European contacts with at least North America reach back to earlier than this period. Vikings, and then Breton and Basque fishermen had been along the coastline and had entered into relations with Native peoples. However, it was the contacts at the end of the 15th century that led to a global world system, the discovery of truly global commerce, and lasting impact and changes for all involved.
The Requerimiento was an early attempt to legitimize the imposition of European control, as were early land deeds. However, contacts went both ways, and Native people soon also discovered Europe.
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 marked the ascent of Britain and set the tone for future Anglo-Saxon, including American policies toward American Indian nations.