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The first Europeans to arrive in North America -- at least the first for whom there is solid evidence -- were Norse, traveling west from Greenland, where Erik the Red had founded a settlement around the year 985. In 1001 his son Leif Erikson is thought to have explored the northeast coast of what is now Canada and established a colony near what is now Lanse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland. Erikson and settlers spent at least one winter there before abandoning the settlement for unknown reasons.

The Spanish conquistadores explored the Southwest of what would become the US in the 1500s but did not establish permanent settlements until St. Augustine, Florida was founded in 1565. By that time there were several permanent Spanish settlements, dating back to the 1520s, already established in what is now Mexico.

Many European fishermen fished the waters off the northern coasts of North America but did not begin establishing colonies until the 1580s - beginning with St. John's and Harbour Grace, Newfoundland (now part of Canada). Permanent settlement of those towns began in 1583 and is documented in provincial and city/town records.

The French established permanent settlements in Tadoussac, Quebec and Port Royal, Nova Scotia (now provinces of Canada) in 1600 and 1605, respectively, with the former eventually giving rise to the permanent settlement of Quebec city in 1608.

In what is now the U.S., the British tried to establish a settlement in North Carolina, known as Roanake, in 1587 but the colony, known as the lost colony, did not survive. The oldest permanent British colony in the U.S., was the Jamestown, Virginia colony, settled in 1607.

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โˆ™ 2011-04-21 13:49:24
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Q: Who were the first European settlers in north America?
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