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Europeans Come to America

On August 3, 1492, [Christopher Columbus] departed Palos, Spain in search of a new route to India. The exploration consisted of three wood sail [ships], the Santa Maria, the Nina and the Pinta. On October 12, 1492, after many false sighting of land, they set foot on the island of San Salvador in the Bamahamas. Columbus believed this to be a part of China. He sent out several exploration groups in search of native Chinese. What they found were natives smoking tobacco, a substance completely unknown to Europeans at the time, but would later become a major product for importing back to Europe. Columbus would also call these natives Indians believing he had landed a part of the Indies in Asia. [View: The First Voyage of Columbus]

Columbus routes to the Americas.

Columbus would make several trips back and forth between what he called the "Other World" and Spain. Return trips would bring additional ships, supplies and people for exploring further into the this other world. His discovery opened the door for other European countries to send their own explorations. They would also be in search of a new route to India.

By the mid-1600s, Spain had established it's dominion on the North American continent in the southern regions along the Gulf Coast, England along the Atlantic coast and France in major portions of eastern Canada and the mid-west area of the United States.

The French would be the first to venture into what is now Michigan.

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HISTORY: Columbus initially thought he had discover a new route to Indian.