The New World or the Americas is the term that refers to the continents of North America and South America. The New World was considered a land of new life for many people because it had wide open land to explore, an abundance of resources, and a chance to trade with the Native Americans that thrived there.
The New World is first featured in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors, which took place during the timeline of the Spanish conquest of Yucatán with two Native American civilizations, the Aztecs and the Mayans. In Age of Empires III, the entire game takes places after the conquest of Mesoamerica and to the Industrial Age and the expansion into western North America. There are many new maps of the New World featured in Age of Empires III such as New England and Texas with new animals to hunt, new tribes ally with, and large invasions with the new gunpowder weapons involved.
Age of Empires II
With the Conquerors expansion, the game introduced two Native American civilizations, the Aztecs and the Mayans, both with a unique Mesoamerican architectural style and the Eagle Warrior line, along with the Spanish, who were the first European civilization to be involved in the colonization of the Americas. The game also featured new, Central American wildlife and maps, such as Yucatán. The Montezuma campaign is set in modern-day Mexico, and narrates the Spanish conquest of modern-day Mexico and the fall of the Aztec Empire.
Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten also introduced the Incas, who share the Mesoamerican architectural style and Eagle Warrior line with the other two Native American civilizations, as well as other American features, such as the Cenotes map. It also adds the El Dorado campaign, that narrates the failed search for El Dorado deep in the Amazon rainforest and the exploration of the Amazon River in the 16th century, as well as the Dos Pilas scenario, a vassal city of the famous Mayan city of Tikal, located in modern-day Guatemala, during the Maya Classic Period.
Age of Mythology
Unlike Age of Empires II or Age of Empires III, the Americas never explicitly appear in the campaign, but some maps and units hint indirectly to New World influence, especially in The Titans expansion.
The Americas are featured in Vinlandsaga (where Skraelings are featured as a hostile unit), the Tundra and (possibly) the Marsh random maps. The Atlanteans use Mesoamerican-esque architecture, and have Llamas for caravans.
Apart from that, the three species of trees introduced in The Titans expansion are native to the Americas; these are the Gaia Forest Trees (representing quaking aspens), the Marsh Trees and the tundra trees (also known as Tamaracks). A Musk Ox huntable was also originally intended to be added in the Tundra map, but was ultimately replaced by the Aurochs, for unknown reasons.
Age of Empires III
The third game and its first expansion, Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs, are entirely set on the American continent, after the conquest of the Precolumbian civilisations from the Spanish, and mainly features civilizations that were prominent in the colonisation of the Americas, such as the Portuguese and the French. Unlike the second game, it features a much wider variety of maps and wildlife, set from modern day Alaska (Yukon) to southernmost America (Patagonia and Araucania).
Also, it features various Native American minor civilisations, that can forge an alliance with the players by building Trading Posts to settlement sites, offering their unique native units and technologies (as well as Canoes on water maps). Sixteen native tribes appear in the game, all from various regions of America, after the WarChiefs expansion is installed:
- Apache *
- Cheyenne (* Lakota in the base game)
- Huron (* Iroquois in the base game)
- Klamath *
- Mapuche *
- Navajo *
- Zapotec (* Aztecs in the base game)
* With the WarChiefs expansion, the game introduced four new minor natives, and also three major, playable Native American civilisations: the Aztecs, the Iroquois and the Sioux, all sharing the Fire Pit structure, the War Canoe and the Villager units, but with different gameplay style, as well as different architecture that corresponds to their region of living. The respective minor natives in the base game were replaced with new ones.
The first discovery of the New World by Europeans occurred around 1000 by Norsemen, who attempted to colonise the island of Newfoundland, which is located off the east coast of North America and which belongs today in Canada. They established the colony of Vinland, but it was short-lived, as relations with the natives (known as Skraelings) were hostile, forcing the Vikings to abandon the colony (see Vinlandsaga).
The second discovery of the New World was done by Christopher Columbus of Spain in 1492 in the island of Hispaniola and after later travels Columbus called the land "New World". In 1524, the term was also used by Giovanni da Verrazzano in a record of his voyage that year along the coast of what would later become the United States and Canada.
The first major conquest of the New World started by the Spanish and the Portuguese. In the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, ratified by the Pope, these two kingdoms divided the entire non-European world between themselves, with a line drawn through South America directly through Brazil. The treaty also gave Spain rights to spice islands in modern-day Indonesia (that make an appearance in the Gajah Mada campaign, in Rise of the Rajas), and to the Portuguese rights to East Africa. Based on this Treaty, and the claims by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa to all lands touching the Pacific Ocean, the Spanish rapidly conquered territory, overthrowing the Aztec and Inca Empires to gain control of much of western South America, Central America and Mexico by the mid-16th century, in addition to its earlier Caribbean conquests. It established two co-viceroyalities, the Viceroyalty of Peru and the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Over this same time-frame, Portugal conquered much of eastern South America, naming it Brazil.
Soon other European nations soon disputed the terms of the Treaty of Tordesillas, which they had not negotiated. The British and the French attempted to plant colonies in the Americas in the 16th century and they both had moderate success. The European powers depopulated the Native Americans living amongst their territories. They began to import cash crops to make the territories profitable and buttress their economies (i.e. Coffee to Brazil, Livestock to Rio De La Plata). As the territories grew in size the home nations began to regulate and tightly govern the territories, leading to lower class (often colored people) frustration.
First to rebel were the British American colonies which later formed the United States of America. Their example started the age of Revolution which spanned from 1790-1849 and led to the development of political ideals such as liberalism, Marxism, conservatism, and radicalism. European nations went through this era with many revolutions (French, German, British). These ideas trickled down into the Americas and revolutionary leaders such as Simón Bolívar, Jose de San Martin, and Miguel Hidalgo capitalized on the racial tensions and new ideas to bring these South American nations to independence.Brazil was the last to declare it's independence when the Prince Dom Joao broke away from his father and Portugal.
In North America, the U.S purchased Alaska from Russia, Louisiana from France, and Florida from Spain effectively ending the colonies in the two major theaters.
Caribbean colonies would continue under the rule of Spain until various revolutions and American invasion of Cuba in 1848 ending all Colonies in the New World. In South East Asia and Africa, imperialism and colonialism would continue all the way up until the 1950s.