French explorers came to the New World, including America, to find a route to the Pacific Ocean and to establish a successful colonial empire. The goal in developing the colonies was to export goods such as sugar, spices, seafood and furs. The major parts of French exploration in America and Canada were under the rule of King Francis I in the 16th century.Continue Reading
One of the renowned explorers sent by King Francis I in 1524 was Italian-born Giovanni da Verrazano, who was given the job of exploring the region around present-day Florida and Newfoundland to find a route to the Pacific Ocean. In 1534, Jacques Cartier embarked upon one of three journeys to explore the St. Lawrence River and the coast of Newfoundland. He was also charged with looking for a northwest passage linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
Several colonies were started by the French in America in places such as Parris Island, S.C., Saint Croix Island, Maine, Fort St. Louis, Texas and what is now Jacksonville, Fla. Although the original colonies failed, the forts and settlements established in America by the French eventually became important cities such as Detroit, New Orleans, St. Louis, Green Bay, Mobile, Biloxi and Baton Rouge.Learn more about US History
As a result of the interactions between the Old World and New World that began with Christopher Columbus' journey to the Americas, several new diseases were introduced to the Native American population including influenza, smallpox, malaria, measles and yellow fever. The Native Americans' immune systems, having never been exposed to the diseases prior to the arrival of the Europeans, proved highly susceptible to the new pathogens. Some estimates place the number of deaths from European diseases among Native American populations as high as 80 to 95 percent during the first 150 years following Columbus' 1492 landing.Full Answer >
Diseases that plagued early American colonists included typhus, also known as typhus fever or spotted fever, as well as malaria and encephalitis. Dysentery and hypernatremia otherwise known as salt poisoning also posted a notable threat to the health of colonial Americans.Full Answer >
Large numbers of immigrants came to colonial America for many reasons, including religious freedom and economic opportunity. The New World offered colonists the chance to own property for the first time, and many emigrated to escape oppressive situations or religious conflicts in Europe. Still others were brought to the colonies unwillingly as slaves.Full Answer >
Most families in colonial America, the period between 1607 and 1783, had six to seven children. Infant mortality was high, with about 20 to 30 percent of children dying in infancy and more died from diseases during young childhood.Full Answer >