Colonialism - The Age of Discovery
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The Vikings were the first Europeans to reach the Americas, starting but then abandoning a colonisation process.
The first phase of modern European activity in this region began with the oceanic crossings of Christopher Columbus (1492-1500). 1492 marked the discovery of the Americas by modern Europeans and it was not long after this that Castile began the conquest of South America and the Caribbean.
Improvements in technology made the European voyages of exploration possible and made the clash between different cultures inevitable. The riches of gold and land in the New World intensified Old World rivalries and began a commercial revolution. Britain, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Habsburg Spain, vied for world dominance.
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