The Age of Discovery is a period that began in the early fifteenth century and continued through the seventeenth century. Three European explorers who came to North America during this period are as follows:
1. Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), a Venetian led a series of English expeditions into North America as there was hope of finding a Northwest Passage through the ocean to the East; however, no passage was ever found.
2. Another Italian, Giovannie Verranzzano, sponsored by Francois I of France, sailed to the Atlantic Coast from South Carolina to Newfoundland. Also, he is the first recorded European to have visited what later was called in the United States the Virginia Colony. His discoveries gave Great Britain its claim to North America. Here is an interesting footnote about Cabot:
It is customary to note the similarities in the lives and careers of Cabot and Columbus... born in the same Italian city at about the same time...both convinced foreign monarchs to back a search for a westward route to Asia. While Columbus achieved greater fame and fortune, he lived long enough to suffer greater disgrace. Cabot the explorer simply disappeared and left all controversy behind.
3. A very famous explorer, the Frenchman Jacques Cartier, who was believed to have accompanied Verranzzano to Nova Scotia, became the first European to explore inland in North America in 1534-1536. Cartier discovered the Saint Lawrence River Valley and named the area surrounding it "The Country of Canadas" and claimed the territory now known as Canada for Francois I. And, although colonization would not begin until much later, Cartier established France as a power in North America.