Despite the hardships of the journey west, Europeans were eager to discover and claim new lands. Explorers continued to venture to the New World.
Spanish and Portuguese settlements grew more established in Mexico and in Central and South America. Other nations set their sights on the rest of North America. Early on, many explorers still hoped to find the coveted sea route to China called the Northwest Passage. As time passed, no such route was found. Other opportunities came up, however. The New World proved to be rich in natural resources.