Essay on Who Really Discovered America

Words: 1253
Pages: 6

History Paper
Who discovered America?
By: Deanne Mastrocola

Why is it that American culture today attributes its geographic discovery to a man named Christopher Columbus? Could it be that he was the first European to claim this land as part of an Imperialistic expansion or is it merely out of convenience for the history books? It is known that the American continent was populated by 1000 AD which is long before settlements by Viking fisherman and even longer before the arrival of Columbus. In spite of this fact every October, we as a culture celebrate a holiday in honor of the man who is believed to be "the discoverer" of America. Like so many other aspects of enculturation past down through American families, generation after
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People can choose to not believe opinions of others and laid out facts but how can you ignore the actuality that there is historical evidence providing that Leif Erickson discovered America before Christopher Columbus. For an example, The Vikings once populated Present Day Newfoundland. It was there that the first Viking ruins in North America were excavated in the 1960's. In 1961 a couple found that L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland met the description of Vinland, and it wasn't long before the archaeology turned up conclusive evidence in the shape of a soapstone spindle-whorl, a Viking ring pin and the remains of a dozen Viking buildings, proving that there was settlement in Vineland. Children are taught in school from day one that in "1492 Columbus sailed the Ocean blue…", and that he led three ships the Nina, Piñata, and the Santa Maria out of the Spanish port of Palos on August 3, 1492. But what they forget to mention is that this was 500 years after Leif Erickson had completed this same voyage. Columbus's objective was to sail west till he landed in Asia, he wasn't even aware that the land he was on was America and not Asia. Columbus is made out to be a heroic figure but actually he was a very harsh and cruel man. It is said that if the Natives did not understand the Spanish commands their tongues would be cut out, and should they make a mistake at work, their hands or legs were chopped off. He would wipe out entire villages