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Map of North America in 1650

Map - Map of North America in 1650
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_103
Document Description
A map of North America in 1650, showing territorial claims of the European nations.
Based on this map, how many different European countries had claimed land in North America in 1650?
What is the earliest date on this map?  What is the latest date?
Using the scale, what is the distance in miles between Santa Fe and Montreal?
The oldest capital city in North America is shown on this map.  What is it?
Historical Challenges
Eight explorers are named on this map. Find out from which country each explorer came.
St. Augustine was the first permanent European settlement in the United States. Who founded St. Augustine? Where did the city get its name? In what state is St. Augustine located? There is one city in a U.S. territory that is older than St. Augustine. What is the city, in which territory is it located, and in what year was it founded?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: How many years passed between the year Christopher Columbus landed on San Salvador and the year St. Augustine was founded?
Science: What is the difference in climate between the northernmost settlement on the map and the southernmost settlement on the map? Which climate would you prefer to live in? Why?
English Language Arts: Choose one of the explorers from the map to research. Pretend you are with that explorer on an expedition. Write a journal describing the sites you see and experiences you have on the journey with that explorer. Make sure your dates and descriptions make sense based on what you have learned about the explorer.
Maestro, Betsy. The New Americans: Colonial Times. HarperCollins Publishers, June 2004. ISBN: 0060575727
Kalman, Bobbie. Colonial Life. Crabtree Publishing Company, April 1992. ISBN: 0865055114
Egger-Bovet, Howard. American Colonies. Little, Brown & Company, May 1996. ISBN: 0316222011

Historical Context
By 1650, the explorations of North America by Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands had led to the formation of settlements and colonies.  The first permanent European settlement in the United States was St. Augustine, founded in 1565 in present-day Florida.  Nearly fifty years passed before the next successful European settlements were founded, which included the Spanish settlement of Santa Fe in New Mexico (1607), the English settlement of Jamestown in Virginia (1607), the French settlement of Quebec in Canada (1608), and the Dutch trading post Fort Nassau at Albany, New York  (1614).

Although the Spanish, French, English, and Dutch are better known for the exploration and colonization of the New World, Sweden, another powerful force in Europe at the time, also sent colonists to North America.  The colony of New Sweden, shown on the map south of New Netherlands, was established when the first ship of the New Sweden Company landed in Delaware Bay in March of 1638.  The colony eventually expanded along the Delaware River in present-day Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Essential Question
How does geography influence the development of societies and boundaries?
Check for Understanding
Identify three key characteristics of this map and explain how those characteristics influenced the development of these societies and boundaries.