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Historical Rights Of The Vikings Essay Research

Historical Rights Of The Vikings Essay, Research Paper

Columbus sailed the ocean blue in the year 1492 , this statement not only holds

great truths but it also holds great lies. The United States has held on to the belief that

Christopher Columbus was the discoverer of North America since the beginning of it s

recorded history. The total unwillingness of the American society to yield to new history is

a travesty to not only the law of progress but to the people that discovered North America,

the Vikings. The problem of not giving recognition to the Vikings discovery of North

America must be dealt with in order to put history in the proper prospective.

When one picks up a America History textbook, it invariably makes mention to the

so called voyage of discovery by Christopher Columbus. The existence of the text is in it

self not a problem, but the beliefs behind the text is were the injustice occurs. That very

History book is not teaching history but rather it is teaching the young of this country to

look past the truth and blindly believe in Columbus s voyage of discovery. A grand

injustice is occurring in schools a over this country. The grand injustice is non other than

the oppression of the facts that Viking explores discovered and were living in North

America some two-hundred years before Columbus s voyage.

Facts behind the Vikings presence in North America long before Columbus can not

be disputed. Archaeological record has turned up Viking goods and sites in Canada, which

are carbon-14 dated to the Viking Age, circa. 800- 1200. Other evidence comes from the

Icelandic Sagas which tell of the colonization of North America by one Leif Ericsson.

Under normal circumstances the afor mentioned facts would be more than enough to

constitute a complete change in history as we no it, however the issue it hand is by no

means normal.

What are the causes for the American culture s complete contempt toward the idea

of a relatively small piece of new history such as the Viking discovery of North America?

Well, when viewed from the eyes of the U.S s people the Viking discovery of North

America takes on a frighteningly dangerous persona of a event that threatens to erase all

that once was and all that will be regarding Christopher Columbus. The discovery of the

presence of a European people being in America before Columbus, to the typical patriotic

American, could bring about a total change in the culture of the U.S. This fear of losing

ones culture has brought to the front a need to keep Columbus s image intact. The

preservation of the image of Columbus comes with a heavy burden, that of the complete

undermining of historical fact.

A solution to the problem is not so readily available. One must take into

consideration the fact that either consciously or subconsciously the American culture would

rather look past historical fact and continue believing in the institutionalized ideal of

Columbus and his discoveries. Thus, the solution to the problem can not simply make

people believe, but rather teach people to belief in the truth. The idea of teaching could

also provide some problems because to teach the teacher needs to believe in what they are

teaching, and if the teacher was taught that Columbus was the discoverer of North America

what is one to do? The answer lies in the past, history shows that in the majority of cases

change occurs over a long extended period of time. A practical example would be in the

automobile industry, when a new line of cars come out they have properties and

characteristics of the older version. People would not exempt an entirely new style of car

that was completely different than anything seen before. Thus, a car manufacturer keeps

some of the old while building new cars. Then as change occurs over extended time,

characteristics of the old car are completely gone. A similar approach must be taken with

the introduction of a new and potentially abrasive historical fact. The scientific community

must slowly introduce the ideal of a new history to the public, much in the same way the

car manufacturer introduces a new car. The figure of Columbus must be preserved for the

time being in order to institute a completely new idea in it s place. One way the

transformation could occur is by proposing that the Norse were the discoverer s of North

America and that Columbus was the discoverer of the America we now today. Eventually

Columbus s recognition would be eliminated much in the same way the characteristics of

old cars are eventually completely replaced by those of new cars. An delicate and patient

approach to the introduction of the new idea of the pre-Columbus discoverers of North

America is needed, but with a scientific approach to the problem all that was wrong will be


The definite problem of disassociation with the historic fact of the Viking discovery

of North America must end in this country. A new and fresh outlook on the facts of true

history must be recognized. The problem must also be recognized as a legitimate threat to

the heart of history. It may start here in the U.S. with the refusal to give the Vikings credit

for their discoveries, but were will it end? Will the world simply shove aside all the history

they don t like or agree with? The answer is no as long as the scientific community and the

world population gives credit to new history that replaces the old. History and the Vikings

must be given their due by solving the inherent disbelief in this country.

We owe the dead nothing but the truth

Voltaire, Letters on Oedipus