- from Early Settlements
One thing we know about Christopher Columbus is that he made a big mistake in 1492. He thought his ships had come to islands near the continent of Asia. But in fact, he had not found a new route to Asia.
The king and queen of Spain had paid for his voyage. Were they angry when they found out what happened? No, they weren’t. They and the other rulers of Europe were excited about having new places to conquer. Soon the race was on to explore and claim land for different European powers. But claiming the land was only the first step. Often, more than one country claimed the same territory. For real control, a country had to set up colonies. A colony is a settlement in a new land that is ruled by a faraway country.