France was one of America’s colonial powers. French colonization of began in the early 1500s as French explorers searched for a sea route to the orient.
In 1524, King Francis 1 of France sent Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano to explore the Atlantic seacoast. Verrazzano was the first European to discover New York Bay. The Verrazano Bridge is named after him.
We bought the central third of our country from Napoleon in the Louisiana Purchase of 1804. French-American influence remains in Quebec and along the St. Lawrence River, Mississippi River, and in New Orleans.
Jazz and American folk music has French influences through the French contredanse, the first dance to become popular around the world. Jazz at Lincoln Center retains a little of this French-American influence through New Orleans.