The History Of USA And The New World Through Its Ancient Maps
The Waldseemueller Map, the Carta Marina
Introduction: A 500-Year-Old Map
Controversy in the Discovery of America and the Subsequent Founding of the United States of America.
This US History is an incredibly large undertaking. Here is a beginning, with an introduction about the earliest foundations of the USA; namely, the discovery of the American Continents, on which our country's European and African ancestors settled and met the Native North Americans. Incidentally, out Constitutional Republic is based on the ancient democracy of the Iroquois Confederation.
North American history is fascinating. For example:
- Our Cajuns are the French who came down to Louisiana from Nova Scotia. Some stayed in Canada many years after they were officially expelled.
- Did you realize that a portion the Cherokee Nation at one time owned Black slaves? - and that the tribe has now ejected the descendants of those people from their nation in 2012?
- That some nations of the Iroquois Confederation owned black slaves?
- Blacks in the South sometimes joined the Seminole Nation in Florida.
Old Map Of the New World
How the Waldseemueller Map Was Made
By Chet Van Duzer and John Hessler
- Crafting the Carta Marina printed in 1516, Waldseemueller abandoned older sources of information for contemporary nautical charts, maps of maritime regions, and coastline mapss that explorers on the sea actually would have used.
Discoveries Of a New World
In April, 2007, German Chancellor Angela Merkel officially presented the United States of America with a copy of a 500-year-old global map from 1507 AD that was the first to show the world a New World called America.
Library of Congress historians stated that the world map, completed by a German-born cleric and cartographer, Martin Waldseemueller, is the first known document to employ the name America. It seems the first to depict the Western Hemisphere as such and the first to show separate oceans in the Pacific and Atlantic.
The New World territories were named for Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. We've heard before, in grammar school, that an Americus Vespucious discovered North America to be a new continent, rather than Christopher Columbus.The first New World explorers, we were told, had been Vikings in far northern North America and John Cabot (Newfoundland).
The old map, printed the year after the death of Christopher Columbus, invoked the written accounts by Italian merchant Amerigo Vespucci. He deduced that land to the west of Europe may be separate and not truly the eastern coast of Asia, as Columbus believed.
Waldseemueller paid homage to Vespucci by adapting his first name to label the new land as separate from Asia. The Waldseemueller global gore map is black print on paper that is 15 inches wide and less than 10 inches high, so it is small.
The controversy is that the word "America," placed over a small sliver of land marked a major paradigm shift in the European world view. The map maker changed his mind and crossed out, or left off of new copies, the name America.
The map was sectioned into a series of shapes called gores, which allow it to be formed into a sphere the size of a softball. This showed that the world is not flat! For the first time, the map projects the Earth in a full 360 degrees of latitude.
James Ford Bell, of the University of Minnesota's James Ford Bell Library, purchased the map in 1954. He did not disclose what he paid, but based on a similar document auctioned in 2005, the Waldseemueller map is valued at over $1 million. Other sources states that map is worth over $10,000,000.
Discovery Of a Comprehensive Map
In December 2007, the ancient map went on permanent display at the Library of Congress. Now the world can see the beginnings of America, which is also the beginnings of the United States, Canada, and the other nations of the Western Hemisphere. It also marks the European First Contact with Native Americans and First Nations, as well as Indigenous Peoples in the southern half of the Western Hemisphere.
- Is this really why he changed mind?
- Moreover, how did he draw South America so accurately? The shape of South America is correct and the width at key points is within 70 miles of spot on.
- Why did he put a huge ocean west of America long before it was discovered? Vasco Nunez de Balboa did not reach the Pacific until 1513, and Ferdinand Magellan did not round the southern tip of South America until 1520. Where did the mapmaker get his information?
The old map is built in 12 sheets, purchased from German Prince Johannes Waldburg-Wolfegg for $10 million in 2003.
The dozen sheets are mounted in a 6-foot by 9.5-foot (1.85 meter by 2.95 meter) display case machined from a single block of aluminum. This is an impressive beginning and an impressive record of the discovery a New World.
Ptolemy World Map
Madrid's Old Map Of the World
Another copy of this ancient map was previously stolen along with several other valuable old maps from Spain, from Madrid's national library. The theft of the maps caused a national outrage that cost the head of the national library, Rosa Regàs, her job amid accusations that the government was not doing enough to protect its national heritage.
César Goméz Rivero, a Uruguayan-born Spanish citizen in South America, sent his lawyer to negotiate immunity in exchange for returning eight of the 19 maps he still had in his possession. Truly, a controversy surrounding the Waldseemueller map and its copies, if still extant, is the center of intrigue surrounding the country of America and her beginnings in the New World.
Gaven Menzies and Older World Maps
Chinese Old World Map, circa 1400 AD Or Earlier
Zheng He was a Chinese Muslim eunuch and a famous explorer. He was sent to explore other nations and continents by his country's government, especially in Africa and the Middle East. However, an old map with accurate information for Peru long before European explorers and possibly the Scandinavians encountered the New World.
Author and historian Gavin Menzies feels that the Chinese actually arrived in the Western Hemisphere 40,000 years ago. This fits with the DNA evidence supporting theories that Asians were the ancestors of Native North, South, and Central Americans, these Asians traveling across the Bering Strait in either one or two waves of ingress - approximately 12,000 - 14,000 years ago and 40,000 or more years ago. Zheng He may have been the first Asian to cross over and make a map of the new landscape.
© 2007 Patty Inglish MS