European Exploration of America

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Why didn't Spain colonize North America?

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The Spanish saw the New World primarily as a place to exploit, rather than colonize. This was an attitude they brought with them to South as well as North America. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers arrived in North America in search of gold. Had they found any in large quantities, then it's likely that a more extensive collection of colonies would've been established.

As it was, although the Spanish were able to establish a number of settlements along the Southeastern coast, without the gold and other precious metals they'd hoped to discover, they ultimately proved unsustainable. To make matters worse, the Spaniards were unable to defend themselves adequately from regular attacks by Native-American tribes such as the Mississippians.

Eventually, the Spanish packed up and left, leaving the field open to English explorers, whose arrival changed the whole direction of American history forever.

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