Spain's Explorations The voyages of Christopher Columbus led to Spanish colonization in the Americas. Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro conquered vast areas in Mexico and South America. The Aztec and Incan empires were destroyed. West Africans suffered greatly when they were brought to the Americas as slaves.
Other European Explorations England, France, and the Netherlands sent explorers to North America. The expeditions of Henry Hudson were the basis of Dutch land claims in what is now the Hudson River Valley and English land claims in Canada.