The English Come to North America

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John Cabot
In 1497 John Cabot and his men
sailed from England to explore North America at the request of King Henry VII of England. He explored the shores of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Labrador and gave fishing rights to the English. England claimed the whole east coast of North America because they claimed that Cabot was the first to reach the North American mainland.

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Sir Francis Drake


Sir Francis Drake was a British sea captain and an Admiral in the British Navy who traded with the Spanish.
In 1577, he explored California on behalf of England. He was considered to be a sea dog, a pirate for England that attacked Spanish ships from the New World and brought their cargo of gold and silver to England. Drake was the first Englishmen to sail around the world in 1577. Queen Elizabeth knighted him on the deck of his ship, the Golden Hind. The Spanish did not want the English competition in the slave trade business which led to a war between Spain and England. He helped the British defeat the Spanish Armada.

In 1582 his ship was sunk in a port in Spanish America. Most of Drake's crew were killed. Drake got away and returned to England. He gathered a new crew and a powerful ship. He returned to America. Drake sailed along the coast taking what he could from Spanish treasure ships. He also attacked Spanish settlements up and down the coast. Soon the Spanish were losing more than they were taking back to Spain.  The Spanish called the British sailors pirates and Sea Dogs. The British allowed this to take place because they wanted the Spanish to be less powerful in the New World. This lead to the Spanish gathering a large fleet of ships to attack England called the Spanish Armada. In 1588 the Spanish Armada sailed for England. The British fleet was able to stop them because a storm destroyed many of the Spanish ships and pushed many others off course. This event made the New World a safe place for English colonists with the Spanish no longer a strong sea power. Sir Francis Drake is also known because he became the second captain and the first for England to sail around the world.

 

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Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson wanted to find a passage across the continent of North America. He was unable to find the Northeast or the Northwest Passage he sought. He did however add to Europe's knowledge of the Arctic and North America. He discovered the Hudson Bay in 1610.

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Sir Walter Raleigh

    Raleigh was a British explorer, poet, historian, and soldier. He organized three major expeditions to America. On his second expedition to the New World, he created the first English settlement in America in 1587 on Roanoke Island. Raleigh was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1585. He secretly married Elizabeth Throckmorton without the Queen’s permission SO he was sent to the Tower of London (imprisoned) for 12 years. In 1603, he  sailed to America for the third time to establish a gold mine (His mission was a failure.) Raleigh was executed on October 29, 1618.