British colonization of America

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The settlement and colonization of the American double continent by the Kingdom of England , then the Kingdom of Great Britain , the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and finally the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland began at the end of the 16th century and culminated in colonies in all parts of the continent and Hawaii a protectorate had been established. With this emerging empire, the British were long the main rivals of the Spanish colonial empire in America in the process of the European colonization of America .

The British conquest caused dramatic upheavals in the American Indian civilizations: directly through British military forces, indirectly through introduced European diseases and the " Columbian Exchange ", the exchange of plants and animals between the eastern and western hemisphere. Although many Indian societies had trained warriors and had extensive experience in warfare, they ultimately succumbed to the superior British forces. Many of the conquered peoples disappeared or were incorporated into the colonial system.

After the American Revolutionary War , the remaining British territories of America were granted more autonomy until they were granted independence. In this way two countries in North America , ten in the Caribbean and one in South America gained independence from Great Britain. Today there are still eight British overseas territories in America with varying degrees of self-government . In addition, nine former British possessions in America are now Commonwealth Realms , independent of the United Kingdom, but linked in personal union by the common head of state.

At the height of the British Empire , three types of colonies existed; Lease areas ( English : "charter colony"), property settlement areas (English: "proprietary colony") and crown colonies (English: "royal colonies" or "crown colonies").

North America

English colonies in North America

The Kingdom of England established colonies along the east coast of North America from Newfoundland in the north to Florida in the south. Initially, the name " Virginia " (after the title "The Virgin Queen" ( German : "The Virgin Queen") of the English Queen Elizabeth I ) applied to the entire coast, including the maritime provinces . The earliest colonies included St. John's (Newfoundland) , which Sir Humphrey Gilbert took possession of in 1583 (but it was not settled permanently until two decades later); the Roanoke colony, founded 1585–1587 and devastated in 1590 under unknown circumstances, was one of the first. “ Jamestown Settlement ” is the first successful settlement in England, founded in 1607. The Popham Colony , which was also founded in 1607 in what is now Maine , was abandoned after a year. Cuper's Cove settlement was established in Newfoundland in 1610. The Plymouth Colony was founded in 1620, and a slew of colonies emerged along the northeast coast of North America after the 1620s, including the Massachusetts Bay Colony , which was founded in 1630. The early colonies consisted of English farmers and gentlemen, as well as hired foreigners.

Some English colonies were founded according to the system of property governors who were authorized to establish and operate settlements under the commercial charter of English joint-stock companies (then English: "Joint Stock Company").

England also took over some Dutch colonies in 1664 , such as Nieuw Nederland (including Nieuw Amsterdams ), which was subsequently renamed the Province of New York . With the New Netherlands, the British gained control over the former New Sweden , which the Dutch had previously conquered. It became part of Pennsylvania .

Scottish colonies in North America

Early attempts by the Kingdom of Scotland to found a colony in Darien were just as unsuccessful as a brief Scottish settlement of Nova Scotia from 1629 to 1632. Thousands of Scots took part in the English colonization even before the two countries were united in 1707 ( Realunion after the 1603 existing personal union ).

British colonies in North America

The Kingdom of Great Britain took over the French colony of Acadia in 1713 and in 1763, after winning the Seven Years' War, the northern part of New France and the Spanish colony of Florida . The most densely populated region of New France became "The Canadas" of Upper Canada and Lower Canada .

In the north, the Hudson's Bay Company traded fur with the Indians in competition with French fur traders. The company gained control of the entire Hudson Bay basin called Rupert's Land . The small part of the Hudson Bay catchment area, which is south of the 49th parallel, went to the USA in 1818 .

Beginning in 1775, the Thirteen Colonies rebelled , primarily over participation rights, local laws, and tax matters, and established the United States of America .

Britain also colonized the west coast of North America, mostly Oregon Country , along with the US from 1818 to 1848. The colonies of Vancouver Island , founded in 1849, and New Caledonia , founded in 1846, were later merged and named British Columbia .

In 1867, the colonies of New Brunswick , Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada (the southern part of what is now Ontario and Québec ) were merged to form a self-governing dominion called Canada within the British Empire . Québec (including what is now southern Ontario) and Nova Scotia (including what is now New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island ) were ceded to Great Britain by the French. The colonies of Prince Edward Island and British Columbia joined for the next six years, and Newfoundland was added in 1949. Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory were ceded to Canada in 1870. This area now consists of the provinces of Manitoba (formed in 1870 after negotiations between Canada and a Provisional Government of the Métis ), Saskatchewan and Alberta (both formed in 1905), and the Northwest Territories , the Yukon Territory (formed in 1898 after the Klondike Gold Rush ) and Nunavut (formed in 1999).

List of British colonies in North America

British colonies in the Caribbean

In the order of settlement or establishment:

  • St. Kitts - The island was settled by Sir Thomas Warner in 1623. In the following year, the French also settled parts of St. Kitts. After massacring the Caribs , the British and French turned against each other and St. Kitts switched between the two until the island fell to the British with the Peace of Paris (1783) . It became independent in 1983 as St. Kitts and Nevis .
  • Barbados - The island was settled in 1625. It became independent in 1966.
  • Nevis - The island has been continuously populated since 1628. It became independent as St. Kitts and Nevis in 1983.
  • Antigua - The island was settled in 1632. It became independent as Antigua and Barbuda in 1981.
  • Barbuda - The island was settled in 1632. It became independent as Antigua and Barbuda in 1981.
  • Montserrat - The island was settled in 1632. 1664–1668 and 1782–1784 it was occupied by the French. It is still British territory.
  • Bahamas - The islands were settled from 1647 onwards. In 1971 she became independent.
  • Anguilla - The island was settled in 1650. His government was united with that of St. Christopher from 1882 until it declared its separation in 1967. In 1969 it was brought back under British administration. It is still British territory.
  • Jamaica - The island was conquered by Spain in 1655. It became independent in 1962.
  • British Virgin Islands - The islands were settled from 1666 onwards. They are still British territory.
  • Cayman Islands - The islands were first permanently settled in the 1750s. They are still British territory.

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Dominik Nagl: No Part of the Mother Country, but Distinct Dominions - Legal Transfer, State Building and Governance in England, Massachusetts and South Carolina, 1630–1769. Lit, Berlin 2013, pp. 175–252 ( free digitized version from Scribd ).
  2. ^ Nicholas Canny, The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume I: The Origins of Empire: British Overseas Enterprise to the Close of the Seventeenth Century , 2001, ISBN 0-19-924676-9 .
  3. The Early Settlement of St. John's, [1] , 1998, Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site Project, Memorial University of Newfoundland, accessed August 27, 2006
  4. ^ Paul O'Neill , The Oldest City: The Story of St. John's, Newfoundland , 2003, ISBN 0-9730271-2-6 .
  5. Colony of Avalon, [2] , Colony of Avalon Foundation, Revised March 2002, web link of August 27, 2006