The Colonization of North America Between

Subject: History
Pages: 2
Words: 573
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

The history of New America began relatively recently – only in the 16th century. It was then that new people started to arrive on the continent discovered by Columbus. Interestingly, all those people belonged to different nationalities and cultures.1 They were distinguished from each other by the languages they spoke, but all of them were united by one desire – to change their lives and create a new world almost from scratch.

Immigrants from many countries of the world had different reasons to come to the New World. For immigrants from the British Isles and other European countries across the ocean, vast material opportunities opened up. Moreover, America attracted them with the hope of free labor, personal enrichment, and religious freedom.2 Many Englishmen moved to America during the revolutionary upheavals of the mid-17th century.3 Religious sectarians, peasants, and the urban poor left for the colonies searching for better opportunities.4 All sorts of adventurers also rushed across the ocean; criminals were exiled. The Irish and Scots fled here when life in their homeland became utterly unbearable.

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Research Questions

  1. To what extent was life in Europe similar and different from early America?
  2. Did the initial relations between Europeans and Native Americans induct and predict the future interracial interaction? How can it be traced in modern America, specifically the interaction between blacks and whites?
  3. How is the impact of colonization of America observed today in the modern-day state in terms of property formation?

Use of Sources

Barthélemy Vimont’s The Journey of Jean Nicolet is the primary source describing the adventures of the French explorer. The account is about the completion of exploration of the northeastern part of America. This historical artifact narrates how Jean Nicolet, the interpreter of Samuel Champlain, traveled to the Great Lakes and investigated the area.5 Meanwhile, they were living in the area earning a living by trafficking, selling goods, trading with local tribesmen in order to get rich. The writing is helpful for understanding the French assimilation in the American culture. It is interesting to investigate the influence of the French culture through the first-hand account of people’s traveling, their motives, and how they managed to conquer the lands.

In his book Property and Dispossession, Allan Greer explores the processes that resulted in forms of land ownership, and indigenous people were deprived of property from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Focusing on territory and property, the author resorts to the concept of “property formation” to view how Europeans and their descendants living in America restructured the New World.6 Greer emphasizes the early property system’s impact on modern-day America and claims that new settlements have expanded the understanding of land and territory.

The Roanoke colonies discussed by Quinn represent an important topic of discussion that has to be covered when outlining the role of colonization activities that took place from 1492 to 1600. In the book titled The Roanoke Voyages, 1584–1590, Quinn took on Sir Walter Raleigh’s three ambitious voyages and discussed them in detail in order to display England’s willingness to develop mining efforts, harass Spanish shipping attempts, and impose Christianity on the Indians.7 The importance of this source can be highlighted by the fact that the voyages organized by Raleigh resulted in the disappearance of the colony despite successful ventures. The history of the Roanoke colonies could be studied in richer detail in order to address the controversy and see how the three voyages affected further colonization of American lands.


Bolton, Herbert, and Thomas Marshall. 2018. The Colonization of North America. New York: The Macmillan Company.

Greer, Allan. 2018. Property and Dispossession. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Panich, Lee, and Tsim Schneider. 2019. “Categorical Denial: Evaluating Post-1492 Indigenous Erasure in the Paper Trail of American Archaeology.” American Antiquity, 84(4): 651-668. Web.

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Quinn, David Beers. The Roanoke Voyages, 1584–1590: Documents to Illustrate the English Voyages to North America Under the Patent Granted to Walter Raleigh in 1584. Routledge, 2017.

Sturm, Circe. 2017. “Reflections on the Anthropology of Sovereignty and Settler Colonialism: Lessons from Native North America.” Cultural Anthropology, 32: 340-348. Web.

Vimont, Barthélemy. 1917 “The Journey of Jean Nicolet, 1634.” In Early Narratives of the Northwest, 1634-1699, edited by Louise Kellogg, 11-16. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Witgen, Michael. 2019. “A Nation of Settlers: The Early American Republic and the Colonization of the Northwest Territory.” The William and Mary Quarterly, 76(3): 391-398. Web.


  1. Sturm, 2017, p. 344.
  2. Witgen 2019, p. 392.
  3. Bolton and Marshall, 2018, p. 84.
  4. Panich and Tsim, 2019, p. 657.
  5. Vimont, 1917, p. 13.
  6. Greer, 2018, p. 147.
  7. Quinn, 2017, p. 68.