1500s, the European countries

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17.3 Colonies in North America

In the 1500s, the European countries started to send explorers and settlers to the Americas to challenge the land claims of Spain and Portugal. The competition for land was so severe that it led to wars between countries and wars with the Native Americans.

The desire for overseas colonies was based on the theory of mercantilism. Mercantilism is the economic theory that says a country could increase its power and wealth by expanding trade. Colonists were forced to buy the country’s manufactured goods and provided the raw materials at a low cost.

The Dutch established colonies in the Caribbean in order to take advantage of the trade in sugar cane. They also established New Netherland, which was renamed New York when taken over by the English in 1664.

The French began cod fishing off the Canadian coast, and in 1608, Samuel de Champlain established the first permanent French settlement in Quebec. The French also made great profits in the fur trade which led the French to explore and claim the lands from the Great Lakes down the Mississippi River to Louisiana.

The British had two successful early settlements. In 1607, the British settled in Jamestown, Virginia, with the hope of finding gold. The Native Americans helped the British survive and how to grow tobacco, a cash crop. In 1620, the Pilgrims travelled to Plymouth, Massachusetts to establish a colony for religious freedom instead of making a profit. Because Plymouth was so successful, many more British emigrated to the East Coast of North America.

Effects on Native Americans

The arrival of the Europeans hit the Native Americans extremely hard. Many died from exposure to diseases, they lost land to the growing colonies, and died from wars with the colonists. The English colonies on the East Coast had the biggest effect on the Native Americans because as the colonies grew, they pushed the Native Americans further and further west.

The French and Indian War began in 1754. This conflict was between the French and the British over the land in the Ohio River Valley. The French were allies with the Native Americans but they were defeated by the British and the French were driven from North America.

Native Americans greatly affected the lives of the colonists. They helped the colonists to survive by teaching them to grow crops. Native American trails became highways for the westward movement. Cities, towns, states, mountains, and rivers took names from Native Americans. Native Americans also provided herbal remedies as treatments for ailments.

17.4 Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade Guided Notes

Slavery began in the 1400s, started by Prince Henry and the Portuguese that explored the West Coast of Africa. Portugal began capturing and trading enslaved humans in Africa. The Spanish began to use enslaved Africans after most of the Native Americans died due to exposure to European diseases. The Portuguese also imported large numbers of Africans to Brazil.

The English Colonies began to rely on enslaved Africans, especially in the Southern Colonies, to work on tobacco, sugar, rice, and cotton plantations. In order to make money on these cash crops, the farmers relied on large pieces of land and cheap labor. European colonists felt that it was acceptable to enslave Africans because they came from different cultures and were not usually Christian. Using those excuses, the Europeans defended slave labor.

The trade in enslaved Africans was part of Triangular Trade routes. The first part of the Triangle was when ships were filled with manufactured goods in Europe. The ships went to Africa where the manufactured goods were traded for enslaved Africans. Slave traders sent Africans slaves to the Americas and this part of the journey was called the Middle Passage. Ships were overcrowded and the death rate was about 20 percent. The slaves were then sold in the Americas for raw materials which were then sent to Europe to produce the manufactured goods.

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