Domain America's discovered by Western Europe
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America's discovered by Western Europe

Discovery, Exploration


Three ships, led by Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus, landed on the American continent

Prior to this 'discovery', the Americas had already been explored by humans. It is estimated that the first settlers may have crossed over to North America from Asia as early as a few thousand years ago. Groups such as the Polynesians might have also encountered the new world (they did manage to settle Hawaii), and the vikings are also believed to have explored portions of North America. Some religions, particularly the LDS faith, also contend that multiple ancient Jewish groups also settled the Americas, though archeological evidence is inconclusive either for or against these claims.   Regardless, this expedition cannot be disregarded for its historical significance even though it may not have been "first". It is most noted for permanently affecting both the Old and New worlds, spreading peoples, goods, and diseases into new areas. The discovery also significantly shifted the balance of power on the world scale, tipping it strongly in favor of European and American nations for the next 500 years, and ravaged the civilizations that used to exist in the Americas.

Related timelines & articles
American History (article)
Human History