Identify the maritime powers of Europe as they were known at the beginning of the European age of exploration and colonization. 

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Students of world history, as well as American history, will likely recognize some of the names linked with exploration of the world by the powers most dominating the high seas in the mid-twentieth century.  Those who dominated the seas had access to the greatest products, income, and increasingly, exploration.  Portugal and Spain are generally given credit for the earliest expeditions, headed up by one Prince Henry the Navigator, Vasco De Gama, Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan; these gentlemen explored areas as varied as the coast of Africa (Prince Henry) and the tip of South America (Magellan).  Columbus, of course, is famous (or infamous) for attempting to find Asia and beginning the genocide of North American natives instead.  France and England got into the act a bit later, France sailing to explore Canada, England to explore, and then establish colonies, on the northeast coast of North America. 

etotheeyepi | Student

Italian City States: Genoa, Venice

Portugal: Mozambique, Goa, Macao

Basques: Technically part of France or Spain.  Conducted fishing in Canada

Spain: New Spain, New Grenada, Philippine Islands

Netherlands: New Amsterdam and Jakarta

France: Quebec and Caribbean colonies

England: New England, Caribbean colonies, etc

Sweden:The state of Delaware began as a Swedish Colony

Denmark: Danish Antilles