The first Europeans to arrive in North America were Norse, traveling west from Greenland, where Erik the Red had founded a settlement around the year 985. In 1001 his son Leif is thought to have explored the northeast coast of what is now Canada and spent at least one winter there. While Norse sagas suggest that Viking sailors explored the Atlantic coast of North America down as far as the Bahamas, such claims remain unproven.
The early 1600's saw the beginning of a great tide of emigration from Europe to North America. Spanning more than three centuries, this movement grew from a trick…
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