So, Who Did Discover America?

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So, Who Did Discover America?

Postby Peter1469 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:35 pm

So, Who Did Discover America?

It is well known that Columbus was not the first person from Europe to reach the Americas. This article covers Norse and Islamic sources.

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Among these adventurers Leif Ericson (970-1020), the son of Eric the Red (c.950-1003), who had discovered Greenland, entered the history books for his sighting of Vinland in about 1000. True, one saga from 1387 states that a certain Bjarni, Son of Herjulf, had beaten Leif to Vinland, having been blown off course and sighted land there as early as 985-6. But no further support for the Bjarni claim has turned up.

Just what is meant, then, by this Norse ‘discovery’ of North America? Leif Ericson was a Christian missionary who had been sent to Greenland by King Olaf I of Norway (r.995-1000) with orders to bring the faith to settlements there. On the return voyage his boat was blown so far south that he was brought within view of Nova Scotia. The authors of the Norse sagas, amazed that he survived this adventure, dubbed him ‘Leif the Lucky’.

Except for Ericson, most of the other Norsemen who made contact with North America were traders by profession. Had their commercial interests fared better, they might have given the continent a second look, but they didn’t. Their one serious venture onto North American territory resulted in a fight with native Americans, after which they quickly fled to their boats. The southernmost confirmed evidence of Vikings in the New World was discovered in 1960 at L’Anse aux Meadows, on the northern tip of Newfoundland.


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L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada...

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Re: So, Who Did Discover America?

Postby MisterD » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:30 pm

That Columbus was not the first person to lay eyes on America was never doubted. How could it have been? There were millions of people living here. What is meant by "discovery" is a lasting or permanent relationship between the Old World and the New. Columbus did in fact discover America. Theories about the Norse, for example, are interesting and testify to the human spirit of adventure but the adventures of the Norse in America carry no where near the same significance as the Columbian voyages.

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Re: So, Who Did Discover America?

Postby Peter1469 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:44 pm

True. That is what makes Columbus special- his discovery hooked Europeans.

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Re: So, Who Did Discover America?

Postby Adelaide » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:48 pm

I know in the Canadian maritime provinces there is proof of Vikings. I think it dates back much older than the French or British. Haven't really kept up on theories since I left high school, but I know recently there was fairly significant proof that the native population did not cross the Bering crossing as previously thought - think I posted it elsewhere.

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Re: So, Who Did Discover America?

Postby Peter1469 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:55 pm

There is good evidence that the Vikings got into what is Michigan today.

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Re: So, Who Did Discover America?

Postby MisterD » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:04 pm

Adelaide wrote:I know in the Canadian maritime provinces there is proof of Vikings. I think it dates back much older than the French or British. Haven't really kept up on theories since I left high school, but I know recently there was fairly significant proof that the native population did not cross the Bering crossing as previously thought - think I posted it elsewhere.


I don't think the fact that the Norse settled in what is not Greenland and Canada is in serious dispute at this point but it's unclear how far south they sailed. I doubt we will ever know but it's conceivable they explored much of the eastern seaboard.

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Re: So, Who Did Discover America?

Postby Common » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:32 pm

MisterD wrote:That Columbus was not the first person to lay eyes on America was never doubted. How could it have been? There were millions of people living here. What is meant by "discovery" is a lasting or permanent relationship between the Old World and the New. Columbus did in fact discover America. Theories about the Norse, for example, are interesting and testify to the human spirit of adventure but the adventures of the Norse in America carry no where near the same significance as the Columbian voyages.


Exactly what I thought when reading peters post. He may not have been the first one here but hes the first one to make a lasting impact and leave a mark in history

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Re: So, Who Did Discover America?

Postby Peter1469 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:31 pm


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Re: So, Who Did Discover America?

Postby UncleRansom » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:23 am

There were not 'millions' here when the Vikings got here, we'd see more evidence had there been that many.

I mean....who cares who got here first. Who staked claim to it and why much more important.

Thank God for Neocon Thomas Jefferson. The ultimate Nation building, occupation themed, Neocon. Our 3rd President.

And a mention to his Secretary, Captain Lewis.

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Re: So, Who Did Discover America?

Postby Archer » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:47 am

Who discovered America? There is evidence that island hopping Negroids/Australoid (I use that term because they were island hopping, coast skirting blacks that had been long removed from Africa) were here in the times of the initial mongoloid movement to the south. There is some (little) evidence that they were killed of and/or bread out of existence.

But we need to really think about how we talk about this, the Caucasoid did not just find America, they came with intent! The other races were wandering in search of resources and really did not recognize many of the concepts of ownership we have today.

Any of them (other than Caucasoid) actually DISCOVER the Americas? No! They stumbled upon it or found some things but they really did not KNOW. Well we will say that it was Europeans because there is enough evidence to say the Vikings did know about it and even may have known what it was.


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