Oceanic perspectives have transformed the ways in which we look at the histories of community formation and displacement in the ‘New Worlds’. There is by now a large literature constituting a veritable ‘oceanic turn’, especially with regards to the Atlantic Ocean.1 These perspectives enabled us to look beyond traditional historiographical approaches and to appraise a variety of foundational and ongoing links that had been actively repressed. Conversely, the organising framework informing the ways in which the following chapters are grouped is continental (the partial exception to this pattern is this volume’s first part and its relation to the following ones, a relationship that is premised on a chronological distinction between ‘old’ and ‘new’). While a continent-by-continent approach is aimed at emphasising regional histories that exceed the contemporary limits of internationally recognised states, we believe that this framework is especially suited to the topic at hand: settlers traverse seas, plains and mountain chains, but they typically claim macroregions and continents.