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Beginning in the 1580s, numerous European powers including Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Great Britain competed to establish colonies in North America. Differences among the European colonial patterns led to varying political, economic, cultural legacies in North America, including on Native Americans. The British colonies became the most populous and successful by the 17th century but remained divided among three distinct colonial regions: New England, mid-Atlantic, and southern colonies. The most significant difference among the British colonies was the political, economic, and social patterns of the Chesapeake and New England regions.