in Vinland on the northern tip of Newfoundland
 
 
Ferdinand Magellan1480 - 1521Made a voyage around the World
 
 
Amerigo Vespucci1454 - 1512America was named after this famous explorer
 
 
Vasco Nunez de Balboa1475 - 1519

First explorer to see the Pacific Ocean from its eastern shore
 

 
Juan Ponce de Leon1460 - 1521Explorations in Florida
 
 
Sir John Hawkins1532 - 1595Voyages to West Africa, starting the English slave trade, and South America
 
 
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado1510 - 1554

Explored the Southwest of North America in Arizona and New Mexico
 

 
Hernando De Soto1500 - 1542Explored Florida and South East America
 
 
Hernando Cortes1485 - 1547Conquistador of Mexico and the Aztec Empire
 
 
Giovanni da Verrazzano1485 - 1528

Explored the North East coast of North America from Cape Fear, North Carolina to Maine
 

 
John Cabot 1450 - 1499

Explored the coastline of Canada the subsequent colonization of Canada and North America
 

 
Jacques Cartier1491 - 1557Led three expeditions to Canada
 
 
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo1499 - 1543Navigated the coast of California in the United States
 
 
Jean Ribault1520 - 1565Colonized Florida in the southeastern United States. 
Henry Hudson1565 - 1611Discovered the  Hudson River
 
 
Samuel de Champlain1567 - 1635Founder of Quebec City - 'The Father of Canada'
 
 
Sir Francis Drake1540 - 1597Drake Circumnavigated the World
 
 
Sir Walter Raleigh1552 - 1618Sir Walter Raleigh established the Virginia colony of Roanoke Island in 1584
 
 

Colonization of America - Chart of the Early Explorers

  

Colonial America - The Land of the Brave

  

Colonization of America in the 1500's
During the 1500's the Colonization of America was left almost entirely to Spain. Their programme of colonization concentrated on South America but the Spanish also explored the regions of New Mexico and Texas and had established the Spanish colony of St. Augustine, in Florida. The Colonization of South America also had a significant presence from the Portuguese. North America, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean, had not been explored and the lands were inhabited by the Native Indian Tribes.

Colonization of America - Roanoke Island
The explorations of Sir Walter Raleigh initiated the English Colonization of America. The English Colonization of America started in 1584 when Sir Walter Raleigh's fleet of seven ships with 108 men, under the command of Richard Grenville and Ralph Lane reached Roanoke Island. On June 4, 1584 the Virginia colony of Roanoke Island was founded by Sir Walter Raleigh who was made governor of the new territory naming the land "Virginia" in the honor of Queen Elizabeth I. The Colonization of America moved on in 1587 when John White established the English Roanoke Colony. On August 18, 1587 Virginia Dare was born in the Roanoke colony making her the first English child born during the English Colonization of America.

Colonization of America in the 1600's
The 1600's saw the first era of the Colonization of America which was mainly undertaken by England and France and to a minor extent by the Netherlands and Sweden. The first 13 Colonies were established consisting of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Bay Colony (which included Maine), New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The story of the Colonization of America starts, and ends, at this point in time.

Map of Colonization of America

Map of the 13 Colonies - The Colonization of America
 

The Colonization of America

Date of ColonizationName of Colony / Settlement
1607Virginia
1620Plymouth Settlement
1626New York
1630Massachusetts Bay
1633Maryland
1636Rhode Island
1636Connecticut
1638New Hampshire
1638Delaware
1653North Carolina
1663South Carolina
1664New Jersey
1682Pennsylvania
1732Georgia
Date of ColonizationName of Colony / Settlement

The Colonization of America

 

Colonization of America

  • Interesting Facts and information about the early Colonization of America
  • Colonization of America
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Colonial America - The Land of the Brave

 

Colonization of America
The Colonization of America. The First 13 colonies were classified in three separate regions consisting of the New England, the Middle and the Southern Colonies.  Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Bay Colony (which included Maine), New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Delaware, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. We hope that this article on the early Colonization of America will assist in your studies or homework. A great educational resource for kids on the subject of the Colonization of America.

 

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