<Standard 4.13.........................................................................................................................................Standard 4.15>

4.14 Identify the five different European countries (France, Spain, England, Russia, and the Netherlands) that influenced different regions of the present United States at the time the New World was being explored and describe how their influence can be traced to place names, architectural features, and language.

map_icon.jpegClick here for a map of land claims in the New World, 1700.

French Quarter in New Orleans

Place names:
  • New Orleans:
    • Named for Orleans, France
    • Claimed by the French in 1718
    • Named the capitol of Louisiana in 1722
    • Given to Spain in 1762/1763
    • Reclaimed by France in 1803
    • Was sold to the US 20 days later in the Louisiana Purchase
    • Read more here
Architectural features:
  • Plantation homes in the South were greatly influenced by the French
  • French features on the Plantation homes:
    • Sloped roof extensions
    • Plain support beams
    • Timber frames with bricks surrounding them
    • Thin porches
    • High living areas
  • Read more on French architecture here
  • About 1/3 of English words are derived from French
  • Click here to read a list of French-English Cognates


Place names:
Spanish Style Home in Alabama

  • Florida:
    • Discovered by Ponce de León in 1513
    • de León landed in Florida in April
    • He called the land Florida in honor of Pascua florida
    • Pascua florida was a Spanish celebration of spring
    • Means "Feast of flowers"
    • Read more here
Architectural features:
  • Houses and buildings influenced by Spanish architecture had:
    • Stucco
    • Red-tile roofs
    • Twisted columns
    • Adobe
    • Curved gables
    • Arches
  • Click here to read more
  • 2nd most common language in the US today
  • Spoken in the US longer than English
  • Many places in the south have Spanish names
  • Click here for a history of Spanish in the US from PBS


Place names:
Josiah Quincy House, Massachusetts

  • There are many places in the US named for places in England
    • Click here for a list
  • Virginia
    • Named for Queen Elizabeth I in the early 1600s
    • Queen Elizabeth was known as "The Virgin Queen"
Architectural features:
  • Georgian Style, named for King George
  • Found along the Eastern Seaboard in America
  • Consists of:
    • Raised foundation
    • 2 room deep houses
    • Center or paired chimneys
    • Wood frames
    • High ceilings
    • Pilasters
    • Bay windows
  • Click here to read more
  • America does not have an official language, but English is most commonly used
  • Click here for a guide to 18th century English
  • Click here for more on the development of English

russia house.jpg
Russia House, Washington, DC

Place names:
  • Fort Ross
    • Name comes from Russia, or "Rossiia"
    • Located in California
    • Established as a Russian base in America in 1812
    • Russian settlements developed in and around Fort Ross
    • Click here for more information
Architectural features:
  • Ornate features
  • Onion domes
  • Large windows
  • Steep roofs
  • Curved areas
  • Click here for more information

the Netherlands

Place names:
  • What is now New York was originally a Dutch colony
  • For example, New Amsterdam became New York City
  • There are a number of towns on Long Island that are Dutch named:
    • Nassau
    • Heemstede (Hempstead)
    • New Utrecht
      dutch colonial.jpg
      Dutch Colonial House
    • Breuckelen (Brooklyn)
    • Click here for more information
Architectural features:
  • Dutch colonial
    • Barn style roofing
    • Roofs that angle once
    • Flared eaves
    • Side entrances
    • Ground level porches
    • Dormer windows
    • Chimneys at the end of the houses
    • For more information, click here