Who discovered America?
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Remembering the history school course, the name of the legendary Genoese Christopher Columbus comes to mind when asked who discovered America. In 1492, Columbus, looking for a new path to Asia, stumbled upon previously unknown shores. He suggested that this is India. Hence the name of the people inhabiting the continent - the Indians. This is all that I remembered from the time of school. But as it turned out, the question of discovering America is not so simple. That's what I found.
In fact, this is the case. Pioneers called a few people. In the 10th century, the Vikings from Norway headed by Leif Eriksson reached the shores of America. They were the first, but after their return, there was no America in the modern sense.
The second was the above mentioned, Christopher Columbus, who reached the shores of a new continent in 1492.
And the third person who conquered the Atlantic and landed on the shores of the American coast was New World Explorer Amerigo Vespucci. In 1507, the cartographer M. Waldzemüller suggested that the new continent was named America in honor of Amerigo Vespucci.Since then, it is believed that this date is the date of recognition of America as an independent continent.
There are assumptions, based on reliable sources, that the continent was named after the English philanthropist Richard America from Bristol. Richard America financed John Cabot’s second transatlantic expedition in 1497. Vespucci took for himself a nickname in honor of the named continent. The first officially registered European who entered the coast of North America can be considered John Cabot.
There are hypotheses that before the appearance of Columbus many people visited America. Here they are (these are only assumptions that are not substantiated by a sufficient number of facts):
- Phoenicians in 371 BC. er
- Hui Shen (Chinese monk) in the 5th century
- St. Brendan (Irish Monk) in the 6th century
- The Order of the Templars was aware of the existence of America from the 13th century.
- Abubakar II (Sultan of Mali) in 1331
- Henry Sinclair (Earl of Orkney) approx. 1398
- Zheng He (Chinese researcher) in 1421
- João Corterial (Portuguese) in 1472
It is generally accepted in the world community that Central and South America was discovered by Columbus. After its discovery, which included 4 expeditions, the real excitement began among the future colonizers of America.In just a few decades of the 16th century, merchants and simply people who were eager for profit opened a large number of new places in search of gold and cheap labor. They ravaged Indian villages and took them to Europe as slaves.
As we noted earlier, there were only 4 Columbus expeditions in search of Asia. Columbus biography researchers say that until the end of his life he believed that he had discovered not America, but a new way to Asia. In order to go on his first trip across the Atlantic Ocean, Columbus created a scientific project. During the long discussions and evidence of Columbus about the viability of his ideas, it was decided to send the first expedition. Columbus cited a large amount of evidence that the Earth is round and that it can reach the shores of Asia. Before sending, he signed a contract with the Government of Spain that, if successful, he will receive the rank of admiral, become the vice-king of the open lands, and will also have a large percentage of trade with new countries. Shaking hands, the parties said goodbye, and Columbus set off on his legendary journey.
It is important to note that Columbus reached the mainland only during his last expedition to America in the 16th century. Therefore, it can be considered the pioneer of Central America.The first expedition was marked by the discovery of the island of San Salvador. So he was named by Columbus himself. The natives who lived on the island called their home Guanahani. This island was the very first discovery that marked the beginning of the great era of colonization of America.