This is a chronology and timeline of the colonization of North America, with founding dates of selected European settlements. See also European colonization of the Americas.
During the Age of Discovery, a large scale colonization of the Americas, involving a number of European countries, took place primarily between the late 15th century and the early 19th century. The Norse had explored and colonized areas of Europe and the North Atlantic, colonizing Greenland and creating a short term settlement near the northern tip of Newfoundland circa 1000 AD. However, the later colonization by the European powers involving the continents of North America and South America is arguably more well-known.
France began colonizing the Americas in the 16th century and continued into the following centuries as it established a colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere. France established colonies in much of eastern North America, on several Caribbean islands, and in South America. Most colonies were developed to export products such as fish, rice, sugar, and furs.
Juan Ponce de León was a Spanish explorer and conquistador known for leading the first official European expedition to Florida and serving as the first governor of Puerto Rico. He was born in Santervás de Campos, Valladolid, Spain, in 1474. Though little is known about his family, he was of noble birth and served in the Spanish military from a young age. He first came to the Americas as a "gentleman volunteer" with Christopher Columbus's second expedition in 1493.
This section of the timeline of United States history concerns events from before the lead up to the American Revolution.
Jean Ribault was a French naval officer, navigator, and a colonizer of what would become the southeastern United States. He was a major figure in the French attempts to colonize Florida. A Huguenot and officer under Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, Ribault led an expedition to the New World in 1562 that founded the outpost of Charlesfort on Parris Island in present-day South Carolina. Two years later, he took over command of the French colony of Fort Caroline in what is now Jacksonville, Florida. He and many of his followers died at the hands of Spanish soldiers during the Massacre at Matanzas Inlet, near St. Augustine.
Ferryland is a town in Newfoundland and Labrador on the Avalon Peninsula. According to the 2021 Statistics Canada census, its population is 371.
Tortuga Island is a Caribbean island that forms part of Haiti, off the northwest coast of Hispaniola. It constitutes the commune of Île de la Tortue in the Port-de-Paix arrondissement of the Nord-Ouest department of Haiti.
Alonso de Ojeda was a Spanish explorer, governor and conquistador. He travelled through modern-day Guyana, Venezuela, Trinidad, Tobago, Curaçao, Aruba and Colombia, at times with Amerigo Vespucci and Juan de la Cosa. He is famous for having named Venezuela, which he explored during his first two expeditions, for having been the first European to visit Guyana, Curaçao, Colombia, and Lake Maracaibo, and later for founding Santa Cruz.
This article is a comprehensive list of all the actual possessions of the Portuguese Empire.
The Captaincy General of Santo Domingo was the first colony in the New World, established by Spain in 1492 on the island of Hispaniola. The colony, under the jurisdiction of the Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo, was granted administrative powers over the Spanish possessions in the Caribbean and most of its mainland coasts, making Santo Domingo the principal political entity of the early colonial period.
The exploration of North America by European sailors and geographers was an effort by major European powers to map and explore the continent with the goal of economic, religious and military expansion. The combative and rapid nature of this exploration is the result of a series of countering actions by neighboring European nations to ensure no single country had garnered enough wealth and power from the Americas to militarily tip the scales over on the European continent. It spanned the late 15th to early 17th centuries, and consisted primarily of expeditions funded by Spain, England, France, and Portugal. See also the European colonization of the Americas.
Before contact with Europeans, the natives of North America were divided into many different polities, from small bands of a few families to large empires. Modern anthropology assigns some larger divisions into various "culture areas", regions within which a particular set of cultural, political, subsistence and/or linguistic traits predominated. These pre-Columbian American culture areas may also roughly correspond to particular geographic and biological zones of the continent. During the thousands of years of native inhabitation on the continent, cultures changed and shifted. One of the oldest cultures yet found is that of the Clovis peoples. Upon the arrival of the Europeans in the "New World", Native American population declined substantially, primarily due to the introduction of European diseases to which the Native Americans lacked immunity.
Newfoundland is a large island situated off the eastern coast of the North American mainland and the most populous part of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The island contains 29 percent of the province's land area. The island is separated from the Labrador Peninsula by the Strait of Belle Isle and from Cape Breton Island by the Cabot Strait. It blocks the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River, creating the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the world's largest estuary. Newfoundland's nearest neighbour is the French overseas collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
A number of states and polities formerly claimed colonies and territories in Canada prior to the evolution of the current provinces and territories under the federal system. North America prior to colonization was occupied by a variety of indigenous groups consisting of band societies typical of the sparsely populated North, to loose confederacies made up of numerous hunting bands from a variety of ethnic groups, to more structured confederacies of sedentary farming villages, to stratified hereditary structures centred on a fishing economy. The colonization of Canada by Europeans began in the 10th century, when Norsemen explored and, ultimately unsuccessfully, attempted to settle areas of the northeastern fringes of North America. Early permanent European settlements in what is now Canada included the late 16th and 17th century French colonies of Acadia and Canada, the English colonies of Newfoundland (island) and Rupert's Land, the Scottish colonies of Nova Scotia and Port Royal.
Newfoundland was an English and, later, British colony established in 1610 on the island of Newfoundland, now the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. That followed decades of sporadic English settlement on the island, which was at first seasonal, rather than permanent. It was made a Crown colony in 1824 and a Dominion in 1907. Its economy collapsed during the Great Depression and on 16 February 1934, the Newfoundland legislature agreed to the creation of a six-member Commission of Government to govern the country. In 1949, the country voted to join Canada as the province of Newfoundland.
The English overseas possessions, also known as the English colonial empire, comprised a variety of overseas territories that were colonised, conquered, or otherwise acquired by the former Kingdom of England during the centuries before the Acts of Union of 1707 between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain. The many English possessions then became the foundation of the British Empire and its fast-growing naval and mercantile power, which until then had yet to overtake those of the Dutch Republic, the Kingdom of Portugal, and the Crown of Castile.
White Haitians, also known as Euro-Haitians, are Haitians of predominant or full European descent. There were approximately 20,000 whites around the Haitian Revolution, mainly French, in Saint-Domingue. They were divided into two main groups: The Planters and Petit Blancs. The first white Europeans to settle in Haiti were the Spanish. The Spanish enslaved the indigenous Haitians to work on sugar plantations and in gold mines. European diseases such as measles and smallpox killed all but a few thousand of the indigenous Haitians. Many other indigenous Haitians died from overwork and harsh treatment in the mines from slavery.
Terre-Neuve ("Newfoundland") was a colony in New France that existed from 1655 to 1713, and which consisted of the southern portion of Newfoundland island. The most -and sometimes only- populated region was Placentia, called "Plaisance" in French. Because of Placentia's geographic position, its main economic activity was fishing, and the settlement could serve as a pit stop for ships traveling to and from France and other New France colonies like Canada or Acadia. Terre-Neuve ceased to exist in 1713, when France evacuated its settlers and transplanted them to Cape Breton. But, France regained the Saint Pierre and Miquelon islands of this colony in 1763, and still has possession over them today.