Vikings and the First American Colony Essay

Vikings and the First American Colony Essay

Length: 1432 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Vikings and the First American Colony

The idea that Columbus did not provide Europeans with their first long term contact with America is now nearly universally accepted. Activists for the Irish monk, St. Brenden, and other early explorers are gaining support with new archaeological evidence. It is the Norsemen, though, that have the distinction of being the first colonizers of the Americas, whether or not chance meetings occurred before. The legacy they left the Americas is striking considering the short amount of time they actually spent here, and historians are baffled by nearly every aspect of their colony. The forces that made them abandon Vineland, their main colony, are the subject of an ongoing debate on both sides of the Atlantic. The nature, location, and inhabitants of the Americas the Vikings knew would all have been obstacles to forming a permanent settlement. The economy, the driving force for colonization, also affected the need for Vineland.

The peninsula in the northwest corner of Europe known as Jutland has been inhabited by Scandinavians for centuries. Ptolmey writes about the area and Roman artifacts have been found during excavations of Norway and Sweeden demonstrating considerable contact with southern Europe (Wilson 21-23) Literacy is indicated by the Runes which first appeared at the beginning of the third century. The Runic alphabet has changed and evolved through the years, and claims of inscriprions dot the United States and are largey the basis on knowledge of Viking presence (Wilson 27). During the first century, Europeans embarked on a period of great migration, a time of great wealth and prosperity for the Scandinavians. One cause was the settlement of a new territory on the basis of "an eco...

... middle of paper ...

...ed factual. Other sites in Greenland substantiate the sagas and we can rely on them for information regarding the Viking exploration of America. They do not, unfortunately, tell us the precise location of Vineland, so many aspects of the Viking adventures remain a mystery. For now, historians credit Vikings with the first European discovery of America. The colony was not permanent, but the legacy the Vikings left is seen in many places like Cape Cod where street names like Leif Lane and Viking Way dot the maps.

Historians may never know all the details concerning why settlement did not last. For now the evidence points to skirmishes with the natives, the long distance from Greenland, the population shortage and the natural environmental factors. The Vikings were here for an instant and, for various reasons abandoned their settlement, leaving their mark forever.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Patriots Of The Vikings

- TheVikings have been sailing for thousands of years (Steel 1). The Vikings traveled for 2 years this was called a Vikings trial (Steel 1). They would go out in search for land and new wonders in life. They would build their own boats out of wood and hides of animals. They were known as the best sailors of their time. The Vikings are had arrived in North America. The Vikings were in North America about 10 years (Weiner 4). They settled and made a life for themselves in North America. They had learned to adjust to the weather to survive for all those years....   [tags: United States, North America]

Powerful Essays
1478 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on The Massachusetts Bay Colony And The Chesapeake Colony

- In the 17th century, Europeans were eager to colonize in the newly discovered world. Europe was willing to invest time, resources and money into expanding their power. Powerful nations such as Spain, France and Britain settled there by this time and subtly encouraged Europe to do the same. Europe sent people overseas to two sections, The Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Chesapeake Colony. At the beginning, every aspect influenced their colonies success such as social, political, economic, and geographic....   [tags: Massachusetts Bay Colony, Massachusetts, Boston]

Powerful Essays
877 words (2.5 pages)

Analysis of When the Vikings Reached the New World Essay

- When the Vikings reached the New World, they called the native inhabitants (American Indians or Native Americans), “Skræling.” There has been much debate as to what exactly this word or label meant. Some translate it as “skin wearers,” which may be true as to how they described them, being the Norse generally wore woolen or linen clothing and North American Natives generally wore animal skins. But there was one additional thing puzzling about the Norse and the Skræling. The Viking explorers weren't curious or baffled by these new people....   [tags: vikings, norsemen, skraeling]

Powerful Essays
692 words (2 pages)

Essay on European Roots on American Culture

- NOTES on :EUROPEAN ROOTS OF AMERICAN CULTURE Begins with my own, (American Studies) and our nation's education. <ol> <li value="20"> years of study, led by 20 years of different type of study <li value="1"> Seen only from the inside out <li value="2"> Idea of uniqueness <li value="3"> Mistakes--such as multiculturalism, isolationism, (anecdote about Kyle and map of Euope --more than 25 countries-- in school) <li value="4"> My students always ask: WHY haven't we heard this before?. And why do my foreign students actually make better grades in AM....   [tags: Philosophy]

Powerful Essays
949 words (2.7 pages)

American Colonization By The English, The Colony Of Jamestown, Virginia Essay

- In the early stages of North American colonization by the English, the colony of Jamestown, Virginia was founded in 1607 (Mailer Handout 1 (6)). Soon after the Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded in 1629 (Mailer Handout 2 (1)). These two colonies, although close in the time they were founded, have many differences in aspects of their lives and the way they were settled. The colonies have a different religious system, economic system, political system, and they have a different way of doing things; whether that be pertaining to making money, practicing religion, or electing governors....   [tags: Massachusetts Bay Colony, Massachusetts]

Powerful Essays
926 words (2.6 pages)

Jamestown - The First English Colony Essay

- Jamestown: The first English colony In spite of the many Indian massacres, Jamestown still grew to be a successful colony. The London Company was the main founder of Jamestown. The London Company's founders believed that there were precious metals in America so they sent a group of settlers to Jamestown. The trip to the Americas was not a very easy one for these settlers. They had to overcome many obstacles just to get to the Americas. In 1619 the House of Burgesses was formed which marked the first legislative body in America....   [tags: American History]

Powerful Essays
1207 words (3.4 pages)

The Vikings Essay examples

- The Vikings Typically, the image of a Viking is a barbaric, bearded man plundering and destroying a neighboring village. This is actually the stereotypical viewpoint. In actuality, Vikings, have a very different image. For example, Vikings did not wear furry boots or furry armor, they did not have horned helmets, they invaded Britain, and they also were the first to discover America. They were also experts in nautical technology, crafts, trading, warfare and many other skills (Jonsson 1). With all of these traits, the Vikings seem like an unstoppable force in the European continent....   [tags: History Historical Research Papers]

Powerful Essays
2042 words (5.8 pages)

the vikings Essay

- Viking age has long been associated with uncontrolled piracy, when bandits swarmed out of the northlands in their ships to burn and pillage their way across civilized Europe. During this period much progress was achieved in terms of Scandinavian art and craftsmanship, marine technology, exploration, and the development of commerce. It seems the Vikings did as much trading as they did raiding. The title "Viking" includes a wide description of Nordic people; Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians, who lived during a period of brisk Scandinavian expansion in the middle ages, from approximately 800 to 1100 AD....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
1643 words (4.7 pages)

The Vikings Essay

- The Vikings The word Viking in the Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language says that the word Viking means the following. “Vi•king 1. any of the Scandinavian pirates who plunder the coasts of Europe from the 8th to 10th centuries. 2. a sea-roving bandit: pirate. 3. a Scandinavian. 4. U.S. Aerospace. One of a series of space probes that obtained scientific information about Mars.” (1) The Vikings lived about one thousand years ago in the lands that we now call Iceland, Lapland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark....   [tags: Scandinavian Pirates History Vikings Essays]

Powerful Essays
3564 words (10.2 pages)

Essay on Roanoke Colony

- The Lost Colony Jamestown is thought by most of to be the first colony in the New World but this is not the complete truth. Jamestown is considered our first successful colony; however it was not the first attempt at a colony. There were a few attempts to colonize the New World before Jamestown and one in particular that was the most mysterious is the Roanoke colony, also known as the Lost Colony. The colony got this name because the colonists that were there vanished mysteriously with no trace of what happened....   [tags: American History]

Powerful Essays
1110 words (3.2 pages)