Why is Christopher Colombus important to America?

The Italian sailor, Christopher Colombus, was important to the Western Hemisphere that due to the discoveries a whole new world was opened for Europe for colonization.

It's important to note that although Lief Erickson is believed to be the first man to "find the New World" , nothing became of his discoveries. The voyages of Colombus beginning in 1492, were significant as Europe made use of his voyages to form their own colonies in the Western Hemisphere.