Lesson Plan

Early Multi-National Influences in the United States

Early Multi-National Influences in the United States: Civic Services Poster
Photo caption

Poster for Federal Art Project series on the history of civic services, showing water being drawn from a well outside a fort in "New Amsterdam" in 1658.


Beginning with Columbus's first landing in the New World, European nations laid claim to what would become the United States. Vestiges of that history are part of the American landscape. Spanish missions from Florida to California, the distinctive architecture of the French Quarter in New Orleans, place names like New London, Lake Bayou D'Arbonne, Harlem, Las Cruces, etc.

The lessons in this unit are designed to help your students make connections between European voyages of discovery, colonial spheres of influence, and various aspects of American culture.

Guiding Questions

How did England, France, Holland, Russia, and Spain come to make claims on territory in North America?

What was the impact of these multi-national influences on the settlement of North America?

Learning Objectives

Map 18th-century Europe's impact on what is now the United States.

List remnants of European influence that remain today.

Connect marks of European influence with specific explorers.