European colonization of the Americas

"American settlers" redirects here. For prehistoric settlers of the Americas, see Settlement of the Americas.
"Conquest of America" redirects here. For other uses, see Conquest of America (disambiguation).

European colonization of the Americas began as early as the 10th–11th century, when West Norse sailors explored and briefly settled limited areas on the shores of present-day Canada. These Norsemen were Vikings who had discovered and settled Greenland, then sailed up the Arctic region of North America alongside Greenland, and down alongside Canada to explore and settle. [1] According to Icelandic Sagas, violent conflicts with the indigenous population ultimately made the Norse abandon those settlements.

Extensive European colonization began in 1492, when a Spanish expedition headed by Christopher Columbus sailed west to find a new trade route to the Far East but inadvertently landed in what came to be known to Europeans as the " New World". Running aground on the northern part of Hispaniola on December 5, 1492, which the Taino people had inhabited since the 7th century, the site became the first European settlement in the Americas. European conquest, large-scale exploration, colonization and industrial development soon followed. Columbus' first two voyages (1492–93) reached the Bahamas and various Caribbean islands, including Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and Cuba. In 1497, sailing from Bristol on behalf of England, John Cabot landed on the North American coast, and a year later, Columbus's third voyage reached the South American coast. As the sponsor of Christopher Columbus's voyages, Spain was the first European power to settle and colonize the largest areas, from North America and the Caribbean to the southern tip of South America.

Other powers such as France also founded colonies in the Americas: in eastern North America, a number of Caribbean islands, and small coastal parts of South America. Portugal colonized Brazil, tried colonizing the coasts of present-day Canada, and settled for extended periods northwest (on the east bank) of the River Plate. The Age of Exploration was the beginning of territorial expansion for several European countries. Europe had been preoccupied with internal wars, and was slowly recovering from the loss of population caused by the bubonic plague; thus the rapid rate at which it grew in wealth and power was unforeseeable in the early 15th century. [2]

Eventually, the entire Western Hemisphere came under the ostensible control of European governments, leading to profound changes to its landscape, population, and plant and animal life. In the 19th century alone over 50 million people left Europe for the Americas. [3] The post-1492 era is known as the period of the Columbian Exchange, a dramatically widespread exchange of animals, plants, culture, human populations (including slaves), communicable disease, and ideas between the American and Afro-Eurasian hemispheres following Columbus's voyages to the Americas.

Political map of the Americas on 1794.

Norse trans-oceanic contact

Voyages of the Vikings to America.

Norse journeys to Greenland and Canada are supported by historical and archaeological evidence. [4] A Norse colony in Greenland was established in the late 10th century, and lasted until the mid 15th century, with court and parliament assemblies ( þing) taking place at Brattahlíð and a bishop located at Garðar. [5] The remains of a Norse settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada were discovered in 1960 and were dated to around the year 1000 (carbon dating estimate 990–1050 CE), [6] L'Anse aux Meadows is the only site widely accepted as evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. It was named a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1978. [7] It is also notable for its possible connection with the attempted colony of Vinland, established by Leif Erikson around the same period or, more broadly, with the West Norse colonization of the Americas. [8]

Other Languages
Bahasa Indonesia: Kolonisasi Eropa di Amerika
中文: 美洲殖民