The European Explorers

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The European explorers came in search of wealth and new land.

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In Search of New Land

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The news that Christopher Columbus had discovered, what was thought to be, a western route to the East Indies spread through Europe. Other European countries began to send explorers. Like Columbus, they were looking for gold, silver, silk and other valuables. They were also looking for new land to claim for their country. They soon discovered what Columbus had actually found was North America.


The Explorers


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Explorer Country of Origin Date Discovery
Lief Ericson and the Vikings Norway 1001 Newfoundland
Christopher Columbus Spain 1492 San Salvador and West Indies
John Cabot England 1497 Greenland, Labrador and Newfoundland
Amerigo Vespucci Spain 1497 to 1502 South America and West Indies
Vasco de Balboa Spain 1513 The Pacific Ocean
Ferdinand Magellan Spain 1509 to 1522 First to sail around the World
Juan Ponce de Leon Spain 1513 Florida
Hernando Cortez Spain 1519 to 1521 Mexico
Jacques Cartier France 1535 The St. Lawrence River
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo Spain 1542 California
Sir Francis Drake England 1577 to 1580 Explorations around the World
Samuel de Champlain France 1603 The Great Lakes and Quebec
Henry Hudson The Netherlands 1609 Hudson Bay


Europeans Meet the Native Americans

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The Native Americans first welcomed the European explorers. The natives introduced the Europeans to corn, potatoes and other vegetables. They also introduced them to tobacco.

The Europeans introduced the Native Americans to guns and horses. The Europeans also exposed the natives to new diseases like the measles and smallpox, which killed many of the Native Americans.


Books about European Explorers

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  Books on European Explorers


Links to other sites on European Explorers

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For a daily history lesson see AccentHistory.net http://www.accenthistory.net
Explorers of North and Central America http://www.enchantedlearning.com/

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