Of the three colonizing powers examined in this chapter England, France, and Spain- France did not maintain a foothold outside Canada. French interest in the lower part of the continent (or what is now the United States) was focused on the fur trade; French incursions into the Southwest would inspire the Spanish to extend their missionary efforts into Texas, as later the Russian presence in northern California would inspire a chain of Spanish missions (see Chapter 4) to counter Russian influence.
Both England and Spain, however, did establish colonies in the land that eventually became the United States beyond the initial phase of encounter. This occurred through forms of settler colonialism-the emergence of settled communities that established new patterns of social organization, land use, and material culture. In New Mexico and throughout the Spanish colonies, land use was controlled by distant authorities in Spain. English settlers enjoyed relative autonomy vis-a-vis the central government, but naturally tended to replicate forms they knew from England. In the later phase of colonization, the space of the middle ground gave way to "fragment societies," shaped by the memory of forms from the Old World, as well as by an emerging international market of trade goods, which would dramatically shape Native and European cultures in the next century.