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A Chronology of American History: 15th | 16th | 17th | 18th | 19th | 20th

16th Century

Martin Waldseemuller's Cosmographiae Introductio is the first to call the New World America.

April 2: Juan Ponce de Leon claims Florida for Spain.

March: Hernando Cortes leads an expedition to Mexico.

September. 20: Fernando Magellan sets sail on the first expedition to circumnavigate the globe.

Summer: Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon establishes the first European settlement in the present-day United States at San Migel de Guadalupe on the South Carolina coast.

September 8: The Spanish establish the first permanent European colony in what is now the United States at St. Augustine, Florida.

John Hawkins introduces smoking of tobacco into England.

Richard Hakluyt's Discourse Concerning Western Planting argues that New World settlement would benefit England's economy by providing raw materials and markets and putting idle workers to work.

The "Lost Colony." For the second time, English settlers establish a colony on Roanoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina. When a group of colonists returns from England with supplies in 1590, it finds no trace of the settlers; it only finds the word "Croatoan" carved on a tree.

Juan de Onate begins Spanish settlement of what is now New Mexico.


This site was updated on 23-Jul-14.

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