HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES Introduction - The first Europeans Reach North America were Icelandic Vikings led by Lief Ericson about the year 1000. Traces of their visit have been found in the Canadian province of Newfoundland but the Vikings failed to establish a permanent settlement and soon lost contact with the new continent. - Five centuries later, the demand for Asian spices, textiles, and dyes spurred European navigators to dream of shorter routes between East and West. Acting on behalf of Spanish crown in 1492 the Italian navigator Christopher Columbus sailed west from Europe and landed on one of the Bahama Islands in the Caribbean Sea. (Columbus believed that he had landed in the Indies, a group of islands close to the mainland of India. For this reason, he called the friendly, brown-skinned people - Indias - Los Indios). Within 40 years Spanish adventures had carved put a huge empire in Central and South America.
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