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34

Columbus is traditionally (and indeed still) credited with the discovery of the Americas for a number of reasons, some dubious but others quite legitimate. First of all, we must qualify this discovery as discovery by Old World people. Clearly, the original "discovery" by the human species was some 40,000 years ago by the ancestors of the indigenous ...


32

Columbus was not, in fact, the first to cross the Atlantic. There were Norse communities living in Greenland from the 10th Century. They even had some temporary settlements in North America proper. However, the Norse weren't as good at eking out a living in the North Atlantic as the Inuit, and (after 500 years) eventually got wiped out by some combination of ...


27

Africa was relatively densely populated compared to North and South America. When Europeans landed in the Americas, they were sparsely populated, and the Indians often died from diseases brought by Europeans. The few that didn't were easily conquered by the Europeans, whom "advanced" cultures such as the Aztecs and Incas mistook for gods. The Africans had ...


26

In fact during the Age of Discovery, Africa had been the principle objective. It really begins with Prince Henry the Navigator, a son of the King of Portugal who had an intense fascination with Africa. In particular he was taken with the legend of Prester John, said to be a descendant of one of the Three Magi who presided over a magical land with marvels ...


23

Very poor terrain (harsh deserts, heavy rain forests) and very frightening diseases. Later advances in technology and especially medicine made the process tolerable and possible.


16

Sure, it's possible. Many things are possible. Likely, however, is another question. The link you posted describes a vague story of sailing west into the Atlantic, finding an island, trading with the locals, and returning home. Could the island be in the New World? It could, but it could just as easily be one of the islands in the Atlantic. For me to ...


13

We can be fairly certain that humans did not live on Antarctica, the continent, before the 20th century. Since about 15 Ma, the continent has been mostly covered with ice. Ref: Trewby, Mary, ed. Antarctica: An Encyclopedia from Abbott Ice Shelf to Zooplankton. Firefly Books. ISBN 1-55297-590-8. Intermittent warm periods allowed Nothofagus shrubs to ...


12

Christopher Columbus thought the world was spherical (like most educated people of his era) but he also thought the size of the Earth was small enough that a westward boat trip from Europe to Asia was achievable with existing ship building technology. In this regard he differed from the more accurate size estimates of scholars in Isabella and Ferdinand's ...


10

This is highly speculative and subjective. After all, you put forth very valid contenders to hold the title, particularly the natives and the Vikings. But what I find most likely is that Columbus was the first to do it for profit. He (and those who paid him) were the first to capitalize on it. The Viking settlement didn't last all that long, and didn't ...


10

Malaria I'd actually leave it at that, if the posting software let me. But to elaborate, Europeans actually did actively try to colonize Africa continuously during the Age of Discovery. The problem was that Malaria killed them off quicker than more could be sent. The only place it really worked was in South Africa, which was too temparate for Malaria to ...


10

England The city of Bristol was the hub of English expeditions into the Atlantic. Several voyages were launched from her harbours, the second largest in England, around the time of Columbus. Bristol's mariners were inspired by the legendary phantom island of Brasil, which is said to lie off the western coast of Ireland(1). There is some evidence[2] that at ...


8

The original astronomic concepts were that planets, stars, and the sun were small, close light sources. Being in heaven, they were perfect (aside from the moon, which was smudged due to closeness to this imperfect sphere). They were embedded in clear solid domes at varying distances. But in general, the idea that the heavens were made for us on Earth to ...


7

Try this link: The Luxury Trades of the Silk Road: How Much Did Silks and Spices Really Cost?


6

Columbus's original goal in his voyage was to reach Asia, to visit Japan and have some of it is riches (spices, gold ..) I guess Colombus thought the world map looked like this.(America doesn't exist) He thought if he traveled towards the west, he would reach Asia .He didn't know that the world map was different and that America exists in between.


6

The New World was much easier. European diseases spread rapidly, wiping out the local population, and 'clearing the land'. In Africa, the locals had the same immunity to the likes of smallpox as the Europeans, so it wasn't 'cleared' as quickly. It also has diseases of it's own (e.g. malaria) that would hinder someone coming in.


6

As the Portuguese gradually extended their explorations and trade ever further south along Africa's Atlantic coast during the 15th century they needed a larger and more advanced ship for their long oceanic adventures. Gradually, they developed the carrack from a fusion and modification of aspects of the ship types they knew operating in both the Atlantic ...


5

For reference, here is the official classification from Wikipedia of the conditions necessary for a "pleasant" Antarctic day: Condition 3 Windspeed below 48 knots (55 miles per hour) Visibility greater than 1/4 of a mile (402 meters) Wind chill above −75 °F (−60 °C) Description: Pleasant conditions; all outside travel is permitted. Condition 3 ...


4

Long story short, yes, he did. He was for a brief time military counsellor for the sultan of Ternate (around 1512). Ternate lies on longitude 127 East.


4

0 meters, as the known world (that is, known by Europeans, which I assume you mean) already included parts of the "new world", ie Greenland and the coast of Canada. As for the distance between the "old world" (ie Afro-Eurasia) and the "new world" (ie the Americas), the Bering Straight is about 80 kilometers wide. However, very few people live either side ...


3

Columbus was using an estimate of the Earth's circumference developed by Claudius Ptolemaeus, rather than the more accurate (and earlier) estimate of Eratosthenes. If Ptolemaeus had been correct then Columbus would have landed in Taiwan rather than Hispaniola.


3

Dictionary.com is good for Discoveries. to see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight or knowledge of (something previously unseen or unknown): So, yes people make discoveries every day no matter how large or small they are. To make a discovery the person making the discovery must not know that it already exists. That's why when ...


3

Let me add one more reason: when the discovery age began, large parts of Africa was already "colonized" by the Muslims.


2

Columbus is credited with discovering "America" (the "Indies," actually), because he SET OUT to do so. He had been trying to find a trade route west, to India, and thought that he had done so; i.e., that what later became the "Americas" was "India" to him, which is why he called the locals "Indians." Other peoples, the Vikings, the Chinese, and others ...


2

Africans also offered military resistance and they did in fact defeat European armies on numerous occasions. Often times Europeans were relegated to the status of vassals to African kings, who confined them to small coastal enclaves. It wasn't until the Europeans developed the maxim machine gun and other advanced weapons that they were able to do anything in ...


2

In addition to the other answers I would add that Antarctica is well protected by the Westerlies, a zone of westerly winds surrounding it from 30-60° S. These bands are named "Roaring Forties", "Howling Fifties" and "Screaming Sixties", try to guess why. Apart from mostly bad weather with regular storms of hurricane force and freak waves you must cross the ...


1

I'm thinking the standard account at the level of economic exchange that was subsumed under "discovery" is of an integration of world systems. "Columbus discovered America" meaning "Europeans started economically exploiting America" is actually discussed as a research problem of the integration of European and pre-Columbian American economies and societies. ...



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