Who Discovered America? How was it Found?

3,878 Views Updated: 10 Aug 2017
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Who Discovered America? How was it Found?

For over centuries now, scholars, enthusiasts, and eccentrics have been trying to find answers to the questions raised about the real founder of America. Various theories have been propounded for the same, but the question remains as to “Who discovered America and When”?

Columbus is credited with stimulating the Spanish colonization which preceded the European colonization of the New World. He noted in his diary that the natives "must be good servants and very intelligent because I see they repeat very quickly what I tell them." And hence, he enslaved them to use them in his expedition for gold and spices. Columbus even managed to hang some of his settlers who challenged his authority.

Who Discovered America?

It is a common notion believed by most of the world’s population that Columbus was the discoverer of the New Land. It would be appropriate to say that he introduces the Western Europe to Americans via his voyages from 1492 to 1501. But, addressing him as the sole founder of America might not be true.

A lot happened before Christopher Columbus' famous journey. It remains a noteworthy event in the history and is considered as the beginning of the Colonial Period (1492-1763) by historians.

The story starts on a pleasant morning on October 12, 1492, when a sailor observed the horizon from the ship’s bow, the Pinta and saw a new land. About 10 weeks later, from the port of Palos, Spain, Columbus along with his screw reached somewhere. Columbus thought that somewhere was East Indies, which in reality was the Bahamas. He returned to Spain after exploring for a little while.


(Image Courtesy: Wikipedia)

It was at the same time when Columbus was on his voyage in 1502 when the Florentine merchant and explorer Amerigo Vespucci figured out Columbus’ misconception, but he found the work of a NEW World already out there in Europe. Vespucci later got recognized for his findings and was named the Founder of America.

The question of who discovered America and when was also answered by Michael Bawaya. As per Bawaya, the editor of American Archaeology magazine, some people traveled from Asia and walked across Bering land bridge which connected what now is the U.S. state of Alaska and Siberia. Back then, the distance between the continents was much greater, and the levels of the ocean were lower. The bridge played a significant role in spreading flora and fauna between the continents. The animals even established a migration pattern through the bridge and eventually humans disseminated all across North, Central and South America. So, neither of the men discovered the land, because the natives were already inhabited there.

While some of the theories about who discovered America and from which country are purely fancy and exotic, few asked for serious credits. Zuan Chabotto (c.1450-99), the Venetian navigator and explorer claim that Columbus did not even reach the American mainland until 1498, while he warmed the North American shore almost a year earlier than this. His sail from England caused him to reminisce as John Cabot and shifted in the Anglophone world. It was also found out that Cabot found investors in Bristol and received a patent from Henry VII and his chief financial benefactor was an Italian banking house in London.


(Image Courtesy: Follow the Flammias)

Other theories suggest that there was Ericsson and even the Chinese who were the actual discoverers of America. Some even give credits to the ancient Phoenicians in Rhode Island or the Chinese from the Middle Kingdom in the Bay Area.

(Featured Image Courtesy: Dawn)

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Christopher Columbus

If we restrict discovery of America to Europeans, I would go with Columbus.  Vespucci would not have ventured to the mainland had Columbus not sailed to the Caribbean first.  

Christopher Columbus

Wow! the history of the discovery of America is so fascinating! Thank you for posting this article, It was much needed.

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