Although there is speculation that Norse settlers may have colonized Newfoundland in the 10th century, the Spanish were the first European colonizers in the Americas. By the mid-16th century, they controlled much of South America and southern North America. In 1606, the British government began establishing colonies along the eastern seaboard of North America, beginning with a charter to the Virginia Company to establish a colony north of the Spanish settlements. The French colony of Louisiana, in southern North America, was established c. 1700. The French had already established settlements in New France, which ran from the Mississippi River, in the midwest, to beyond the Great Lakes in the northeast. By 1750, many of the colonies were unable to survive without slave labour, adding to the general population growth. This, combined with the Native American population, meant that over half the population were non-white.
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