Discover North America
Europeans discovered North America, Aboriginal
peoples were trading everything from copper tools to
pottery. But trade really took off after Europeans made contact!
In 1492 Christopher Columbus landed in North America, looking for
a way to China. He and many others thought that there must be a
way to reach China by sailing west, instead of around Africa. These
explorers did not realize how big North America was, so kept looking
for a way through the continent. One way they looked was north.
believe that fishermen and other travelers reached the coast
of North America long before Columbus, looking for fish. They
may have also traded furs. If so, they kept it a secret so nobody
else could profit from their discovery. The fur trade between
Europeans and Aboriginals may even have begun before the year
1400 - 100 years before Columbus reached America!
Cartier set sail from France hoping to find the Northwest
Passage. Explorers hoped it would lead them over North America to
China. Instead, Cartier landed on the rocky shores of Labrador.
He found the land to be harsh and uninviting.
continued his journey and stopped at the Gaspé Peninsula
in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. There he claimed the land for France
and met some First
Nations people. They traded furs for knives.
were explorers looking for the Northwest Passage?
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