Was Christopher Columbus Really the First to Discover America?

Did Columbus find the Americas first?

The short answer is, "No." From a strictly Eurocentric point of view, the Vikings showed up about 500 years before Columbus did, if vastly farther north. Leif Eriksson is widely recognized as having reached North America around 1000 AD, and archaeologists found remnants of a Viking settlement in Canada (Newfoundland) in the mid 20th century that confirmed this historical reality. Given that Columbus did not arrive until 1492, the findings in Canada put the question neatly to rest for the academic and historical community.

Climate change and political/religious change are associated with the lack of continued Viking settlement into North America, but some suggest that trouble with the native Americans played a roll as well. An interesting movie called Pathfinder came out a few years ago that toyed with that idea, and it is at least plausible given the experience of later European arrivals.

Whether there was trouble with the indigenous population or not, the primary goal of this article is to answer the question: Was Columbus was the first one to "discover" the Americas? Surprisingly, many people still aren't sure who the first explorer to come from the Old World of Europe to the New World of America was, so to be clear, the facts regarding Columbus' having "discovered" America first are: No, he was not the first. It was Leif Eriksson that came from Europe to the Americas first.

Leif Erickson - History Channel Part 1

Leif Erickson - History Channel Part 2

Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus

Who Is Leif Eriksson?

Leif Eriksson was born in roughly 970 AD and was the son of another famous figure from Icelandic sagas, the Viking known as Erik the Red. It seems he must have had the genes for adventure and exploration. Given this temporal location, and the fact that, as most folks know, Columbus made his famous trip in 1492, the reality is pretty clear. It should also be pointed out that neither of them, Columbus nor Ericksson, is credited with the discovery of what would become the United States. Ericksson's arrival was very north and Columbus' much to the south.

Whether by accident, political agenda, or just lack of knowledge, Columbus is still taught in some places as the “discoverer” of America. He is not. It would be fair to say that he found it “again,” and it would even be fair to point out that he and the Scandinavians were not sharing notes on navigation, and arguably the information was “lost” to Europeans. So it’s not hard to see how it was believed to be Columbus for so long. But, with modern history and archaeology in play, it is quite time to put history in context and give Leif Eriksson his due. With no slight to Christopher Columbus meant at all, it is merely a matter of getting the facts as facts. (It is also another matter of conversation as to whether we can credit anyone with having "discovered" the Americas given that there were already people here, but that is a discussion for another time.)

However, if you want more information on Columbus, Leif Eriksson and the Vikings, or the Native Americans that were here when either of the first two arrived, dig in and do some research; it is a rich and fascinating subject that really has far more than what is typically taught in elementary, middle and high school. I've included in the link box below a great translation from "The Saga of Eric the Red" that will give you a nice taste of the interesting reading you have in store. However, there is tremendous amounts of information on this subject virtually everywhere, way too much to try to put into a single brief article as this was meant to be. So check your local library or any number of college or museum websites to learn more. There's a great story waiting for you out there.

(Not sure how to know what websites give you good, accurate info? Check out my hub on that very thing. If you check the first link I've included below with the second, you'll see what I mean.)

Leif Erikson Holiday

[This section is a revision to this article, dated 10/25/11.]

Leif Eriksson (Erikson) finally got his due. Released on October 13th of 2011 (a few years after this article was originally posted), President Obama gave Eriksson his own recognition, making October 9th the official Leif Erikson Day. (Links provided below).

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Great Viking movies - (Not so much education, but great entertainment for sure!)

Another great viking movie!

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Comments 75 comments

CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK

Saw an interesting TV movie about the Viking settlement in Greenland, which was pretty well established for a generation or two. It was starved out because they were farmers, and they didn't learn the lesson of the Native Americans around them, who were better equiped to deal with the environment. There's also a legend that some rogue Knight's Templars made it, but that's more speculative... What I want to know is where's the SF on your pages. I'm a great fan.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California Author

It is a fascinating subject, I would have gone into it more but there's already so much info on it it seemed silly to bother. As for the SF, not sure what that is LOL (I'm still learing)... but I'll find out and, erm, do whatever it is soon. I'm glad you are amused my my musings.


Riah Revlis profile image

Riah Revlis 8 years ago from California

Everybody knows it couldn't have been climate change, silly! There were no SUV's back then. But, heh, the idea is interesting. I was trying to think of a good movie to watch tonight and you inspired me! I love The Thirteenth Warrior!  "The dog can jump!" OMG An evening with Buliwyf, the most beautiful man on earth. (Please don't feel slighted here...you may be in the running, but I can only see your brain.) Thanks for the inspiration!

P.S. I want to know what an SF is also...


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California Author

I love that line about the jumping dog! I confess to that being my favorite movie of all time. It's in part why I decided to answer this question when I saw it on the Requests list, just because talking about vikings is fun. heh.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

I remember being told in grammar school that the Vikings had been to America earlier than Columbus, but, nevertheless, we were taught that Columbus discovered America. I believe it was maintained that there was no enough evidence to prove the Vikings had made any settlements. Thanks for answering the request. It is, indeed, an interesting topic. The only SF I know is San Francisco.


dutch84 profile image

dutch84 8 years ago

interesting hub


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California Author

Thanks Dutch. Vikings are a geeky weakness for me I think. Appreciate the read.


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 8 years ago from North Carolina

Interesting topic, I certainly agree Columbus didn't discover it first, it is silly to believe that, when he himself saw inhabitants before him when he landed first. Even his marine records show that.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California Author

Yes, but that opens up a whole different conversation about the land bridge and all that.  That discovery, if it happened like that, which is still not certain, would have taken place roughly 12,000 or so years ago if I remember correctly. 

There are movements in academia trying to push the East-to-West mindset out of dominance as there is an assumption by merely asking "who discovered America?" that America was not known all along by the people alread there.  Obviously anyone living in the Americas prior to the discovery of them by Eastern hemsiphere cultures would hardly consider some dude showing up in a boat as having validated their existence suddenly.  The  simple fact is, most of the literature and documented history has been written from the perspective of Europe and it's colonial progression.

However, this trend is changing a little as more and more literature is written or at least finally recognized that views the world from perspectives other than the European one.  Rather than a world view that can say "Columbus discovered America" there are more books being written from perspectives that say, "So this dude showed up in a ship..."

Maybe that's an idea for my next hub.  There's lots of great stuff out there to read.  Thanks for the idea.  lol


Dr. Jones 8 years ago

According the the current train of archaeological evidence, the Native Americans crossed over the Bearing Land Bridge from Siberia into Alaska approximately 21,000 years ago, thus being the first to discover North America. That was at the end of the last ice age. Unfortunately for them, there was a huge chunk of ice covering Canada and preventing them from getting into the Continental US. This pathway, or ice-free corridor as it is known in the archaeology world, opened up about 16,000 - 18,000 years ago (I don't have my books in front of me, so don't quote me on those dates), and they spilled out of Alaska to populate North America and South America.

While there is plenty of archaeological evidence to support this migration, there are some interesting anomalies in the mix. 1) Monte Verde - this archaeolgical site is one of the oldest in the New World outside of Alaska. Here's the rub, it is in the southern tip of Chile. Esentially for this site to have been populated by Siberians, they would have had to migrate 10,000 miles (as the crow flies) in about 1,000 years, a virtual sprint from the frozen tundra of AK, through the various lush habitats of the West Coast, past agave plants in Mexico, through Central America, over the Andes and all the way down to Chile. It stands to reason that maybe some cultures came over from Polynesia or South Africa.

Another interesting fact is that one of the oldest projectile point (what we archaeologist call arrow heads) is the Clovis point. Is found in greater concentrations along the east coast then the west. It also has a striking resemblence to the Solutrian points in Europe, but more than 5000 years before they are popular in the New World.

Lastly, there are too many biological and linguistic differences among the Native Americans to have all come from one location. Also how do Siberian cultures adapt to living in the deserts of Arizona or in the god-awful swampland of Florida in such a short period of time.

One assumption is that these early peoples did not have boats and had to walk to get where they were going. While no boats have been found, there is plenty of evidence of some sort of boat use around this time. I mean, how did the Native Australians get onto that big island. You can only do it by boat, there is no landbridge. So the initial discovers of North America could have had boats to move them selves along the coast line, making it easier to travel long distances. Also with the lower sea levels due to increased size in the ice caps, the distance would have been less and the ocean currents would have been quicker.

I have rambled on way to much.

Sorry,

Enjoy


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California Author

That's awesome, thanks for adding that kind of depth to this conversation.  I think that we're still looking at an issue of perspective as the term "discovered" implies certain things based on one's point of view.  I'm hammering out that article as we speak.  I'm very glad you wrote this (could have been your own hub and earned you a fortune in Adsense revenue someday).  No need apologize.

I believe I read that the Australians, or perhaps it was the New Zealanders, it's been a long long time, may have actually come from Polynesia. Wonder if that's true.

I took a history course at a local JC several years back taught by a Dr. Jones.  She was awesome, incredibly demanding but one of the best teachers I've ever had.   


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California Author

Oh, I didn't say what I meant to say, lol.  For me, I think the fact that the land bridge theory was so far ago that it has become completely absorbed by prehistory.  I mean, those people are the "native americans" so, I reckon they got here so long ago that "discovery" sort of doesn't count in quite the same way.  I mean, you can't really be a native of a land and the discoverer of the land too.  That discovery was in a different time, a different age. Ice Ages ago.  We all may have come from the same place if we go back long enough ago.  So, it becomes almost arbitrary where we draw our lines in time.


Dr. Jones 8 years ago

While it is true that the 20,000 plus years between the red and white man "discovery" of the New World (sorry for the un-PC way of saying that, but it kind of helps drive the point home, and it groups the vikings and Columbus into the same category) does lend validity to the later's discovery, it also proves the ethnocentric view of our society. "No way those primative savages could have done this. Look at them, they are not white and can't even build big boats with canons." But then again no body talks about who discovered Europe, because those writing the history books were in Europe, their ancestors discocovered it, so it was really a moot point.

Do you think the Native American groups have this discussion?

"Gee, Running Bear, do you think the Vikings discovered North American before Columbus?"

"Yes, Sitting Bull, I do. I also wish our Caribbean bretheren would have killed that Italian prick (remember Columbus was Italian, not Spanish) like our brothers did to those blonde headed bastards in Canada, eh."


Dr. Jones 8 years ago

BTW Shades, I do agree with you that time makes a huge difference. I went off on a devil's advocate tangent. I think in another 20,000 years (if we as a species can make it that long) the discovery of the New World will be a moot point. Actually I think it will take less time than that. All it will take is for us to discover a new "Earth" and this debate will go by the waysides.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California Author

I couldn't agree with you more, Dr. Jones; in fact I'm just about done with a new article on that very thing.  You might get a kick out of my little cartoon that, I hope, embodies your short dialogue up there.  And I make reference to the "discovery" of America being like me showing up at your house, planting my flag on your lawn and declaring that I had just discovered your house.  Probably wouldn't be a big deal if nobody listened, but if they started writing books and teaching everyone that that's how it went, it might start to piss you off after awhile.  Thanks for your posts again, I think this conversation needs to be had more often in schools.  It's happening more and more, but, probably way more slowly than it should.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

The truth is, Shadesbreath, that it shouldn't be surprising that Americans would claim that Europeans "discovered" America. It's the age-old custom of "to the victor belongs the spoils." Those who settled America had little-to-no respect for those they found living here, so why would they honor them by giving them credit for having settled the land first? History is written by the victors -- those in power. The number of controversies in history are legion -- including whether Abner Doubleday invented baseball or who was "first in flight." With time, the truth may be universally recognized.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California Author

Yes decades and even centuries work for human history like moments and eye blinks do in our individual lives. They say hindsight is 20-20, and generally it is, but that clarity of vision usually only comes with suitable distance from the event. And it is a certainty that history is written by the victor. That's how the movie Braveheart opens, I always appreciated how that was pointed out. Thanks for your remarks.


Tom Cruise 7 years ago

CHICKEN!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California Author

Yes, they say almost everything tastes like it. Thanks for your valuable comment.


josh 7 years ago

dude this shit stinks rong info bud


josh 7 years ago

fuck this web site its bullshit piece of shit i need more bitches u basterds!!!!!!!!!!!!


josh 7 years ago

just kidding but its rong info!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California Author

Well it's clear you are not only articulate and a comedic wit, but better versed in history than I: Please feel free to elucidate us all on your particular version of history. I can't speak for everyone, but I am sure I'm not alone in awaiting it eagerly.


t.keeley profile image

t.keeley 7 years ago from Seattle, WA

Use to be eeply into Noric mythology. It's a very fascinating ancient culture, in my opinion far more so than Greece or Rome were (which I feel were rather overrated). Viking and Celtic lore topple about anything in the history books as far as sheer mystery is concerned. Passing tales and stories thru lore makes them much harder to figure out than Rome, who wrote everything down!


Benson Yeung profile image

Benson Yeung 7 years ago from Hong Kong

Hi Shades. Thanks for the superb live demo on how to moderate comments come what may. I always knew you were good. Now I have proof that you ARE great.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California Author

Yeah, definitely a cool culture.  I have some Danish ancestry, so I have enjoyed reading about Vikings through the years.  Their decendents still thrive today, quietely succesful and content.

Thanks Benson. I think the comments are half the fun of hubpages. The only ones I delete are the ones that are selling something or linking to their site or hub in a most spamalicious way.


nnmnkoki 7 years ago

ju qifsha ropt ne pidh


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California Author

I agree. Rarely a day goes by where I don't say that very thing.


ARJANIT 7 years ago

KRISTOFOR COLOMBO


gda 7 years ago

nana juv ju qift


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California Author

Man, I am so glad I finally started getting deep and introspective comments on this hub.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa

Hi Shades Nice to link with you again. Great topic spawning (mostly) intelligent comments. But it begs the question (ha) is there intelligent life on this planet (or continent not sure which).


sbeakr 7 years ago

Genoese: Christoffa Corombo

Spanish: Cristóbal Colón

Latin: Christophorus Columbus

I heard somewhere a long time ago that we use the name Columbus because most folks thought the dude was Spanish and were highly disinclined to attribute the early founding of America to a guy named Colon.

True or not...still damn funny!!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California Author

Yes, that would be awkward in modern times. lol. Funny, but awkward. School children and immature people like me would titter every time we said it.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Quality Hub, Shades - I am a Viking geek, too, so appreciated that one. A touch of Norwegian blood somewhere in the lineage.

Not going into the whole 'discovered' debate, but there is some evidence that an Irish Monk named Brendan may have been the first documented European to set foot in the Americas. The Irish certainly occupied Iceland before the Norse found it. Sorry for the wiki link, but it is late here!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brendan


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California Author

That's awesome, Sufi. I never heard that name before. I checked out the wiki article.. jotted down some names. Will have to look into that in some more academic sources and see what's up. Good stuff. Thanks!!!


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

No worries - if you can get hold of the book 'The Brendan Voyages,' by Tim Severin, it is a good read. Severin and Thor Heyerdahl were two of my childhood heroes!


Aishah Bowron 7 years ago

I don’t like Christopher Columbus, because he is an evil blood-thirsty tyrant and he butchered and murdered hundreds of thousands of people he called Indians because he thought he sailed to the East Indies. He and his men would chop the Indian bodies up and feed them to their horses. There is even a public holiday in his honour which I want to see abolished. I wished he wasn;t born centuries ago and he should have hanged for his crimes. He is a genocidal mass murderer possessed by the Devil. It is a joke that we had to learn about him in history class. Columbus brought back Indians to Spain to show the queen that he had been to the Indies and really he is a liar because he didn’t reach the Far East at all. The English, French, Dutch and Swedish explorers of America were peaceful people who traded with the Indians and left them alone and they didn‘t kill the Indians and were not greedy for gold. Columbus did not discover America, the Vikings did. Leif Eriksson reached the North American continent and is the rightful discoverer of America, Columbus is a usurper.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California Author

Well, that's a lot of hate you got going there towards a guy who's been dead for 500 years. But, absurd claims aside, you are right he certainly was no saint, not in his own time, and even less so if held to today's morality (which I usually find annoying, but that's another topic all together).


gerson 6 years ago

i knew it my teacher siad it was cristopher but she is wrong i believe it even though the internet lies most of the time i can't believe i did this in school


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

You can poke around and do a little further checking and you will see that this is verified by many credible sources. Find sources that have url's with .edu at the end of them, and you'll have universities backing me up.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago

Christopher Columbus was by no means the first to 'discover' America, as it's been said the Vikings made it here long before Columbus. They actually found Viking coins and some structures. Ironically the Vikings saw no potential in the Americas and abandoned it. There was a movie that incorporated this into its plot...I think it was called Pathfinder.

PS Columbus was a plague to the continent.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Thanks, Lweinberg for commenting. And, yeah, I've got some links to the Pathfinder movie and trailer at the bottom of the article, it's a fun movie to watch. As far as the "no potential" thing, the effort required to continue exploration, given the increasing cold (global cooling would be the PC term for the period if we had modern political structures in place back then), made the undertaking prohibitive. I have never read anything that suggests they didn't want to explore, only that it appears to have been too difficult and dangerous given the dropping temperatures making the route longer and, possibly, native American confrontation too. I'd be interested in knowing your sources as I love to read up on this topic.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago

Dang, I totally mistyped what I meant. I meant to see that the Vikings didn't care to expand further west into the Americas. Ironically, I didn't realize how much the confrontations with the Natives had in their abandoning their settlements. After reading an article from Smithsonian.com it seems the Natives were more aggressive than I thought. Apparently, a mass grave of Viking warriors had been found. Here's the website for the Smithsonian (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/...?)

I spoke before getting all the info. My bad =P


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Wow, that sounds awesome. Im' off to read about that. Thanks. I love that stuff. I just read about the lost civilization they think might be under the Persian Gulf recently too. Exciting stuff.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago

Oh wow! I'm going to have to check out that. I read the other day they found a secret lake or oasis in Egypt, I didn't get a chance to read the full article. I published a hub you might like. It's about all this ancient history that alleges aliens had been here. There's a really creepy Mayan figurine that really does look like a modern day astronaut. It's a very odd subject. Here's the link http://hubpages.com/education/Ancient-Astronauts-D...


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

You know it's funny you picked that one to link. Last night when I got home, I came in here while waiting for my wife to get read and I clicked over to your profile to check out some of your hubs. That's the one I picked out and started reading. We left before I was done (I got to the Nazca lines part when she hollered, "Okay, let's go," ... the tab is still open as I intend to finish it when I get done with comments and emails and all that rot. So, clearly we are on the same page just now. Literally. lol. Cheers.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago

lol Thanks. Monuments like the Nazca lines are the ones that I really can't figure out!


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

I Gareth Pritchard do declare that I have just discovered the discussion to be far more interesting than the original Hub content. A fine example of all answers being in dialogue and thanks so much to you all for the opportunity.

Gareth.

PS. Shadesbreath without the initial effort from you it could not and would not have taken place so thanks again.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

I agree with you that this conversation is cool. I'm just glad to be part of the dialogue. Thanks for reading through everything and commenting.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago

It was a great jumping-off point!


frikadella profile image

frikadella 5 years ago

It's weird.. I am from Iceland and we are always told "Yeah.. So, everybody says that Columbus discovered the Americas, but Leifur Eiríksson was there first. So there you have that kids! But if you are asked in an exam who discovered the Americas, say Columbus." It's quite weird.

And also.. I lived in Mexico for a year, and went to a museum dedicated to the discovery of the Americas and Leifur wasn't mentioned at all.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Hi Frikadella. I think Leif's problem was his record keeping. He just wasn't diligent about jotting down notes and preserving them for posterity. So, basically, by running a poor media campaign, he allowed himself to be outplayed by good old C.C. I got to tell you, though, I'm with you on my surprise at how little effort seems to be being made about correcting the error. I imagine its because if they change the story now, Columbus will only have stories about regarding the death and misery that followed his arrival, tales of conquest and all that terrible stuff to focus on since that is what passes for history these days.


kristian gonzalez 4 years ago

i say that christopher colombus was dome and stupid


Nino 4 years ago

I emphatically disagree. From an historical perspective, the "discovery of America" is one of the most momentous occasions in the history of civilisation, for good or evil. It marked the beginning of our global era, for good or evil. Europeans, first, then the rest of the world, discovered such fundamental staples as potatoes, corn, tomatoes, cocoa. The extraction of gold and silver bullion, in unprecedented quantities, set the foundations of Western capitalism, as we know it. Again, I'll let you decide whether this was good or bad. Europeans exported into the Americas diseases, slavery and exploitation, but also Western science and industry, literacy, the print and the gospel. The world changed entirely and irreversibly. And all these changes started right after Columbus, under Spanish royal patronage, hit some Caribbean islands in 1492. History is not the Guinness book of records.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

Yes, kristian, others have commented on how dome colombus was as well. Probably. Well, I'm not actually sure. But maybe. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Nino: I'm not sure what you disagree with exactly, but I think I understand your point. I agree with you that Columbus' arrival in the Americas did indeed bring about the changes you suggest. My point was not to suggest that the past did not take place, merely to make some technical corrections regarding a very specific question that has only one correct answer. You may have noted in the article I have also even questioned the use of the term "discovered" as that implies something in itself. How does one discover something if there are already people there? That opens up a conversation about social constructs, nationalism, and all sorts of other things. But, your point is valid, there is more to history than simple facts. That's the difference between a history book and an article like this meant for simple but factual clarity.


Turtlelover 4 years ago

I like turtles


hayley 4 years ago

i think he schould not get full credit i think it schould be like Exporer day or something like that any1 agree.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

Turtlelover, it's nice to know you are still out there spreading the turtle love.

Hayley, that is an awesome idea. We could honor the courage and vision of Columbus, but also give a nod to Eriksson and even Cortez, De Gama, Magellan, Balboa, Polo and who knows who all else. It might even turn into a fun costume holiday, really spice up October.


Alexander Shaw profile image

Alexander Shaw 4 years ago

I do believe that the vikings were pesent in the Americas but there is no subtantial information to prove such claim. I would rather to have a document to read with concrete evidence, so i can be convinced.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

Hi Alexander Shaw. I appreciate your critical eye. It's good to ask for better evidence than just what Google serves up easily. In the "Other Resources" section at the bottom of this article are some good links for you, a federal site, 2 universities, and some credible historical .com sites. I've added the recent Presidential decree in acknowledgement of the timeline for Eriksson's journey (you'll notice in the first line President Obama credits the journey as having taken place "over a millennium ago" placing it neatly around the 1000 AD mark I mentioned as being widely agreed upon). Additionally, the third link takes you to another university site with some interesting stuff, peer reviewed for your further perusal. Hopefully, this will be enough to get you to at least consider that the history and archaeology being done around Eriksson is all credible.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.


Jake 4 years ago

uygkitgiuygik


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

Jake, I believe that is precisely what the first native said to Columbus when he showed up. It translates roughly to, "WTF are you doing planting that flag on our beach?"


jennie 4 years ago

thehell with christopher columbus, who wants to celebrate, get him off the calendar.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

Hi Jennie. I have to say, from my experience, you are correct, not many want to celebrate. The holiday reflects a time when American culture reflected on its history much positively than it does today (or I suppose the proper way to say that is "white people in North America"). Since the 1960s, the push to replace institutional patriotism with institutional self-loathing is nearing completion. It's too bad the historical pendulum has to swing so blindly from one end of the spectrum to the other, but, alas, it does. So, one decade Columbus is a hero, another decade he is the harbinger of evil. I think as a nation, even as a hemisphere, we need some perspective on our perspectives, else we're doomed to regret all success and spend eternity trying the impossible task of repairing the past.


ashna sambhar profile image

ashna sambhar 4 years ago

nice!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

Thanks, ashna.


ata1515 profile image

ata1515 4 years ago from Buffalo, New York.

Neat hub. The writing on your hub really drew me in even though I already knew about the topic. Also, your replies to the trolls in the comments are hilarious. Thanks for the fun!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

Trolls are the most enjoyable part of the Internet if you approach them from the right direction, even more fun than kitten pictures and porn. I'm sarcastic by nature and nothing works as well for setting up a joke like a troll.


waka waka its a troll 4 years ago

Haha lol dont we all at least have little internet troll blood in us. After all wouldn't we not be human if we didn't feel the need to share our personal believes to supposedly better mankind. Anyway here's my two cents, who the hell knows when America was discovered and by whom for that matter. Could have been just one person or wait maybe a group sold those rights to someone else. Point is you'll never know for fact and any supposed evidence could only prove to be worthless.

Well love you all please post your worst. Im ready for it. Hahahahaha


lamia 4 years ago

Was columbus a dick, dont know. How reliable are our history books.

Ok kiddies today today you will learn a theory of how columbus discovered America and why he should be worshipped as a great man.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

Well, Waka Waka Troll, we do all have our beliefs, and, since we only get this one pass on the planet that we know of anyway, why not share your beliefs, eh? I suppose you are right we don't know anything, at least in a manner of speaking, but we do have some data that is pretty well supported by credible people who are doing the work and the research to get closer and closer to the "truth" as best as we can determine the facts and events based on the evidence. I mean, yes, we can dismiss everything if you like, nihilism is fun to play with, especially as a drinking game of sorts, but, in the end, I think it's probably more reasonable to assume that what reasonable, honest, hard working people have found in the historical documents and archaeology is probably worth giving more credit than total dismissal. Total dismissal in favor of "we'll never know" seems far less reasonable to me.

Lamia: Not sure about the worship thing. I've never seen any kind of worship or edicts of adoration anywhere, just some outdated history books that have some but not all of the information present, or at least not interpreted/explained very thoroughly. I have actually seen more the opposite, as college courses at some schools are filled with hatred and condemnation for Columbus, favoring a full swing to the other end of the P.C. spectrum, gone from "worship" as you call it to essentially presenting Columbus as the most foul and villainous demon to ever live. Not everyone, fortunately, invests so much emotional energy into it, and some can place history in a more intellectual context.


Harry 4 years ago

Ever watch severed ways. Interesting independent film. First time i watched it i was sick with pneumonia and on some good drugs. Anyway, not much of a plot, but it got me thinking about how vast an area the vikings had probably explored around that time.

Just food for thought.


Harry 4 years ago

I guess you could say someone from scandinavia got the idea to go ape@#$% one day and become a conqueror like Alexander and spread there culture. Vikings can be considered a mixed breed just seperated by Norse beliefs.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

Hi Harry. I haven't watched that movie... yet. I just Googled it (http://www.severedways.com/) and checked out the trailer. Hard to tell if it will be good or painful, but probably worth a shot. Thanks for the heads up.

As for the mixed breed thing, I think the whole idea of race is pretty random. To count as one, you have to decide which point in time you are going to draw an arbitrary-seeming line for when a certain group became a race, and another line for when they stopped being one and anyone else coming in was bringing "other" genes. Human evolution, at least everything I've read, seems to be less tidy than that. So, I like your idea of "mixed breed" as separated (and defined, perhaps) by a set of beliefs.

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