Cabot explored the North American coast and correctly deduced that the spherical shape of the earth made the north—where the longitudes are much shorter—a quicker route to the New World than a trip to the islands in the south, where Columbus was exploring.
Samuel de Champlain began the first permanent settlement of New France and Quebec City in present-day Canada and created a prosperous trade with the American Indians for beaver pelts and other animal hides.
He explored the region around the modern-day New York metropolitan area and is known for exploring the river which eventually was named for him, thereby laying the foundation for Dutch colonization of the region.
After the epidemics had already killed massive numbers of indigenous Americans, many newer European immigrants assumed that there had always been relatively few indigenous peoples. Within their first colony of Roanoke the English appeared to have no major problems with the natives of the land.
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Although they wanted a share of the American gold and silver, they were more interested in finding a westward route to Asia. Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadors and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries.
Raleigh and Elizabeth I intended that the venture should provide riches from the New World and a base from which to send privateers on raids against the treasure fleets of Spain.
Meanwhile, further to the south, French Protestants, called Huguenots, had the opportunity to leave hostile European lands while advancing French claims to the New World. It was the first step in a long campaign—which took advantage of a recent civil war and the enmity of indigenous nations the Incas had subjugated—that required decades of fighting to subdue the mightiest empire in the Americas.
While disease swept swiftly through the densely populated empires of Mesoamerica, the more scattered populations of North America saw a slower spread.