the beginning of the Renaissance Era (circa 1453) with a return to research and learning after the Dark Ages
August 3, 1492 - After years of negotiations to get the funds to make his journey, Christopher Columbus sets out on three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, to find a westward passage to the Indies under the auspices of Queen Isabella I of the Iberian Peninsula
June 7, 1494 - The Treaty of Tordesillas, between Spain and Portugal, attempted to ratify and clarify ownership of the lands outside Europe and who could claim them.
March 5, 1496 - King Henry VII signs agreement with John (Giovanni) Cabot to explore the western hemisphere under the flag and authority of England.
May 2, 1497 - On his second voyage for England from the port of Bristol, John Cabot (aka Giovanni, a Venoese native sailing under the English flag) rediscovers the North American continent on June 24, 1497, the first European exploration of the continent since Norse explorers in the 11th century.
May 1498 - Cabot undertook a second voyage to the New World under his English papers.