47

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 ...


40

As fate would have it, the first known globe of the Earth was created in 1492, the same year as Columbus' voyage. As such, it is also the only known globe to depict the area between Western Europe and East Asia prior to the discovery of the New World. None of the earlier flat maps I could find made any kind of legitimate effort at depicting this area. The ...


39

On the topic of the Aztecs, an intriguing book on this subject is Aztec Warfare: Imperial Expansion and Political Control, by Ross Hassig. The Aztecs were an extremely war-like civilization, that were constantly attacking and subjugating their neighbors. Interestingly, though, their style of warfare was quite different from what we are familiar with from ...


37

I think you are missing the true pattern of that map. Note that it shows a higher percentage of natives in Canada than it does in the US, and shows the same lower percentage of natives in the USA as in a geographically contiguous area of South America (1% or less). If anything, the real pattern there is that areas in the subtropics (but not subartic) have ...


27

Cristóbal de Molina, a young Spanish priest, witnesses in 1535 the Inca celebration of the maize harvest: On a platform Indians were throwing meats into a great fire. At another place the Inca ordered llamas to be thrown for the poorer Indians to grab, and this caused great sport. Over 200 hundred girls came out of Cuzco, each with a large new pot ...


27

Garcilaso de la Vega, a Spanish-Peruvian chronicler in the Viceroyalty of Peru(then Spanish-held) recounted several aspects of Incan life and tradition. His most famous works include Historia de la Florida and Comentarios Reales de los Incas the second of which is of presumably more interest to you as it details some of his experiences in Cuzco as a child. ...


24

The tablet is almost certainly a modern fake: Despite Gordon’s certainty about the genuineness of the inscription, he failed to find support from colleagues and, notably, entered into a bitter dispute with Frank Moore Cross Jr (born 1921), Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages Emeritus at Harvard. Cross pointed to problems with ...


22

Europeans, perhaps not, someone in the old world, yes. Al-Biruni (973–1050) lived in Khwarezm (modern Uzbekistan). Among other works in mathematics, astronomy, physics, mineralogy, history and geography, he calculated the circumference of Earth with a precision higher than his predecessors, and made some precise maps of known lands. In his work Codex ...


22

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 ...


22

Yes, both World War I and World War II involved South and Central America. WWI Here is a list of South American countries that severed relations and those that declared war. Sourced from here. April 7, 1917 Panama declares war on Germany April 13, 1917 Bolivia severs relations with Germany October 6, 1917 Peru severs relations with Germany October 7, 1917 ...


22

POWER AND EXTENT OF THE MALI EMPIRE At its peak during the 14th century, the Mali empire controlled an area of well over 1 mil Km2: At its height, under the reigns of Mansa Musa I and Mansa Sulaymän, the Mali empire covered the entire Sudan-Sahel region of West Africa. Many peoples and cultures were thus brought together under a single political ...


18

If you are talking about the Omelc/Aztec/Maya, at war with the Cree or Inuits, I very much doubt this ever happened, as, 1) They had no quarrel, and so, no reason to go to war. 2) They had no way of marching across the USA, according to my Google Earth measurements, the distance from New York/New Jersey to Honduras, is 4,000 km. An average human can walk 5 ...


18

Disease plays a significant role. Estimates vary wildly, but there were probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 million people living in the Americas before Columbus. The vast majority of those would have lived in the Mesoamerica and Inca areas. Europe's population at this time would have been in the vicinity of 90 million. What pretty much everyone ...


17

Columbus and everybody else at the time believed that he had discovered the Eastern shores of Asia. Vespucci was one of those amongst the everybody else. An essay by Jonathan Cohen titled, The Naming of America: Fragments we've shored against ourselves, covers the naming of America in some detail. In it, Cohen notes: The voyage completed by Vespucci between ...


16

Apart from other reasons here exposed, I think it is worth mentioning a) some groups of South American natives were adapted (culturally, and even in some cases, physically) to environments which were not comfortable for white settlers. For extreme examples, think of Amazonian tribes and inhabitants from the Andean Plateau. In these cases, there was little ...


15

Many prominent men of science in the 19th century believed that the Indians' ancestors had always been in America. This belief draws on the theory of polygenism--that the several races had independent origins as separate species. "Scientific" polygenism also had a religious aspect called "Pre-Adamism." Polygenists/Pre-Adamists didn't need to posit ancient ...


14

By 1824, Spain had lost all of its mainland colonies in America. When the powers of Europe proposed to use the recently created Congress System to help Spain regain control of her lost American colonies, Great Britain balked. In addition to being sympathetic to the Latin American nations’ desire for independence, Great Britain had developed a thriving trade ...


12

The map shows the general shape of South an Central America, and the general shape of the Atlantic coast of North America. If it shows it in "such detail" or not is a matter of opinion. Sure, a lot of things are correct, but a lot of things are incorrect. The question then is how they could know the general shape of South and Central America at all, and the ...


12

Columbus' origins are a bit of a mystery. He himself claimed to have been born in Genoa, but this may have been a ruse according to some. http://www.christopher-columbus.eu/birth-1492.htm lists the most notable claims, Poland is not among those. What all the possible locations have in common is that they're in southern Europe, a quick look at the map shows ...


12

Early post-contact beliefs contained an unhealthy dose of myths and legends, e.g. Atlantis or that Native Americans descended from the lost tribes of Israel. These were displaced as rationalism developed, but suspicion that the Old World populated the Americas grew over time (for the alternate view, that the Natives had always been in the New World, see @...


12

I think this question is conflating two things: whether Columbus thought he had found the Indies, and whether he thought he might have also discovered a new continent. Did Columbus think for the rest of his life he had sailed to the Indies1? Yes he did. Columbus appears to have been one of those people who believes things that they want to be true, and ...


11

Manuel da Silva Rosa, an information technology analyst, claims that Columbus was the son of Władysław III of Poland (and Hungary, but for some reason nobody seems to mention that). To make this claim, he has to first claim that Władysław III, who died in a battle in 1444 without having children and had his head displayed on a pole, for no good reason faked ...


11

For contact between the inhabitants of present-day United States and present-day Mexico, you can also see the Wikipedia article on Chichimeca, the commonly used name for the peoples that lived to the north of the Aztecs. It appears not much is known about them. The map posted in another answer is beautiful and very informative, but we should remember that ...


11

This is a huge question, one that cannot possibly be covered entirely in a single answer on a website. However, the three points you listed in your question can be addressed, and I've tried to do so below. Please keep in mind that even these could each have whole books written about them, so I'm aiming for the broad strokes here, just to give you an idea ...


11

Ironically enough, this is likely a case of Chinese whispers. There is a relatively established crackpot "theory" that the Chinese discovered America in the 5th century or so, and called the new land "Fusang." This claim has been around for a while, and also features in the Wikipedia article linked in the question: A group of Chinese Buddhist ...


10

Pre-columbian population of North America was only a couple of million people, most of them are pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers. This kind of lifestyle does not allow more than 2-4 million people people to live on the continent. Central and South America, on the other hand, was home of several large civilizations with developed agriculture, and ...


9

Economic reasons After Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 most of the countries of Central and South America cooled relations with Axis countries. Following the cooling of relations, most countries of Central and South America realized that they are now dependent on the United States for trade. Needs of the USA during the war disrupted ...


9

Remember that the word "India" would mean 'get-rich-quick-dream-land' for the sailors. At first Columbus believed he was in Asia, and they had been looking for a way to India for generations. For Columbus, they'd better be Indians. It did not take long for the Iberians to be sure that America was not in Asia, but why drop a very inspiring name, that already ...


9

The Spanish and Portuguese noticed early in the 16th century that the native peoples of the Caribbean and South and Central America were sickly to the point of being unsuitable (in general) for slave labour. From this the First Atlantic System develops into South and Central America: Regarding the Atlantic slave trade [The First Atlantic System] started (on ...


8

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries there was a massive wave of German emigration to the Americas, the numbers are a bit fuzzy, but there's little doubt that at the conclusion of WW2 there were strong German speaking communities all around South America, mainly in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile. Furthermore, the politics of those countries were - ...


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