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and England. Like the Portuguese, the Dutch focus for expansion overseas was on developing a trade network rather than a colonial empire. They established two trading companies:
• The Dutch East India Company (see Topic 1.10), founded in 1602, focused on Asian trade and established a strong presence in the Spice Islands.
• The Dutch West India Company, created in 1621, focused on the Americas and established the colony of New Amsterdam in 1624. The colony stretched from the mouth of the Hudson River north to present-day Albany, New York. The only Dutch North American colony, New Amsterdam was taken over by the English in 1664 and became New York.
England One of the early explorers for England was the Venetian John Cabot. Sailing across the North Atlantic in 1497, Cabot reached the eastern coast of Canada. His explorations gave England a basis for claiming land in North America.
After Cabot’s voyages, the English became consumed with domestic issues and colonizing Ireland. They did little exploring of the Americas for the next century. By the time they did, the Spanish controlled the most profitable regions: the sugar islands, gold mines, and silver mines in the south.
English Colonies Finally, in 1607, the English established their first permanent settlement in North America—Jamestown, Virginia. By 1670, England had established colonies in eastern Canada and several smaller islands in the West Indies, including Barbados and Bermuda. They had also founded 11 of the 13 colonies along the Atlantic coast of North America that would later be part of the United States.
The English were also interested in expanding their trade to compete with the Portuguese and the Dutch in Asia. For this reason, they established the British East India Company in 1601. (See Topic 1.10.)
France The French sent out early expeditions to explore the Americas, looking for a passage to Asia:
• In 1524, the Italian navigator Giovanni de Verrazano sailed on behalf of France. He explored the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Newfoundland.
• From 1534 to 1536, Jacques Cartier became the first European to explore the St. Lawrence River in Canada.
Neither explorer found a passage to Asia. However, Cartier’s explorations established French claims to the territory.
It took decades before the French established a permanent North American settlement. In 1608, Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec as a prosperous fur-trading post in eastern Canada. He continued to explore the surrounding region and strengthened French claims to Canada, then called New France.

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