It is easy to forget that if you go back five-hundred all of what European explorers called “The New World,” was not even known to Europe. Today, North and South America have very different cultures. Some of this is due to the fact that they are people who lived very far away and have always had different cultures. But part of the reason is there were three primary countries that settled these areas and that is a big difference in how they appear today.
The English, French and Spanish were the big colonizers of the New World. One of the biggest differences was language. This is one of the biggest differences one sees when they go to these regions. Even though all are independent from these original colonizing countries, those in power gave the language they have down to them.
Geography, where the settlements were, is a big difference. The first English colonies were in what is modern day Virginia and Massachusetts and then they spread out from there.
The French settled in a different part and established trading posts in Newfoundland and what is modern day Canada and Mississippi.
The Spanish went further south and west and settled in what is modern day Mexico, Texas, Florida and many parts of South America.
Each region was also ruled by different governments involvement. The English governments allowed much local government representation. French colonies were subjects of the French king and could do little without his permission. In the Spanish colonies the king appointed a viceroy, or local government to be in charge.
One other big difference between the three was the sources of people coming to colonize. In English colonies these were recruited from middle-class farmers, and tradesmen and also criminals. The French, who love fur, originally came as fur traders. And The Spanish came with armies of conquistadores.
"English, French, and Spanish Colonies: A Comparison." Colonization and Settlement. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2013.