The first European attempt to exploit North America was when the London Company sent out its expedition to begin colonizing Virginia on December 20, 1606.
Meanwhile, Basque, English, and French fishing fleets became regular visitors to the coasts from Newfoundland to Cape Cod. Some of these fishing fleets set up camps on the coasts to trade with local Indians, exchanging furs for manufactured goods. For the next two decades, Europeans’ presence in North America was limited to these incursions.
In the 1580s, the English tried to plant a permanent colony on Roanoke Island (on the the coast of present-day North Carolina), but their effort did not last.
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 New York.
Afterwards, English, French and Dutch trade companies began to send thousands of colonists, including families, to 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 and chased both because of European diseases 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 in their attempts to establish colonies because of the lack of labourers to do the hard work of colony-building.
The process of European colonization of America was a complex one, as the members of these very diverse peoples confronted situations that they had not chosen.