The American region was colonized by several European countries. They were Spain, France and England. The Spanish settled mainly the central part of the continent, the south and south-west. The French claimed demands for an area along the River Mississippi and Great Lakes area (in the 18th century, they were pushed away by the English and had to move further to the north). The English settled eastern coast, where they step by step founded 13 colonies, Virginia was the first.
The first wave of English colonizers came in 1620. They were the Protestants who escaped religious persecution in England. The group of 78 men and 24 women travelled on the ship Mayflower and arrived in the New World in the winter. The Indians were friendly and helped them to grow local plants . When the “Pilgrim Fathers,” as the first settlers are often called, heard that the Indians held a ceremony each year at harvest time to thank nature for the food they had received, the Pilgrims decided to make a special feast called Thanksgiving. This feast is still celebrated in America. The colony the Pilgrims founded was called Plymouth and it was situated in the area of current Massachusetts. Another area settled by the Protestants (Quakers) was Pennsylvania.
There were two mayor reasons why Europeans decided to settle Northern America. First, they wanted to find new business ways to Asia. For the second, many people from Europe moved to America to start their new life there. The motives were various — religious groups wanted to escape persecution, former prisoners wanted