From the 15th through 17th centuries, Europe sought to expand its power and riches through a rigorous exploration of the world.
Driven by the desire for raw materials, new trading outlets, and cheap labor, Europeans initiated an extensive slave trade out of West Africa.
Initial voyages to the New World by Columbus spurred an era of exploration and invasion by other European empires.
European exploration and invasion of the Americas brought with them many foreign diseases, causing widespread depopulation among indigenous cultures.
From the 15th century onward, European nations invaded the New World and began establishing empires throughout the continent.
Beginning in the late 15th century, European powers initiated a period of vigorous exploration and invasion into the "New World."