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North America History

The first Europeans to come to North America were Norwegians. Southwest Greenland remained in 900-t. colonized from Iceland, and from Greenland, Leif the Happy came around 1000 with an expedition to the eastern coast of Canada, and built a short-lived settlement, Vinland; remnants of such a settlement are found at L'Anse-aux-Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland. However, this and other voyages did not lead to colonization, and in the 1400s. the Norwegians in Greenland perished.

In competition with first England, later Holland, the Danish kings sought in the 16th and 16th centuries. with a number of expeditions to claim Danish supremacy in Greenland, but only in the 1700s. Danish colonial sites were founded on the west coast (see all countries on

European colonization

In the North American continent, smaller powers such as the Netherlands, Sweden, Russia and even Denmark played some role in the 1600s, but only Spain, France and England were able to maintain a permanent presence in the continent (see also colonialism).

Spain established itself in the 1500-t. in the area south and west of the Rio Grande, ie. in Central America and Mexico. With the conquest of Aztekerriget 1519-21 and the Inca Empire 1532-33 directed the Spanish crown especially his defense against the extraction of precious metals; In Havana, Cuba, a navy gathered annually to sail the prey to the motherland. In the 1600s. came the southwestern parts of North America, ie. the area from Texas to California west of the Mississippi, as well as Florida under Spanish rule. Towards the end of the 1600-t. fought with great difficulty an extensive revolt among the Pueblo Indians. The holdings were consolidated with a number of city foundations, such as San Antonio in 1718, San Francisco in 1776 and Los Angeles in 1781.

The initiative on the eastern part of the continent was left to England and France. From the end of the 1400-t. the rich fishbanks off Newfoundland became targets for English and southern European fishermen. The first English colonies were Jamestown in Virginia and the Plymouth colony in New England, founded respectively. 1607 and 1620. The French discoveries stretched into the 1600s. via the Great Lakes down through the Mississippi Valley. Québec and Montréal were founded in respectively. 1608 and 1642. The French dominion only grew slowly, but succeeded in encircling the English possessions by creating a number of support points through the Ohio Valley and along the mouth of the Mississippi River, where the Louisiana colony was founded in the early 1700s.

In the Caribbean, Spain concentrated on the larger islands and sought to maintain a monopoly on the sailing of all non-Portuguese possessions in America. The most important Spanish possession was Cuba, which was conquered in the early 1500s. During the 1600-t. began first English and French, then Dutch and Danish colonization; Jamaica and the western part of Hispaniola (now Haiti) became in the latter half of the 1600-t. most important respectively. English and French possession. The Caribbean colonies quickly became lucrative as a result of sugar cane production, which, like tobacco production in Virginia, enjoyed a great deal of European demand. The silver mines on the mainland and the plantations required a great deal of labor, and for this purpose were imported from the beginning of the 1500s. slaves from Africa. Spain was eventually unable to maintain its position in the Caribbean, and the 1700s. characterized by Franco-British strife.

Population trends

Around Columbus' arrival in America in 1492, the number of Native Americans in North America is estimated to have been at least 7 million, of which approx. 5 million lived in Central America and Mexico. However, the penetration of Europeans led to a demographic catastrophe triggered by the transmission of diseases such as smallpox, measles and lung disease which the Native American population was not resistant to. Epidemics thus resulted in a population decline of 90% over a few generations.

The depiction was matched by history's largest population relocation: Of the approximately 9 million. people who came to North America before 1820 were approx. 2 / 3 African slaves (see also slavery). Alone in the 1700s. transported over 1.5 million slaves to the British colonies against ca. 500,000 free immigrants in the same period. 90% of slaves ended up in the Caribbean. The Danish slave import in 1700-t. to the Danish West Indies included approx. 28,000 blacks. On the mainland, the distribution between voluntary immigration and slave import was more equal, and in the 1600s. the supply of European contract workers played an important role. In total, approx. 400,000 blacks to the British colonies on the mainland. Also some whites involuntarily came to the colonies; Britain thus shipped 1718-75 approx. 50,000 prisoners, most to Maryland and Virginia. It was not until about 1830 that immigration was largely voluntary.

Spain and France exercised strict immigration control, and the majority of immigrants were men, which led to a substantial population of blends. Early in the British colonies a more liberal attitude was taken when it came to religion and nationality. Immigration, in particular from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Northern England and Germany, was primarily based on whole families, which meant that whites did not marry the African and Native people; the result was a sharp racial segregation and for the Indians' seclusion and displacement.

End of colonial rule

By 1750, each of the dominant forms of political culture had stabilized. However, the picture changed dramatically with the Franco-Native American War 1754-63. The British and American colonists conquered Canada, while Spain took over French interests in the Mississippi Valley. Both Britain and Spain then wanted better control over their possessions. However, austerity measures in the Navigation Act aroused the wrath of the colonial elite and helped trigger the American Revolution 1775-83, which led to the independence of the United States. Opponents of the Revolution, loyalists, fled to Canada, where British rule began an Anglophone; the ground was thus laid for a contradiction between the French and the English population, which existed even after the formation of the Canadian federal state in 1867.

Spain, from the 1760s, sought to liberalize the colonial trade and sent out intendants, ie. royally appointed officials with financial and administrative powers. During and after the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, opposition to Spanish rule increased, and in 1821 Mexico declared its independence; Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua were only under Mexico before they later became independent. USA took over the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 French territory between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains of Spain was bought 1819-21 Florida, and the Mexican-American War 1846-48 the area came from Texas to California under the United States. During the Spanish-American War in 1898, Spain was expelled from Cuba and the United States annexed Puerto Rico. The European colonial rule in North America was thus replaced by the US dominant position.

Countries in North America
  1. Antigua and Barbuda
  2. Bahamas
  3. Barbados
  4. Belize
  5. Canada
  6. Costa Rica
  7. Cuba
  8. Dominica
  9. Dominican Republic
  10. El Salvador
  11. Greenland
  12. Grenada
  13. Guatemala
  14. Haiti
  15. Honduras
  16. Jamaica
  17. Mexico
  18. Nicaragua
  19. Panama
  20. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  21. Saint Lucia
  22. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  23. Trinidad and Tobago
  24. United States

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