North America 1648 CE

North America is now being colonized by Europeans.

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What is happening in North America in 1648CE

Arrival of Europeans

The previous two centuries have seen dramatic changes in the racial and cultural make-up of North American populations. These stem from the arrival of Europeans to the continent, in the wake of the voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492.

Central America

In the south, Mexico and Central America have become part of the huge Spanish empire. Spanish explorers have ventured up into the southwest USA, followed by a handful of missionaries and traders. There has, however, been little by way of settlement in these arid regions.

The Eastern seaboard

Much more recently, northern Europeans – mostly from the British Isles, but also some French, Swedes, Dutch and Germans – have established a string of colonies on the eastern seaboard of the present-day USA and Canada. Their populations are increasing rapidly, and soon more colonies will be founded.

Population changes

As the European population rises, that of the Native Americans falls sharply. Deadly European diseases, to which the natives have no resistance, fan out across the continent, carrying away the majority of their people.


This is particularly the case with the islands of the Caribbean. These are re-populated with enslaved Africans, who are put to work on the sugar plantations growing up there.  These are owned and run by a tiny class of Europeans, who completely control life in these islands.

Next map, North America in 1789

Dig Deeper

Native Americans of North America

First Nations of Canada

The Colonization of North America and the Caribbean

Colonial North America

The Atlantic Slave Trade

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