The first European attempt to exploit (= sfruttare) North America was when the London Company sent out its expedition to begin colonizing
on December 20, 1606. Virginia
Meanwhile (= nel frattempo), Basque, English, and French fishing fleets (= flotte di pescherecci) became regular visitors to the coasts from
Newfoundland to Cape Cod. Some of these fishing fleets set up (= stabilirono) camps on the coasts to trade with local Indians, exchanging furs (=pelli) for manufactured goods (= in cambio di merci già confezionate). For the next two decades, Europeans’ presence in North America was limited to these incursions.
In the 1580s, the English tried to establish a permanent colony on Roanoke Island (on the coast of present-day
), but their effort (= sforzo) did not last (= durò).
In the early 1600s, in rapid succession, the English began a colony (
Jamestown) in Chesapeake Bay in 1607, the French built Quebec in 1608, and the Dutch began their interest in the region that is now . Afterwards, English, French and Dutch trade companies (= compagnie commerciali) began to send thousands of colonists, including families, to New York North America. The interest in North America started to mean contest among European powers to exploit these lands.
The European colonization and settlement of
North America was an invasion of territory where Native Americans had been living for centuries. Indian groups perceived the Europeans’ arrival as an intrusion and tried to resist that invasion. But they were then defeated ( = sconfitti) and chased (= scacciati) both because of European diseases (= malattie) and of superior force of arms.
The third group of people that must be considered that played an active role in the European invasion is the Africans. From the very beginning, Europeans had problems establishing colonies because of the lack (= mancanza) of labourers (= lavoratori) to do the hard work of colony-building.
The story of European colonization of
was a complex one, as the members of these very diverse peoples confronted situations that they had not chosen.