Portugal was the leading country in the
European exploration of the world in the 15th
Between 1405 and 1433, at least 317 ships and 37,000 men were under his command.
The map used by Columbus was
obtained by the Portuguese from
In 1492 Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain
with three ships: the Nina, the Pinta and the
In 1497 John Cabot and
his men explored the
shores of Newfoundland,
Nova Scotia, and Labrador
and gave fishing rights to
France founded colonies in much of eastern North America, on a number of Caribbean islands, and in South America.
The French colonization of the Americas began
in the 16th century, and continued in the following
centuries as France established a colonial empire in the west
Most colonies were developed to export products such as fish, sugar, and furs.
As they colonized the New World, the French established forts and settlements that would become such cities as Quebec and Montreal in Canada.
Henry Hudson wanted to find a passage across the continent of North America.
It was English admiral Sir Francis Drake who set
out in 1577 to explore the Strait of Magellan.
Captain John Smith was an English adventurer and soldier, and one of the founders of the Jamestown, Virginia, settlement.
Smith was one of 105 settlers who sailed from England on December 19, 1606, and landed in Virginia on April 26, 1607.