European Colonization of the Americas


The European colonization of the Americas was the process by which European settlers populated the regions of North, Central, South America, and the islands of the Caribbean. It is also recognized as the direct cause for the cultures of the various indigenous people of those regions being replaced and often eradicated.

More about: European Colonization of the Americas


  • c. 980 - c. 1030
    Norse settlement established in Newfoundland, North America, by Leif Erikson.
  • 1453
    The Ottoman Empire closes the overland Silk Road trade routes between Europe and the East, initiating the European Age of Discovery.
  • 1492 - 1504
    Christopher Columbus makes four voyages to the New World; opens the way for European colonization of the Americas.
  • 1500
    Brazil is claimed for Portugal by Pedro Álvares Cabral.
  • 1519 - 1521
    Hernán Cortés of Spain conquers the Aztec nation of Mexico.
  • 1534 - 1535
    North American region of Canada claimed for France by Jacques Cartier.
  • 1572
    The Inca of South America are conquered by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro.
  • 1587 - 1590
    English colony of Roanoke in North America established and fails.
  • 1607 - 1608
    English Popham colony established in present day state of Maine, North America; fails after 14 months.
  • 1607 - 1699
    Colony of Jamestown succeeds as the first permanent English settlement in North America.
  • 1609 - 1624
    Hudson River Valley and parts of present-day New York State and Canada claimed by Henry Hudson for the Netherlands.
  • 1620 - 1691
    Plymouth Colony established in modern-day Massachusetts, North America; foundational colony of the later United States.
  • 1697
    The conquest of the Maya Civilization completed by the Spanish conquistador Martín de Ursúa.