Italian navigator and explorer Christopher Columbus started his expedition with the goal to find a direct water route west from Europe to Asia to further trade routes. This led to the discovery of the New World. He would later journey on four different voyages in 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502 to bring back trade items. This would later on turn out to be a turning point for European exploration and the colonization of the New World.
Discovery of Canada
Italian navigator and explorer John Cabot led English ships on an expedition with the goal to find a northwestern passageway to Asia. John Cabot ended up claiming now known as Canada for England in the name of King Henry VII, believing that he had landed in Asia. This journey led to the discovery of a shorter route across the Atlantic Ocean. This information would later be used to influence the increase in numbers of British colonies in the New World.
First European Settlement on Puerto Rico
Spanish explorer, conquistador, and soldier Juan Ponce de Leon is known as the first European to set foot in Florida and is responsible for the first European settlement on Puerto Rico. This resulted from his decision to explore a nearby island after positioned as governor of the eastern province of Hispaniola for a decade in search of riches and a rumored Fountain of Youth.
Sep 25, 1513
Discovery of the Pacific Ocean
Spanish conquistador, governor, and explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa led the first European expedition to sight/reach the Pacific from the New World. The expedition's purpose was to search for gold. This led to him claiming the ocean and it's shores for Spain, which would later on be useful for Spanish exploration and conquest along the western coast of South America.
Feb 18, 1519
Aztecs and the Spanish
Hernan Cortes landed on the Mexican coast and became allies with the Aztecs. All but one of his ships were destroyed and the surviving ship was sent back leaving no way to retreat. He would eventually conquer the Aztecs.
Sep 20, 1519
Discovery of the Globe
Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan led the first voyage to travel completely around the world. He is known to be the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean. His purpose was to find a western sea route to the Spice Islands. This journey proved the world was actually round and larger than had known. It led to the discovery of today's Strait of Magellan.
Mar 25, 1524
The Eastern Coast of America
Giovanni da Verrazzano and his crew spotted land that would become North Carolina. He went up the coast and later would also find the bay of New York and present day Rhode Island
Jun 17, 1527
First Step onto the Future’s Texas
Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was one of the four survivors of the 1527 Narváez expedition. Narváez expedition was a Spanish expedition started in 1527 with the purpose of colonization and exploration. It’s main intended purpose was to establish settlements in Florida. He is best known as one of the four survivors to survive the events that occured to the Narváez expedition (shipwreck, hurricanes, storms, slavery) and one of the first Europeans to set foot on Today’s Texas state.
Nov 16, 1532
Capturing the Emperor
Francisco Pizarro captured the Incan emperor Atahualpa and used him to take over the Incan empire. He would eventually be executed after he was no longer needed.
Dec 13, 1577
Second Circumnavigation of the Globe
English explorer, politician, naval officer, and many more Sir Francis Drake set out on a journey by sea to determine whether Tierra del Fuego (a land at the tip of America) was an island or an entire continent by itself. This journey led to Sir Francis Drake’s accomplishment of being the first Englishman to circumnavigate the entire globe. The first circumnavigation of the globe belongs to Ferdinand Magellan.
English Merchants Found the East India Company
Hoping to exploit trade in East and Southeast Asia and India, a group of English merchants found the East India Company. With this company, the English break the Spanish and Portuguese monopoly of the East Indian spice trade. The company later becomes involved in politics and acts as an agent of British imperialism in India.
Dutch Merchants Found the Dutch East India Company
The Dutch began to set up colonies and trading posts around the world. A group of wealthy merchants found the Dutch East India Company, which aids their quest to be the major European commercial power in the east. The company also comes into conflict with the English East India Company.
The First Permanent English Settlement is Established
In 1607, 104 English men and boys arrived in North America to start a settlement. On May 13 they picked Jamestown, Virginia for their settlement, which was named after their King, James I. The settlement became the first permanent English settlement in North America.
Discovery of Manhattan Island
On 1609, Henry Hudson discovered Manhattan Island and the indigenous people living there. He was also the first to map the island of Manhattan.
English Colonies and Pilgrims
England began concentrating on establishing colonies along the Eastern seaboard. In 1620, the Pilgrims, or English Protestants who rejected the Church of England, landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Rhode Island and Delaware
With some of her followers, Anne Hutchinson established a settlement (now Portsmouth) on the island of Aquidneck (now part of Rhode Island) in 1638. In addition, the Swedes landed in 1638, becoming Delaware's first permanent European settlers.
The Establishment of Pennsylvania
On March 4, 1681, Charles II of England granted the Province of Pennsylvania to William Penn to settle a debt that the king owed to Penn's father. Penn founded a proprietary colony that provided a place of religious freedom for Quakers.
Bolskeretsk Founded in the Kamchatka Peninsula
Russia finished out their borders by exploring the Kamchatka Peninsula and founding the city of Bolskeretsk. (Now known as Ust-Bolsheretsk)
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War was a war fought between the French and their Native American allies in the colonies and the American colonies with theirs. At the end of the war, the French had ceded territory to the British.
The American Revolution was fought to end British rule over the colonies. The British losing this began to mark the end of an era of colonial rule and the decline of the British.
Treaty of Paris
The Treaty of Paris marked the end of the American Revolution. After the Americans had finished their fight for independence, many other colonies began to declare their independence as well marking the start to the end of an era of colonial rule.