The English Come to North America

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John Cabot
In 1497 John Cabot and his men 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 Frances Drake
Sir Frances Drake was a British sea captain who traded with the Spanish. 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 Frances 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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