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Early Exploration Essay

1199 words - 5 pages

Early ExplorationEarly explorers seem to be somewhat forgotten today in our present world. What we must remember is that the explorers did not have easy methods of transportation back in the early centuries as we do now in the 21st century. With that being said, it was extremely tough to travel around the world with such little resources. It was basically either horse or boat, and both options had cons heavily outweighing the pros. The explorers were very brave men and at times they had to sacrifice a lot to explore. The Vikings were the first Europeans to make contact with the western world. The second group was lead by Christopher Columbus and the third to reach this "new world" was John Cabot. These men were all extremely vital in increasing knowledge of the land and therefore helping to populate the land.Erik the Red and Leif Ericson are both highly recognized names when referring to early discoveries. Erik the Red was exiled from Norway for three years in 982 and spent these years exploring. He was successful in doing this and is still remembered to this day for finding the first Nordic settlement in Greenland. When Erik returned to Iceland after his exile had expired, he is said to have brought with him stories of Greenland. His salesmanship proved to be successful as he convinced Vikings to settle in Greenland. Leif Ericson was born sometime around the 970's and was Erik the Reds son. He followed in his father's footsteps of being a successful explorer. Leif Ericson was the first ever European to step foot in North America (excluding Greenland of course). Leif's father was set to join him in what was soon to be an amazing trip; however when he fell off his horse on his way to set sail, he took it as a bad sign and chose to stay back. Leif had many discoveries; starting with a rocky place he named "Helluland" (possibly Baffin Island). Next he found a forested place he named "Markland" (possibly Labrador). Finally after two more days at sea, he found a place he named Vinland. Leif and his crew built a small settlement there which was called "Leifsbúdir". This settlement is now known today in Newfoundland as "L'Anse aux Meadows".Christopher Columbus is amongst the most recognized names of explorers ever. He lived from 1451-1506 and completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean between the years of 1492 and 1502. These voyages led to European awareness of the American continents in the Western Hemisphere. Although Leif Ericson had explored the Americas well before Columbus had, it was Columbus' voyages that led to the first lasting European contact with America. Throughout Columbus' voyages he made many discoveries. During his first voyage, on Oct. 12, 1492, he discovered what he believed to be an Asian land and named it San Salvador. Also on this voyage, Columbus kidnapped about 10 to 25 natives and took them back to Spain with him (only seven or eight of the native Indians arrived in Spain alive). During his second voyage, on Nov....

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