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Old July 11th, 2006, 08:21 PM   #1
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Who really discovered North America?


This has been debated for sometime. I think most are starting to believe that the Vikings indeed did find North America first before Christopher Columbus. Then why are we still teaching children in schools that Columbus found North America first? I just donít understand why, if we have all this evidence?
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Old July 13th, 2006, 06:58 AM   #2
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I often wonder the same thing. Recently I saw a show I believe on History Channel that talked about finding stones similar to the anchors used for boats in the Mediterranean in the Caribbean. They say the stones dated back to the B.C.

But they do seem to have more evidence currently about the vikings visiting here before Columbus.
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Old July 13th, 2006, 07:33 AM   #3

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Columbus


Columbus is the guy who gets the credit because it was his REDISCOVERY that actually led to someting. What the Vikings did, led to nothing.

The real question in fact should be what "European" discovered the Americas? There were plenty of folks here when the Vikings and Chris got here. The place had already been discovered.

But again, the Viking finding of the North American land mass led to noting while Columbus' rediscover led to what most scholars feel is the greatest event in human history...the mass redistribution of people throughout the world, the extermination of peoples and their cultures and the establishment of Europeans as the dominant culture of the world. It mattered what Columbus did. It didn't matter what the Vikings did....when it comes to the Americas.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 08:13 PM   #4

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Re: Who really discovered North America?


Quote:
Originally Posted by n1ck
This has been debated for sometime. I think most are starting to believe that the Vikings indeed did find North America first before Christopher Columbus. Then why are we still teaching children in schools that Columbus found North America first? I just donít understand why, if we have all this evidence?
maybe it's too costly to rewrite history book. I have to believe that students in today's classrooms are not being taught that columbus and only columbus found America. Along with the vikings, there are claims that the Chinese discovered America by sailing East across the Pacific nearly 200 years before Columbus.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 09:28 AM   #5
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I would like to first say that I don't celebrate Columbus Day! Columbus commited genocide and took advantage of a civilization that was willing to help him. I say Leif Ericson discovered and the Vikings discovered North America.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 10:26 AM   #6
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I am confused


I don't understand many of these responses in that, the question is "Who really discovered North America?"

The answers given are all about Europeans discovering the Americas and, if the Vikings were in deed here before. But as has been pointed out in several posts, there already were people here before the Europeans arrived. Many archeologists and many historians lean toward South Pacific Islanders or people from the Asian continent: The Bering Straight idea having been given up some 15 - 20 years now. (See "Modern Times, From Alchemy To Atoms", International Civilization Press, 2003)

So, if you are all just going to concentrate on the Europeans, then it appears that Vikings were here before Columbus but Phoenician coins have been found along the Atlantic rim and that might indicate Carthaginians.....thus they were the first Europeans if you include those Carthaginians from Spain and the Mediterranian islands.

Maybe this is what you people are being taught in high school, but you will find as your studies grow that what is taught at the higher level, and generally agreed upon is that Pacific islanders, followed by some Asiatic discovered and colonized the Americas. Some many centuries later, Phoenicians, then even later, Vikings arrived. As neither of those groups really accomplished anything of lasting value, Columbus arriving in the late 15th century is the main focus of discovery because his arrival had lasting impact on the entire world and ushered in the age of European expansion.

As for judging Columbus, well first he didnít annihilate all those people by himself. He had plenty of help from the Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, English and others. It was a European inflicted genocide, not a Columbus inspired genocide. Do you think those Vikings came here and made buddies with the local populations? If so, it was first time they made friends with anyone. What if they had come here in mass...every native would have been killed, raped and mutalated for a 500 mile radius. They being some of the most brutal people in European history. How can we with this day's understandings ever judge the actions of people from another place or time? We do not have their ethics or interpretation of the world. You can just bet that one day in the future people are going to read about the Americans and wonder - from their perspective - how they could have been so immoral as to have wiped out almost the entire indigenous peoples who occupied the Americas (9 - 10 million inhabitants in 1500 reduced to 250,000 by 1900 - See The Civilization of The Americas, Anthenum Press, 1999) or enslaved millions of people or engaged in total war or brutally gunned downed Philippines during Americas occupation of those islands or developed a nascent system of capitalism that put wealth before humanity or who hurled Napalm on women and children or tried to force their way of life on others and on and on and on and on. But they will be judging us through their world views and not ours. And one day hence, someone will read about them and wonder how they could be so unethical.

I cannot understand this Euro-centric, tunnel, vision fixation of some people. Europeans are not the only people on this planet.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 01:31 PM   #7

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Great post jterrain. I think slowly as students grow up and leave middle/high school and enter college where people are encouraged to think, they realize that Europeans were not the first settlers in America. Obviously were aren't talking about Native Americans who came over from the land bridge across Alaska. No one considers them founders of America, when in fact, they really are.

While browsing at Barnes and Noble a week ago, I noticed a book called 1421: The year China Discovered America. This goes along with what Old Abe was saying in that the Chinese not only discovered America but had settlements here long before Columbus was even born.

Here's the amazon excerpt

A former submarine commander in Britain's Royal Navy, Menzies must enjoy doing battle. The amateur historian's lightly footnoted, heavily speculative re-creation of little-known voyages made by Chinese ships in the early 1400s goes far beyond what most experts in and outside of China are willing to assert and will surely set tongues wagging. According to Menzies's brazen but dull account of the Middle Kingdom's exploits at sea, Magellan, Dias, da Gama, Cabral and Cook only "discovered" lands the Chinese had already visited, and they sailed with maps drawn from Chinese charts. Menzies alleges that the Chinese not only discovered America, but also established colonies here long before Columbus set out to sea. Because China burned the records of its historic expeditions led by Zheng He, the famed eunuch admiral and the focus of this account, Menzies is forced to defend his argument by compiling a tedious package of circumstantial evidence that ranges from reasonable to ridiculous. While the book does contain some compelling claims-for example, that the Chinese were able to calculate longitude long before Western explorers-drawn from Menzies's experiences at sea, his overall credibility is undermined by dubious research methods. In just one instance, when confounded by the derivation of cryptic words on a Venetian map, Menzies first consults an expert at crossword puzzles rather than an etymologist. Such an approach to scholarship, along with a promise of more proof to come in the paperback edition, casts a shadow of doubt over Menzies's discoveries.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 06:46 PM   #8
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Re: Who really discovered North America?


The Irish monk St. Brendan discovered Canada circa 800 AD.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 07:19 PM   #9

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Re: Who really discovered North America?


Quote:
I cannot understand this Euro-centric, tunnel, vision fixation of some people. Europeans are not the only people on this planet.
It's because the Euro-types, unlike the others, were able to take over the world. To make a long story short, nothing succeeds like success. Europe could, the others couldn't.

How many Chinese speakers are learning English?
How many English speakers are learning Chinese?
Why?

We are, after all, having this discussion on the internet. The internet did not invent itself.

Meaning no disrespect to any other place, Europe is the source of the wave of the future - so far anyway. What could conceivably put liberal democracy and capitalism into the Dustbin of History?
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 12:51 AM   #10

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Re: Who really discovered North America?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucius View Post
It's because the Euro-types, unlike the others, were able to take over the world. To make a long story short, nothing succeeds like success. Europe could, the others couldn't.

How many Chinese speakers are learning English?
How many English speakers are learning Chinese?
Why?

Because english is the international language of business. I would say that this is actually an advantage for them and not for us because they can understand you and your intentions but you can't understand theirs. Know thy enemy. Imagine being at war with a country that understands your language but you don't understand theirs. I believe this has happened many a time.

We are, after all, having this discussion on the internet. The internet did not invent itself.
Neither did paper or printing

Meaning no disrespect to any other place, Europe is the source of the wave of the future - so far anyway. What could conceivably put liberal democracy and capitalism into the Dustbin of History?
"Don't be so sure about this technological terror you've constructed." Liberal democracy can be ended by social democracy as we've seen in Europe. And as has been pointed out by others, socialism is the way back to tyranny.

I think it would be a mistake to say Europe as a whole, dominated the World at any given time. Spain and Portugal were powerful in the 16th century, but they certainly didn't dominate the world. Even in the late 16th Century, the most powerful Army in the world belonged to Japan.(Little known fact).
Great Britain and France probably were the most powerful countries during the 18th century, and Britain dominated the 19th. Yes, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands had overseas territories during the 19th century, but I would hardly say they were still powerful. So we can't really say that EUROPE ruled the world.(Yes it's a dumb point to make, but I'm making it).
As for the future, the caucasian Europeans will soon be swept away by the Muslims. It's simply a matter of demographics.
Today the US, China, Japan, and India all have larger economies than any European states.
And yes, Westerners are Westo-centric. Thankyou for listening.
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