The war became part of a larger conflict know as the Seven Years' War. Britain and France, along with their European allies, also battled for supremacy in Europe, the West Indies, and India. In north America, the British colonists, with the help of the British Army, defeated the French in 1763. The French surrendered their North American holdings. As result of the war, the British seized control of the eastern half of North America.
In 1606, a company of London investors received from King James a charter to found a colony in North America. Three ships,and more than 100 settlers, pushed out of an English harbor, and in 1607 they reached the coast of Virginia. The colonists claimed the land as theirs and named the settlement Jamestown in honor of their king.
Atahualpa, the Incan ruler, called his force to a meeting. The Spaniards waited in ambush, crushed the Incan force, and kidnapped Atahualpa. Atahualpa offered to fill a room once with gold and twice with silver in exchange for his release. After receiving the ransom, the Spanish strangled the king. Pizarro then went on to the Incan capital, Cuzco, which he captured without struggle.
Although the Spanish were greatly outnumbered, Cortes and his men sill conquered the Aztecs. Several factors played a key role in the stunning victory. First, the Spanish had superior weaponry. The Aztec's arrows were no match for the Spaniards' muskets and cannons. Second, Cortes turned some of the native groups into allies. Lastly, the Spanish carried diseases that the natives were unfamiliar with. The natives had no immunity to these diseases, therefore it killed millions of them.
The first Europeans to explore Africa were the Portuguese. Initially, Portuguese traders were more interested in trading for gold than for captured Africans. That changed with the colonization of the Americas, as natives began dying by the millions. Europeans saw advantages in using Africans in the Americas for four reasons. They have been exposed to European diseases and built up some immunity, they were experienced farmers, they were less likely to escape because they didn't know the land, and it would be easier to catch them if they escaped because of their skin color.
Columbus sailed west, across the Atlantic Ocean, in attempt to find an alternate route to Asia. Instead he reached an island in the Caribbean. Columbus claimed the island for Spain and named it San Salvador, or "Holy Savior." Columbus mistook this island for the East Indies.