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Who discovered America?

Updated: 4/27/2022
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7y ago

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1

Some might argue that the real answer is the Vikings. They came up on shore of new England in around 1000AD.

Then again, there's evidence showing that man existed in North America long before they got here, probably coming across a land or ice bridge to the northwest from Asia.

2

The most commonly accepted and well documented discovery of America was from an explorer named Amerigo Vespucci, for which the Americas are named.

3

I think the above comments don't really understand the question. It wasn't who came to America first because obviously it was the ancestors of the native Americans ten or more thousands of years ago. Discovery isn't observing something without understanding such as it is possible the Vikings visited to Newfoundland - but to say they discovered America it is like saying that a Viking discovered gravity because he saw an object fall to the ground and thought some invisible force must be what pulled it down, then he went to sleep and in the morning forgot all about it. Discovery is finding something that is previously unknown to your culture, and once you reveal it's existence to your culture it becomes common knowledge - in that context Christopher Columbus discovered the new world. Once he returned to Spain the knowledge of its existence spread throughout Europe then the Muslim world, Africa, India and East Asia to the extent that within a decade the entire "civilized" world knew of a large land mass between Europe and Asia and thousands of adventurers were clamoring to go there. Something that didn't quite happen for almost 500 years after the Vikings were thought to have visited Newfoundland and if the Chinese visited the west coast of America as some people believe then it was a waste of a trip because not only did the voyage end after one visit it was immediately forgotten even by the Chinese for more then 500 years.

So simply put Columbus discovered the new world (which was named America 5 years later after another Italian explorer)

4

If we go back several hundred years we will find that the Vikings were the first to visit North America. So we could say they "discovered" it. Many people think that Columbus found "America". Not true. He never made it to the mainland. De Soto landed in Florida and found his way to the Mississippi River, but before him in the northeast the French and Dutch were landing and settling. In reality I don't think there was one true person who discovered America. A German map maker named it "America" because he read the account that Amerigo Vespucci wrote about finding it, but historians today think he lied in his books about finding it.

5

It is difficult to understand why the Americas were considered to be "undiscovered" until Europeans arrived at the continent. There were flourishing civilizations in North, South and meso America - the people in them would feel no need to be discovered. As far as the big names in exploration like Columbus, they were pretty much late arrivals. The Vikings had already established colonies in North America (late 1300's), the Basques had initiated a whaling and fishing industry, the Chinese had visited the West coast (1421) and there is come speculation that the Phoenicians had also made a showing (300-400 CE). Closer to Columbus' visit a nautical map and scroll drawn up by the Portuguese navigator Zuanne Pizzigano, dated 1424, shows the contours of eastern Canada as well as several islands in the Caribbean sea. Places in Central America are easily identified.

6

Well, the common answer to that question is Christopher Columbus who came over in 1492 because he was sent by Queen Isabella of Spain. Although when he arrived there were already Native Americans who were already living there.

7

Leif Ericsson , a Scandinavian called it Vinland before Columbus

8

The first people to land in North America were the Vikings. However, Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering the Americas because they were colonized after his landing in the West Indies 1492.

9

More educated people realize it's impossible to "discover" a place that is already inhabited.

10

Amerigo Vespucci.

11

The ancestors of today's Native Americans were the first to enter the Americas. You will find some dispute among certain tribal groups as their creation narratives have them as always being here. The generally accepted route is from Asia, through Alaska. The date they arrived is in dispute and keeps being pushed back. The land bridge most recently existed some 10,000 to 25,000 years ago. Bjarni Herjulfsson should have been the European discoverer of America. However, he was more interested in getting to Greenland. Sailing from Iceland, he was blown off course and landed on the coast of North America. In 1000 AD, Lief Erikson found the land noted by Herjulfsson and settled for a winter in a place called Vinland. Erikson usually gets credit for being the first European to discover America. Christopher Columbus frequently gets the credit for being the "first" due to the fact that his voyage was the one that began the period of exploration and colonization in the Americas.

In 1497, the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci discovered a new country, and it was named America by the map maker, Martin Waldseemuller.

12

Perhaps the most important question is "What brought about European colonization & European civilization to the Americas? Here credit goes to Columbus, which on contributor made the point of explaining.

16. What do Native Americans call themselves? They are not bound or restricted to use the term "Americans".

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7y ago
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8y ago

The thought that North America wasn't "discovered" until a European arrived is is basically flawed. On the east side of North America Columbus is often mentioned, but he bought maps from the Portuguese fishermen. They probably had heard tails from the Vikings who had established camps if not settlements while they harvested whales.On the west coast evidence suggests that Asian explorers know of the continent.

If discovered is taken to mean find a land unpopulated with humans, then the original discoverers would be Asian an European migrants following the coat of Suberia to Alaska either as seagoing fishers or walkers on the land bridge some 14,000 years ago. There is some speculation that a similar migration directly from Europe occurred in the same time frame over an Atlantic land bridge.

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9y ago

Christopher Colombus.

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