America’s Explorers

Before and during the French and Indian War, from about 1650 to 1763, Britain essentially left its American colonies to run themselves in an age of salutary neglect. Given relative freedom to do as they pleased, the North American settlers turned to unique forms of government to match their developing new identity as Americans.
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America, the New World

The discovery of America, the New World was made by Christopher Columbus 1451-1506 in 1492. America was named after Amerigo Vespucci in 1507. America, the New World opened up new trade routes, power, riches and wealth to the countries of Europe.
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The Pilgrims Set Sail For The New World

On September 16, 1620, the Mayflower sails from Plymouth, England, bound for the New World with 102 passengers. The ship was headed for Virginia, where the colonists—half religious dissenters and half entrepreneurs—had been authorized to settle by the British crown. However, stormy weather and navigational errors forced the Mayflower off course, and on November 21 the “Pilgrims”…
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Captain John Smith

Smith, JOHN, settler ; born in Willoughby, Lincolnshire, England, in January, 1579. From early youth he was a soldier, and for four years he was in wars in the Netherlands. Returning home, he soon went abroad again to fight the Turks, distinguishing himself in Hungary and Transylvania, for which service Sigismond Bathori ennobled him and…
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La Salle

THE first European emigrants to Texas were led by Robert Cavalier, the Sieur de la Salle, who landed on the west side, and near the entrance, of Matagorda bay, on the 18th of February, 1685. American State Papers, vol. xii., p. 87 : Wait, Boston, 1819. Life of La Salle, American Biography, vol. xi., p. 129. La…
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Hernando Cortez

Cortez, HERNANDO, military officer; born in Medellin, Estremadura, Spain, in 1485, of a good family; studied law two years at Salamanca, and in 1504 sailed from San Lucar for Santo Domingo in a merchant vessel. The governor received him kindly, and he was soon employed, under Diego Velasquez, in quelling a revolt. In 1511 DIEGO…
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Pedro Menendez

Menendez de Aviles, PEDRO, naval officer; born in Aviles, Spain, in 1519; entered the Spanish naval service in his youth. After successfully battling with French corsairs, Philip II. of Spain appointed him captain-general of the India fleet. Menendez carried that monarch to England to marry Queen Mary, and took him back on his return. In…
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Samuel de Champlain

Champlain, SAMUEL DE, French navigator; born in Brouage, France, in 1567. His family had many fishermen and mariners, and he was carefully educated for a navigator. In early life he was in the cavalry of Brittany, and was with his uncle, pilot-general of the fleets of Spain, when that officer conducted back to that country…
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