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Christopher Columbus

He was an italian navigator who, in 1492, was granted a voyage of three ships. He sought out to find a quicker path to the Indies, but instead he wound up in the "New World". Columbus brought permanent connection between Europe and Native Americans

New World

Also known as the Americas, the new world was the land that columbus discovered in 1492. The new world was also the land that England, Spain, Portugal and France started to colonize. During colonization, the Europeans were first introduced to the Native Americans who inhabited the land

Amerigo Vespucci

Another italian navigator who corrected Columbus's mistake(s), acknowledging the coasts of america as a new world. America is named after him.

Papal Line of Demarcation

The dividing line in the new world. Spain and Portugal were the first to claim land and when they could not settle on equally dividing it, they turned to the pope for help. In 1493 the pope drew the Papal Line of Demarcation and gave Spain everyting to the west of it and Portugal everything to the right

Treaty of Tordesillas (1494)

In accordance to the Papal Line of Demarcation, Spain and Portugal agreed to sign the Treaty of Tordesillas. This moved the line over a few degrees on the map

Vasco Nunez de Balboa

Navigator who made the journey the Isthmus of Panama to the Paciffic ocean before the new world was discovered

Ferdinand Megellan

Sailor who captianed the voyages that went out on the circumnavigation of the world in the early years of the 1600's

Hernan Cortes

Spanish conquistador who conquored the Aztecs in Mexico for Spain, 1519

Francisco Pizarro

A Spanish conquistador who conquered the Incas in 1745


A spanish conqueror, who explored and conqured the Americas in serach of wealth and land, 1600's

Encomienda System

In the 1600's, this was the system that was granted to the spanish settlers byt thier king. This system meant that the Native Americans that ocuppied the spanish lands were put to work and anything that came from thier labour was givin to the spainards

Asiento System

System also used by the Spanish. The Spanish used this system to bring people from West Africa as labor. However, the spanish had to pay a tax to their king for every slave they brought to the Americas

John Cabot

An italian sea captian who was under contract to England's King. He explored the coast of Newfoundland in 1497

Giovanni de Verrazano

An italian navigator who was sponsored by the French to find a northwest passage leading through the Americas to Asia. He explored part of North America's coast

Jacques Cartier

Helped French make claims on American territory. Jacques explored the St. Lawrence River

Samuel de Camplain

Established the first permanent French settlement in America in 1608 at Quebec, later reffered to as the "Father of New France" because of his strong leadership

Father Jacques Marquette

In 1673, Marquette and Louis Jolliet explored the upper Mississippi River

Robert de la Salle

In 1682, Robert de la Salle explored the Mississippi basin, which he named Louisiana

Henry Hudson

Hired by the Dutch government, Henry Hudson to seek a northwest passage to the Americas. In 1609, Hudson sailed up a river (now named the Hudson River), an exploration that made Dutch claims to the surrounding area that would become New Amsterdam

Joint-Stock Company

A practical,finacial method for the costly enterprise of founding new colonies. The companies accquired savings fromf people of moderate means and supported trading ventures that seemed potentially profitable

Father Junipero Serra

He was the founder of the missions, which first settled California

Virginia Company

Charted by King James I chartered this joint-stock company that established the first permanent English colony in America at Jamestown in 1607


The first colony in America, suffered many hardships and was really struggling to survive. Through the help of the Native Americans, the Jamestown settlers learned to plant, grow, and sell tobacco. It was the Native Americans who souly helped Jamestown survive

Captian John Smith

A leader in the colonies who took forceful leadership over some of the Native American tribes to help Jamestown thrive

John Rolfe; Pocahontas

John established the tobacco industry along with his wife, Pocahontas. Together, they developed a new surplus of tobacco, which became popular in Europe and brought economical gain to Jamestown

Royal Colony

A colony in the 1600's that was ruled by the king of England


A religious group who wanted to purify the Church of England. They came to America for religious freedom and settled Massachusetts Bay

Plymouth Colony

Colony founded by the Pilgrims in 1620 when they were sent off course on their way over to the Americas


Puritans who rejected the idea of reforming the Church of England . They wanted to create a completely SEPARATE church. One that was also independent of the royal control


Group of people who wanted religious freedom fromt the Church of England. They sailed to the Americas in 1620 aboard the Mayflower in route for Virginia, but instead ended up at what was then made into the Plymouth Colony

Mayflower; Mayflower Compact

The Mayflower was the ship in which the Pilgrims traveled in to get to the Americas, which when there, the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact. That stated that any decisions that are made will go by majority rules. This was the first sign of government

Massachusetts Bay Colony

With the poor treatment of the puritans, many wanted to escape to the Americas. One group gained a royal charter for a new colonizing venture. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was then founded in 1629

Great Migration

An event where more than 15,000 settlers moved from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1630's

Virginia House of Burgesses

1619. First elected legilative assembly in the New World established in the Colony of Virginia. Served as an early model of elected government in the New World.

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