The Columbian Exchange
A global exchange of people, things and ideas made possible
by Columbus' voyages in 1492.
From America: Corn, beans, chile peppers, chocolate
From Europe: Wheat, sheep, pigs, cows, horses
From Africa: Peanuts, Okra, Gumbo
People, Things and Ideas made
possible by the Columbian Exchange
Spaghetti and Meatballs in tomato sauce
Pork and Beans
The Northwest Passage
Britain, France and the Netherlands all began looking for a
waterway through or around North America in the 1500s.
In the process, all three made land claims on North
In the early 1600s, they began colonizing.
Britain (Jamestown, 1607)
France (Quebec, 1609)
Netherlands (Ft. Albany, 1611)
Characteristics of Spanish Colonies
Location: Modern-day Southwestern
U.S., Florida, Central America & the
Caribbean, most of South America.
Religion: Catholic (strictly enforced).
Economy: Mining and Large-scale
Society: Four Social Classes (in
order from highest to
lowest): Peninsulares, Creoles,
Characteristics of British Colonies
Location: Atlantic Coast of North America
with small presence in the Caribbean
(Jamaica, the Bahamas)
Religion: Protestant (strictly enforced in
some places, not in others)
Economy: Mixed. Fur trade and Naval
Stores in the north, Tobacco, Rice,
Indigo and Naval stores in the
South. Sugar and Piracy in Caribbean.
Society: Self-Rule leads to a more
democratic society (for European males) in
the north. Slavery institutionalized in the
Characteristics of French colonies
Location: St. Lawrence
River (Canada), Great Lakes,
Mississippi River, Gulf Coast. Haiti
& a few Caribbean Islands.
Religion: Catholic, strictly enforced.
Economy: Fur trade in the North,
Sugar in the Caribbean.
Society: most French colonists were
men who lived among and
intermarried with the Native
The lesser powers
Portugal controlled Brazil on the East coast of South America until
The Netherlands controlled modern-day New York and New
Jersey. They lost this colony (New Netherland) to the British in
1661. The Netherlands also had some islands in the Caribbean.
Denmark controlled Greenland
There was also a short-lived Swedish colony (Ft. Christina) in
Spanish galleons traveled an area of the Caribbean known as
the Spanish Main. This attracted pirates to the area.
Britain hired many of these pirates specifically to raid
Spanish shipping. Eventually pirates make a pretty good
living in the Caribbean working for competing nations.
Britain, France and The Netherlands all fought with one
another at various times over the fur trade in the
Northeastern part of North America.
These conflicts between the colonial powers will eventually
lead to the rebellion of Britain's 13 North American
colonies, which leads to the creation of the United States.