The European colonial experience in the New World is not one monolithic, homogenous entity. The wave of colonists arriving in the newly discovered continent comprised of several groups deriving from different religious, cultural, linguistic and class backgrounds. At one end of the spectrum were members of imperial royalty, whose purpose was one of administration and control of the colonies. At the other end are impoverished masses escaping political/religious prosecution in their native lands. The rest of this essay will present a glimpse into these diverse experiences of European colonialists and identify background factors and influences that shaped these experiences. Ever since Christopher Columbus discovered the American continent, European imperial powers devised plans of exploring, occupying and ruling these territories. What is now three advanced nations of the United States, Canada and Mexico, was at the time of discovery untouched by civilization. These lands were inhabited by Native Americans, who lived a tribal lifestyle typified by clan warfare. The early European pioneers to these lands came from England, Scotland, France, Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain. The aristocrats who came here were keen on surveying the geography of the land and in establishing settlements as a way of extending their empires. As a result, many of the aristocrats frequently shuffled between Europe and North America and did not form close bonds with the natives and their culture.