Name: Date:

Colonial America

Beginning with Christopher Columbus' exploration of 1492, Europeans raced to explore and colonize the "new world." The Spanish conquest of the Aztec and Inca empires left Spain in control of the largest amount of territory in the Americas. However, during the next two centuries the Portuguese, English, Dutch, and French all claimed parts of the Americas as their own. The colonies all served as sources of wealth for their ruling nations. Mining precious metals such as gold or growing exotic crops such as sugar became the focus of the colonial economies. In addition, these activities shaped the lives of those people who lived in the colonies and worked to ship the resources back to Europe.

Review the list of colonies below. Use labels and different-colored shading to show the areas of Spanish, English, Portuguese, Dutch, and French colonization in the Americas. Create a map legend to explain your map.

Virginia  Massachusetts (1629)  Curacao
Connecticut  New Netherlands (1623)  Maryland (1632)
Pennsylvania  New France (1608)  Bahama Islands
Nova Scotia  Vice-Royalty of Peru  Brazil
Vice-Royalty of Mexico  Louisiana (1682)  Martinique

If you need help locating these colonies, visit your local library or use the Internet to find information. Here are two types of searches you can do:

  • In a historical atlas: Look up maps titled "Colonial America" or "European Expansion."
  • Use the Internet: Use a search engine.

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