The phenomenon of the "white Mughals" represented a "succession of unexpected and unplanned minglings of peoples and cultures and ideas". In the 12th century the region of Flanders, Hainault and Braband produced the finest quality textiles in northern Europe, which encouraged merchants from Genoa and Venice to sail there directly.
King Ferdinand thought Columbus might find something that could give the Spanish an opportunity to compete with their neighbor and rival Portugal.
From the 16th century and to a greater degree from the late 18th century onward, an increasing volume of images, narrated accounts, and literature of various kinds disseminated information about, and impressions of, the Far East throughout Europe.
InJean Ribault headed an expedition that explored the St. Although the Vikings never returned to America, other Europeans came to know of their accomplishments. Those who benefited most were merchants who sat astride the great overland trade routes, especially the merchants of the Italian city-states of Genoa, Venice, and Florence.
Continental North American settlements were small and did not develop into permanent colonies.