When John Cabot’s ship reached the Newfoundland coast in 1497 he was amazed at the fantastic amount of fish existing in those waters. His account of the vast quantities of cod that could be caught simply by lowering a bucket over the side and scooping them up soon brought fishermen of other countries to the area. When Jacques Cartier explored Canada he was similarly impressed by the richness of the country and particularly mentioned the maize, or Indian corn. Early settlers send back timber and rich pelts, but the two most important products brought to the Old World from the New were potatoes and tobacco. Both were introduced into Europe by the Spanish: potatoes from Peru and tobacco from Mexico. They were later brought to Queen Elizabeth’s court by Sir Walter Raleigh.
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