Settler Colonies in North America By: Brandon Hatfield and Jacob Rutherford The French, British, and Dutch in North America By mid-sixteenth century, the French, British, and Dutch sailed for a northwestern passage to Asia. By the seventeenth century they began permanent colonies on North American mainland. French: Port Royal(1604), Quebec(1608) British: Jamestown(1607) and Massachusetts colony(1630) Dutch: New Amsterdam(1623). English fleet seized it in 1664, renamed New York. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the French settled in Canada, the English established colonies on the east coast of America. Life in the Colonies Settlers didn’t expect to cultivate crops, but rather hoped to sustain their communities by producing valuable products such as, fur, lumber, pitch, tar, silver, or gold. They relied upon supplies from Europe, and when ships did not arrive indigenous people supplied them with food. In Jamestown, food shortages and disease became so severe that 60 of the 500 people survived the winter of 1609-1610. Some settlers were so desperate for food that they even resorted to cannibalism. Colonial Government The French and English colonies in North America differed in several ways from their Iberian counterparts. Iberian explorations had royal backing, while private investors played larger roles in the colonial efforts. Individuals who put up the money for French and English colonization efforts retained more control then their Iberian counterparts. However, they were still subject to royal authority. Relations with Indigenous Peoples French and English did not find large centralized states. Nor did they encounter agricultural peoples living in densely settled societies. People of Eastern North America had formed dozens of distinct societies. European settlers saw forested lands not bearing crops, they staked out farms and excluded the indigenous peoples. Conflict The French and English settlers frequently clashed with native peoples. However, these conflicts differed from the campaigns of conquest carried out by the conquistadores. Native people resented the fine points of English law and frequently raided farms and villages. During an assault in 1622, they massacred approximately one-third of the English settlers. Attacks on their communities resulted in retaliation by the English settlers who ruthlessly destroyed the fields and villages of native peoples. Epidemic disease and violent conflicts reduced the indigenous population. Mid-sixteenth century, smallpox and other diseases began spreading English, French, German, Dutch, Irish, and Scottish migrants who crossed the Atlantic sought to displace native peoples as they pursued economic opportunities. By 1800s indigenous peoples numbered only 600,000 compared to the 5million settlers and 1million slaves.
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