Q:

Why did the French come to America?

A:

Quick Answer

French explorers came to the New World, including America, to find a route to the Pacific Ocean and to establish a successful colonial empire. The goal in developing the colonies was to export goods such as sugar, spices, seafood and furs. The major parts of French exploration in America and Canada were under the rule of King Francis I in the 16th century.

Know More
Why did the French come to America?
Credit: DEA PICTURE LIBRARY De Agostini Picture Library Getty Images

Full Answer

One of the renowned explorers sent by King Francis I in 1524 was Italian-born Giovanni da Verrazano, who was given the job of exploring the region around present-day Florida and Newfoundland to find a route to the Pacific Ocean. In 1534, Jacques Cartier embarked upon one of three journeys to explore the St. Lawrence River and the coast of Newfoundland. He was also charged with looking for a northwest passage linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Several colonies were started by the French in America in places such as Parris Island, S.C., Saint Croix Island, Maine, Fort St. Louis, Texas and what is now Jacksonville, Fla. Although the original colonies failed, the forts and settlements established in America by the French eventually became important cities such as Detroit, New Orleans, St. Louis, Green Bay, Mobile, Biloxi and Baton Rouge.

Learn more about US History

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why did German immigrants come to America?

    A:

    The first German immigrants came to America to avoid the Thirty Years' war in Germany, which started in 1618 A.D. due to religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics. It is estimated that somewhere between 65,000 to 100,000 German-speakers emigrated into the United States during the colonial era. One of the earliest German settlements was a location called Germantown, which was in Pennsylvania.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who named America?

    A:

    The first person to officially give the name "America" to the lands commonly known as the "New World" was a German geographer by the name of Martin Waldseemüller. This was inspired by Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine merchant who accompanied an expedition to the New World several years after Columbus' voyage.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What were some of the diseases Columbus' journey brought to America?

    A:

    As a result of the interactions between the Old World and New World that began with Christopher Columbus' journey to the Americas, several new diseases were introduced to the Native American population including influenza, smallpox, malaria, measles and yellow fever. The Native Americans' immune systems, having never been exposed to the diseases prior to the arrival of the Europeans, proved highly susceptible to the new pathogens. Some estimates place the number of deaths from European diseases among Native American populations as high as 80 to 95 percent during the first 150 years following Columbus' 1492 landing.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did America get its name?

    A:

    The most common theory about the origin of America's name is that the country is named after Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian explorer who reached the New World in 1502. After returning to Florence, he suspected that Christopher Columbus was not correct in assuming that the land he explored was part of Japan and India. He produced a pamphlet describing the New World, which gained Vespucci a namesake.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore