European ColonizationFor more details on this topic, see European colonization of the Americas.
Around 1000, the Vikings established a short-lived settlement in Newfoundland, now known as L'Anse aux Meadows. Speculations exist about other Old World discoveries of the New World, but none of these are accepted by scholars. See also Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact.
Spain sponsored a major exploration led by Christopher Columbus in 1492; it quickly led to extensive European colonization of the Americas. The Europeans brought Old World diseases which are thought to have caused catastrophic epidemics and a huge decrease of the native population. Columbus came at a time in which many technical developments in sailing techniques and communication made it possible to report his voyages easily and to spread word of them throughout western Europe. It was also a time of growing religious, imperial and economic rivalries that led to a competition for the establishment of colonies.
Read more about this topic: History Of The Americas
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