May 2, 2022

Columbus Was Not The First Person to Discover America: Is It True?

discoverer of america

History has recorded Christopher Columbus as the discoverer of America. However, despite the record, relevant parties have always had a doubt: is it true that America was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492? To our astonishment, this record has recently been proven wrong.

Before the proof, there was a lot of speculation about whether it was true that Columbus was the first discoverer of America and interacted with the original inhabitants of the continent. The speculation was supported by various claims that other people from Africa, Asia, and Europe had reached America long before Columbus left Spain in 1492 and started exploring.

What’s the story of the discovery of the Americas?

discoverer of america

In the book Sejarah Amerika by Umi Habibah and Bagus Muslih Ma’arif, Christopher Columbus only started sailing from Spain in 1492. The Genoese-born sailor managed to set foot on a continent known as America, precisely in the southern part on 14 August 1498.

On the other hand, several historians claimed that the Vikings had been the first discoverer of America. “Vikings” is the name we give to the Scandinavian people who from the late 8th to the late 11th centuries raided, pirated, traded, and settled throughout parts of Europe. In the 8th century, most of North America was their territory.

According to some records, about 1.000 years ago, a leader of the Vikings named Leif Eriksson was the first European discoverer of America, long before Christopher Columbus. The records show that Leif Eriksson established settlements in L’anse aux Meadows, located in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

This statement is supported by historical and archaeological evidence: the remains of Viking settlements founded by Leif Eriksson at L’anse aux Meadows. This historical evidence was discovered by Norwegian explorers in 1960. In fact, L’anse aux Meadows was designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1978.

Meanwhile, Christopher Columbus was one of Spain’s representatives who made a voyage down the Atlantic Ocean during the era of European exploration. Columbus’ original destination was not even America, but the East, or Asia, which was the common route of the exploration. His voyage began in 1492. He also made expeditions in 1493, 1498, and 1905.

Columbus’ journey brought him to San Salvador, the Bahamas, instead of the East Indies as he had assumed. Because of his achievement, Columbus was named the discoverer of America.

The name “America” was taken from the name of one of the Columbus’ ship crew, Amerigo Vespucci, who also secretly wrote a more detailed report on the discovery of the continent. Amerigo also recorded a different date—two years earlier than the actual date—on his report to the King of Spain. That’s why some records named Amerigo Vespucci the discoverer of America because his name was taken as the name of the continent.

Unfortunately, the discovery Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci made resulted in the destruction of the culture of the Indian tribes, the original inhabitants of the continent even though the discovery gave birth to a new nation that has been growing rapidly until now.

Who is the real founder of the Americas?

Based on the existing records of the discovery of the continent, we can say that the first discoverers of America were the Vikings led by Leif Eriksson. The claim is also supported by some historical evidence in the form of remnants of Viking settlements.

America is astronomically located at 35 WL – 170 WL and 83 NL – 55 SL and geographically located in the western hemisphere, flanked by two oceans, the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. As a continent with a large area, America has its own characteristics, including the following.

  • North America covers the third-largest area on the Earth’s surface, while South America covers the fourth.
  • The borders of the North and South Americas are the countries of Panama and Colombia.
  • America has the largest waterfalls in the world: Guaira Falls in Brazil and Niagara Falls in the United States.
  • Mountains in America stretch from Alaska to the northern part of Tierra del Fuego Island in the south.
  • Due to its astronomical position, America has several climates, ranging from polar, to subtropical, to tropical, to desert climates.

The native inhabitants of America were the Eskimos and the Indians. Then the white immigrants from several European countries, such as England, Italy, and France, came to the continent. However, the immigrants who came to Latin America were mostly from Spain and Portugal.

America has various natural conditions. Its landscape is divided into North America, Central America, and South America although, geologically, the continent is divided into two parts: the western and the coastal parts. This results in varied natural conditions, including mountains, animals, and rivers.

We’re at the end of our discussion on the discoverer of America. Are you interested in learning more about the countries in America and their languages? At Sampoerna Academy, you don’t learn one just language, but many! Yes, one of the most interesting learning approaches at Sampoerna Academy programs is the trilingual approach. What are you waiting for? Find out more about Sampoerna Academy here!

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