Vikings and America: The People who beat Columbus

Just History Posts

If you asked the average person on the street who “discovered” America (we’ll put aside the racist and Eurocentric issues this raises for another time) most people would probably tell you it was Christopher Columbus. In 1492, Columbus undertook his first voyage Westwards, under the theory that he would reach Asia – contrary to popular belief, medieval Europeans did know the world was round, not flat, and it was this knowledge of a round earth that made Columbus believe he could reach Asia. By doing this, he hoped to beat economic competition from other European imperial powers, and help the Spanish Crown enter the spice trade. Whilst sailing for Asia, Columbus instead bumped into the huge land mass that is North and South America, and thus the ‘New World’ was found and, eventually, conquered and colonised. A great story (again, future mass genocide and slave trade aside), but Columbus was…

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