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2.3.2 Immigration and the creation of the usa

The Vikings were probably the first Europeans to reach America. Although archaeological remains have been found in Canada from about 1,000 years ago, so far there is no conclusive evidence for Viking habitation in today's USA.

In 1492, Columbus, an explorer and trader sai­led westward from Spain, seeking a short sea route to the Orient. He found, instead, a vast "New Wo­rld" as it became known later, although Columbus himself named it the "Other World".

Following Columbus' voyage, explorers, sold­iers, and settlers from several European countries sailed to this land, soon called America, after Ame­rigo Vespucci, by most Europeans. Vespucci made voyages to the New World for Spain and Portugal beginning in 1497.

Amerigo Vespucci left

The discovery of the existence of America caused a wave of excitement in Eu­rope. To many Europeans, the New World offered opportunities for wealth, pow­er, and imperialism. Having concentrated initially on central and south America, where they found gold in large quantities, during the 1500's, Spaniards moved into what is now the Southeastern and Western United States. They took control of Florida and the land west of the Mississippi River, basing their activity on the West Coast. In 1565, the Spanish founded St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest permanent settlement by Europeans in what is now the United States.

The English and French began exploring eastern North America in about 1500. At first, both nations sent only explorers and fur traders to the New World. But after 1600, they began establishing permanent settlements there. The French settle­ments were chiefly in what is now Canada and the south of the USA. The English settlements included the 13 colonies that later became the United States.

Explorer Bartholomew Gosnold sailed to New England in 1602, 18 years before the pilgrim fathers. During that journey which is well documented, Gosn­old named Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard (after his infant daughter). He then returned in 1607 and estab­lished the first permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown in Virginia.

Bartholomew Gosnold right

Jamestown became the first real English colony and eventually led to the crea­tion of the United States of America. Many historians believe the US would have become Spanish territory if it had not been for Gosnold.

The Pilgrims were a group of English Protestant extremists who sailed from Europe to North America in 1620, in search of a home where they could freely practice their religion and live according to their own Biblical laws. The various members of the group had broken away from the Church of England and moved to Amsterdam to escape religious persecution. But by 1617 a poor economy and concern over the Dutch influence on their community convinced many of them to move on, this time to the New World.

They left the Netherlands aboard "The Speedw­ell" and sailed to Southampton, England, where they joined a larger group of religious separatists and bo­arded "The Mayflower". They departed in 1620, with 102 people aboard, their destination a section of land in the area called Northern Virginia.

Forced off course by typical North Atlantic weath­er, "The Mayflower" arrived at Cape Cod. Having no legal authority to colonize the area, they met to sign their own charter, known as the Mayflower Compact, in which they agreed to form a self-governing comm­unity.

The replica "Mayflower" II in use today left

Although Queen Elizabeth I of England introduced the notion of punishing criminals by sending them to another country as early as 1619, when the first cargo of convicts was sent to the New World, the term transportation seems to have come into vogue around 1680 during Charles IPs reign. It was intended to be an alterna­tive to execution and it became a formal concept in 1717 with George Ill's 'Trans­portation Act'.

Between 1717 and 1775, when the American Revolution started, convicts were transported at the rate of about 1000 per annum and best estimates are that some 50,000 convicts from Britain were sent to America.

Soon after English settlement started, the Dutch founded New Netherland, a trading post and colony, that included a permanent settlement in New York (orig­inally called New Amsterdam) in 1624, and in New Jersey in 1660. In 1638, the Swedes established a trading post and settlement called New Sweden in present-day Delaware and southern New Jersey. The Dutch claimed New Sweden in 1655. But in 1664, the English - far better established in America than the Dutch - took over New Netherland and New Sweden.

By the mid-1700's, most of the settlements had been formed into 13 British colonies. Each colony had a governor and legislature, but each was under the ultimate control of the British government.

North Caroana' _ Q Southern Coteries

* South Caroana

Frodamaticn toe of 1783

All the land west of the Mississ­ippi was under Spanish control, wh­ich was gradually incorporated into the (later) United States. The Native Americans were initially allowed to live between the 13 colonies and the Mississippi but were later pushed fu­rther and further west.