The Spanish started exploring in Florida, making their way northwest through Georgia. They explored because of the three G's: GOD, GOLD, and GLORY.The Spanish were not successful. Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto slaughtered many Native Americans in pursuit of gold he never found.The Spanish left the native Americans riddled with European diseases they did not know how to treat. We are aware of some of these tribes of Native Americans because some of DeSoto's men kept journals. Also, the introduction of pigs to America is attributed to DeSoto.
The French sailed into present-day New Orleans and explored northward towards the Great Lakes and into Canada.They explored to find furs. (French fries, French furs) French Protestants called Huguenots also came to the New World for religious freedom.The French were successful because they recognized that in order to have successful fur trade with the Natives, they needed to have a good relationship with them. They did not compete for land or try to convert them to Christianity, unlike Spain. The French also fought alongside them as allies occasionally. The French did not have a major impact on the New World compared to Britain and Spain.
The British explored most of the East coast, with their first settlement in Jamestown, Virginia. The British were interested in permanent settlement, with colonies focused on mercantilism. Mercantilism is when a country exports more than it imports. The colonies had an arrangement where they would sell the raw materials back to England (the "mother country") for a cheap price. The "mother country" then creates something out of those raw materials and sells them back to the colonies for profit. Also interested in religious freedom, but not the main focus.The British were not successful at first. Jamestown was failing until a new type of tobacco was discovered. The colony did much better, eventually creating three more: Maryland, Carolina, (later South and North Carolina) and Georgia.The colonies that the British created are still around today in the form of states. They also introduced slaves to America.