- from Early Settlements
As everyone knows, Christopher Columbus made a big mistake in 1492, thinking his ships had reached islands near the continent of Asia. But the king and queen of Spain, who paid for his voyage, weren’t angry when they later found out Columbus had not discovered a new route to Asia.
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 various European powers. But claiming the land was only the first step. Often, more than one country claimed the same territory so, 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.