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Successful English settlement on the eastern coast of North America began with the Virginia Colony in 1607 at Jamestown and the Pilgrims' Plymouth Colony in 1620.
Many settlers were dissenting Christian groups who came seeking religious freedom.
Most settlers in every colony were small farmers, but other industries developed within a few decades as varied as the settlements. Extraction industries grew up in furs, fishing and lumber.When the Russians began establishing a growing fur trading system in Alaska the Spanish began to challenge the Russians, with Pérez's voyage being the first of many to the Pacific Northwest.After having arrived in the Hawaiian islands in 1778, Captain Cook sailed north and then north-east to explore the west coast of North America north of the Spanish settlements in Alta California.Although the Spanish did not land, natives paddled to the ship to trade furs for abalone shells from California.At the time, the Spanish were able to monopolize the trade between Asia and North America, granting limited licenses to the Portuguese.