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Despite the common belief that Christopher Columbus was the first European discover of the New World, it is far more likely that Leif (or Leiv) Erikson (or Eriksson or Ericson) sailed west from Greenland around the year 1000 and landed somewhere in present-day Canada, probably the coast of Labrador. However, no permanent settlement ensued and the discovery was largely forgotten.

The first European to discover America and remember was Christopher Columbus. As an Italian by birth, his name would have been Colombo then, and his Spanish sponsors would have called him Colon. For English speakers, his last name has been latinized.

Date

Explorer

Representing

Event

c. 1000

Leif Eriksson

Norse

Likely first European to Newfoundland

1418

(Prince Henry the Navigator)

Portugal

Offers training in navigation & cartography

1431

Gonzalo Cabral

Portugal

Discovered Azores

1440s

various

Portugal

Exploration along west African coast; slave trade

1453

(Fall of Constantinople)

u00a0

Muslim closure of eastward routes may have spurred westward push.

1487-88

Bartholomeu Dias

Portugal

Reached Cape of Good Hope

1492

Christopher Columbus

Spain

First voyage

1494

(Treaty of Tordesillas)

u00a0

Division of New World between Spain and Portugal

1497

John Cabot

England

To Newfoundland; English claim to North America

1497-98

Vasco da Gama

Portugal

Rounds Africa to India

1497+

Amerigo Vespucci

Spain
Portugal

West Indies and South America

1500-01

Pedro Álvarez Cabral

Portugal

Brazil

1513

Ponce de Léon

Spain

Florida

1513

Vasco Núñez de Balboa

Spain

Crossed Panama to Pacific Ocean

1519-22

Ferdinand Magellan

Spain

Circumnavigation of world completed by crew

1519+

Hernán Cortés

Spain

Conquered Aztecs in Mexico

1524-25

Giovanni da Verrazzano

France

Searched for Northwest Passage

1526

Lucas Vazquez Ayllon

Spain

Temporary settlement in in the Carolinas

1528-36

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

Spain

From Gulf of Mexico into Texas

1532+

Francisco Pizarro

Spain

Conquered Incas in Peru

1535

Jacques Cartier

France

Gulf of St. Lawrence; established French claim to North America

1539-42

Hernando De Soto

Spain

Southeastern U.S. and Mississippi River

1540

Francisco Coronado

Spain

Northern Mexico and southwestern U.S.

1542

Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo

Spain

California

1565

Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles

Spain

St. Augustine founded

1576-78

Sir Martin Frobisher

England

Search for Northwest Passage

1577-80

Sir Francis Drake

England

First English circumnavigation

1585+

u00a0

England

Roanoke u0093Lost Colonyu0094

1598+

Juan de Oñate

Spain

Settlement in New Mexico

1602

Bartholomew Gosnold

England

Explored New England coast

1603-15

Samuel de Champlain

France

Quebec, Great Lakes and Lake Champlain

1607

u00a0

England

Jamestown founded

1609+

Henry Hudson

Netherlands
England

Dutch claim to New York area; explored Hudson Bay

1620

u00a0

England

Pilgrims arrive at Cape Cod

1630

u00a0

England

Puritans arrive at Massachusetts Bay

1673

Louis Joliet
Jacques Marquette

France

Explored upper MississippiBasin

1679

Sieur de La Salle

France

Explored upper Mississippi and Lake Michigan areas

1698+

Sieur de Bienville

France

Founded New Orleans; explored MississippiValley

1699+

Sieur du0092Iberville

France

First to enter Mississippi River from Gulf of Mexico


See First Contact and Indian Wars Time Table .
See also
Native American Cultural Regions map

Off-site search results for "European Exploration and Settlement in the New World"...

Age of Exploration in the Americas - Exploring the New World
... began the Age of Exploration, England, France and Spain dominated the New World. Subtopics Explorers (2) Articles & ResourcesSort By : Guide Picks | Alphabetical | Recent De Soto's Trails: Native American ConquestInteresting, well illustrated ...
http://americanhistory.about.com/od/ageofexploration

Age of Exploration in the Americas - Exploring the New World
... began the Age of Exploration, England, France and Spain dominated the New World. Subtopics Explorers (2) Articles & ResourcesSort By : Guide Picks | Alphabetical | Recent De Soto's Trails: Native American ConquestInteresting, well illustrated ...
http://americanhistory.about.com/od/ageofexploration/index_a.htm

New World Exploration
They were clad in the skins of the bear, the lynx, the deer and the seal. No signs of cultivation appeared, and the inhabitants seemed to live almost wholly on the products of the forest and the waters. The hills were covered with vast woods; and ...
http://www.publicbookshelf.com/public_html/Our_Country_Vol_1/newworld_ ...

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