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European American history


1200-1500: European North American history
1492-1525: After the Christopher Columbus voyage
1500 - 1625: The Protestant Reformation history on the European Continent
1500-1689: The Political System of England
1520 - 1648: Religious wars in the Netherlands and Germany
The history of America is a branch of that of Europe. The discovery, exploration, and settlement of the New World were results of European movements, and sprang from economic and political needs, development of enterprise, and increase of knowledge, in the Old World. The fifteenth century was a period of extension of geographical knowledge, of which the discovery of America was a part; the sixteenth century was a time of preparation, during which European events were taking place which were of the first importance to America, even though none of the colonies which were to make up the United States were yet in existence.

From the time of the settlement forward, the only population of America that has counted in history has been of European origin. The institutions that characterize the New World are fundamentally those of Europe. People and institutions have been modified by the material conditions of America; and the process of emigration gave a new direction to the development of American history from the very beginning; but the origin of the people, of their institutions, and of their history was none the less a European one.

The beginnings of American history are therefore to be found In European conditions at the time of the foundation of the colonies. Similar forces continued to exercise an influence in later times. The power and policy of home governments, successive waves of emigration, and numberless events in Europe had effects which were deeply felt in America. This influence of Europe upon America, however, became less and less as time passed on; and the development of the American nation has made its history constantly more independent.

The general relation of America to Europe is a subject that would require a vastly fuller treatment, and it is a subject which doubtless will increasingly receive the attention of scholars as our appreciation of the proper perspective of history becomes more clear.