Skip to comments.What If Columbus Had NOT Discovered America?
Posted on 10/10/2011 3:36:57 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
Okay, today is Columbus Day observed (real Columbus Day comes in 2 days) and normally I just look at it as a low level holiday in which banks and post offices are closed. However, today I got to thinking: What if Columbus had not discovered America? I don't mean if he tried and failed. What if he never bothered in the first place? He could quite easily have given up on attempting to put together such an expedition. It would have been quite easy to have given up the attempt. One interesting thing is that 1492 was the very first year that Columbus could have even made the attempt. Had he gone to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand a year earlier he would have been told that it would be impossible as long as the Muslims were still in Granada. 1492 was the year that the Muslims, after centuries, were driven out of Spain.
However, let us start from the assumption that Columbus didn't make the attempt. Then WHO would have been the first to reach the New World and how would that have impacted history? My guess is that it would have been Pedro Alvarez Cabral of Portugal who in 1500 discovered Brazil while performing a "volta do mar" (a turn to the West to catch the westerly winds) in order to cross the southern tip of Africa. Had that happened then instead of South and Central America currently being mostly Spanish speaking countries with the exception of Brazil, that whole area would have been primarily Portuguese speaking today. Yes, even Mexicans would be speaking Portuguese today.
How else do you think history would have been affected if Columbus was like those lazy OWP protestors and decided to just sit on his keister instead of organizing and expedition to sail West?
Some folks claim that Amerigo Vespucci discovered America, around 1460.
There are some remains in Mexico that suggest that the Great China Fleet might have made it to North Smerican shores.
Columbus ushered in the modern age of exploration and the colonization of India, Africa,China, Micronesia and GULP the Moon!
Amerigo would have been considered a Boy Wonder since he was only 6 years old in 1460.
They didn't stick around nor even told other Europeans about a New World so their impact on the settlement of America was ZERO.
Then why bother and even ask the question dumbass if you have your canned response ready?
And why would it be different. Remember follow the money. CC wanted to make a fortune in far Eastern spices and he thought he could get a monopoly by going west instead of east. If he hadn’t done it, somebody else would have in a very short time after 1492 and history would be basically the same, only the names of the first here would have changed.
What if the Americas had NEVER been discovered by people from other continents?
Naturally, the Aztecs would have been forced to continue to expand their empire in the search for more and more sacrifices to appease their sun god. Perhaps they would even have reached territory that is now part of the US, and we would find their decedents living in what are now our southwestern states in great numbers, and the blood of those they murdered would be staining what are now our streets ... oh, er, wait a minute ... :))
The Aztecs would have perfected multicultural, diverse, open heart surgery?
A city in Ohio would have a really stupid sounding name.. . .
About the Vikings? Sorry, but they did come and their impact was ZERO. I am looking to find out how things would have been changed if Columbus had NOT discovered America. The best assumption is that Portugal, by far the leading nation in exploration at the time, would have been the ones to have discovered the New World.
Columbus brought the word of Jesus Christ with him. To the pagan human sacrifice Indians of the new world, that was absolutely the single most important result of his exploration.
The Vikings discovered America in about the year 1000 AD but they subsequently returned to Scandinavia. This left the door open for Columbus to re-discover America in 1492.
History would have been quite different if the Portuguese were the first. Not just language but their culture is/was different from Spain.
No discovery in 1492, no horses. No horses, Plains Indians don’t keep the buffalo population in check. Exploding bison population leads to exploding methane increase. Global warming floods coast, putting the Americas further away from Europe. Algore’s ancestors never make trip, Algore never gets to warn us about global warming.
Columbus discovered America?
What happened to the Vikings?
What happened to the people who crossed the Siberian bridge thousands of years ago?
Holy mammoth Batman!
Oh, and the "little" fact that over 90% of the Indians got wiped out by Yellow Fever.
Yep, you couldn’t keep an entire TWO continents “secret” for very long as history has shown. The Spaniards came in the 1500s not that long after Columbus. Not to mention indigenous people who had been here for at least 10,000 years. It wouldn’t have taken much time before another European expedition would have attempted to take over everything they found. The only difference I could possibly fathom would be if Spain had dominated North America (above Mexico of course) instead of the English and French. And that seems unlikely.
the natives still wouldn’t have a wheel 6k yrs after the rest of the world had one.
the natives still wouldn’t have a wheel 6k yrs after the rest of the world had one. sarc/
Then neither ganja nor coke would have been discovered, and forget about Angelina Jolie.
If not Columbus then Al Gore would have discovered America.
Christopher Columbus Craft? lol
No Al Gore would have *created* America.
The Vikings hold last place in the NFC North.
More likely it was smallpox contacted through Basque fishermen who were following the cod runs.
There is some circumstantial evidence that the Basque were aware of some parts of North America due to their wide ranging pursuit of cod.
The story goes when the Native Peoples saw these monster boats coming from the sea. They fled in panic to the villages and told of beasts with horns being born from these big beasts of the sea. The Vikings did not know where they where and facing over 5,000 very scared people. The warriors of the tribes came and massacred everything that belonged to the Vikings. They never returned home, were Columbus did. That is the difference in history.
In that alternate reality, Emeril Lagasse would have been Spanish. BAM!
p.s. When I was a kid in Puerto Rico one of my favorite foods from street vendors was Bacalao Frito. Fried salt cod. YUmmie!
See #29... :-)
A lot of place names would be different as many of them were named for the Saint of the day of the discovery or landing.
Portugal was actually the lead nation in terms of exploration back then. Because of the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494, the world was split between Spain and Portugal in terms of settlement. This treaty gave Brazil to Portugal and Spain got the rest of the New World. If the Portuguese had been first in the New World, then they would have had a monopoly there since Spain would not have been a player or just a bit player.
Don’t forget the (now feral) pigs!
“They didn’t stick around nor even told other Europeans about a New World so their impact on the settlement of America was ZERO.”
I’ve read knowledge of the Vikings’ route WAS published in sea voyager circles, and was a reference for Columbus, among many others, influencing his navigation.
Okaaay. What if, what if. Yeah if the Spanish hadn’t banished the Jews they could have managed their wealth better too, but hey, they didn’t! The Spanish had more wealth than any other people in history and they blew it!
just proves that some people can be wrong.
According the an article online, he was accompanied on the trip by a fellow that sailed with Columbus.
Sailing for Spain
In 1499 I sailed from Spain with 4 ships commanded by Alonso de Ojeda who had sailed with Columbus on his second voyage. After 24 days we reached the Northern coast of South America. Ojeda and I went our separate ways. I headed south and became the first European to see Brazil and to explore the mouth of the Amazon River. During the return to Spain I stopped at the Bahamas and took 200 Native Americans back to be slaves.
but then again, I heard that six year olds were a lot smarter way back then : )
they were fishing off of Canada at the time, so the history of North America would probably not be much different.
South America’s history would have been a bit different.
And the real question is if a slower settlement from England would have spread smallpox and other diseases as fast in the North American tribes of the NE continent to South America.
Maybe, maybe not. When the Pilgrims arrived, the area was already depopulated by smallpox...but did the smallpox come from fishermen or from the Spanish, up the trading routes of the eastern coast?
the Vikings made little impact on the Americas, but there is (female) DNA from the Amerindians in a small number of Icelanders/Norwegians, suggesting that they might have brought some slaves back with them...
Wenn Columbus nicht Amerika entdeckt hatte, dann wir wahrscheinlich Freeping auf Deutsch wären.
Oh, and the “little” fact that over 90% of the Indians got wiped out by Yellow Fever.
PJ - keep in mind that nearly all of the history books used in US schools came from Protestant related writers with a heavily negative slant against anything Catholic -— Broaden your reading a little.
Thought the Vikings discovered America.
At all events, someone else would have done it, with comparable results.
And since then their culture has declined so precipitously that now they can't even find the End Zone.
Don’t get fooled by that “except Brazil.” Although the famous division of the world among the Spanish and Portuguese, and a count of nations both made it seem like Portugal got the short end of the stick, in reality more than half of South America went to the Portguese.
The difference is that Spain treated its Latin American lands as mere possessions, where Portugal incorporated them more into Portugal. So while American and British-aligned free masons were able to piece-by-piece dissemble Spain’s oversees holding, Brazil actually became the Empire of Portugal. (Look it up! The emperor left Europe for the New World!)
Today, there are 192 million Portuguese-speaking South Americans, covering 3.3 million square miles. There are 190 million Spanish-speaking South Americans, covering 3.4 million square miles. (French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname are French, British and Suriname, respectively.)
How would the world be different if San Salvador was settled by the Portuguese? The respective colonies of the Spanish and Portuguese may have ended up very similar, since San Salvador is barely West of the Spanish-Portuguese dividing line.
One important difference which may the opposite of what you learn in your public screwl text books: The British simply did their best to kill off the natives; the Portuguese supplanted them; the Spanish converted them, treating them far better than the Portuguese and British. The black legends of Spain’s genocide of the natives is just that: black propaganda by the British.
Columbus’ treatment of the natives was bad enough to horrify the court of Spain, although even he just adopted the un-Christian governing methods of the “Indians” he encountered. The genocide of Mexico simply never took place. Mexico City was already in collapse (possibly through the spread of European disease from San Salvador); and it erupted in an orgy of human sacrifice to appease Quetzlcoatl. By the time the Spanish arrived, there was little left to conquer. Muskets were hardly so superior to bows and arrows that a tiny little invasion force of a few boatloads of men could have killed millions of Mexicans.
The biggest potential difference: The dominant nation of the Western World might have spoken French. The “United States” might be comprised of Eastern (”Lower”) Canada and the Eastern, Central and Northwestern United States, which probably would have taken advantage of the French Revolution to establish independence. And if anyone thinks we’d be a worse country for it, I’d suggest visiting a French Canadian historical reconstruction, and comparing it to Mount Vernon. As you do, keep in mind, Washington was revolutionary in his reasonableness with his slaves and white employees.
American Democracy is not a British invention. Although British common law was once central to American Freedoms, our states are modelled after the French’s Indian allies. One thing which seemed for 200 years like it was particular brilliance was the sparseness of the Constitution, defaulting to common law. I now wonder whether that was a good idea, since common law has been pretty much completely vanquished in its most significant ideas. I wonder whether a French-speakers’ attempt to establish freedoms would have been clutzier, yet more resilient. (I presume it would be clutzier, since enunciating freedom might have been more difficult than inheriting it. Then again, DeToqueville, having seen American freedom, did one bang-up job of understanding what made it so wonderful.)
Why would America be French? The Spanish Armada was never the glistening conquerers that Americans have learned it was. It was a “rag-tag fleet” that preserved Europe from Islamic invasion through absolute divine intervention at the battle of Lepanto. After the defeat of the Armada, the British, jealous of Spain’s new-world holdings led an absolutely evil war of black-ops terrorism to undermine Spain. Neither France nor Portugal represented the existential threat to England that Spain had, however, nor had the interest in fighting England that Spain had (being the Netherlands). In fact, France had sided with the Protestants in the 30-year war, which ABSOLUTELY was the papacy v. its political rivals. It’s quite likely, therefore, that without the Spanish aggression towards England, England might never have been inspired to fight such a dirty war to claim the New World, or if it did, it would have inspired a united front of Spain, Portugal, France, and possibly even a Holy Roman alliance against itself, instead of fighting separate wars against Spain and France.
Actually, the Vikings DID discover America.. and it STAYED discovered. As his recently translated journal makes clear, Columbus was inspired by Spanish Franciscan monks, who told him of lands far to the west. The Catholic Church had established a diocese of Vinland in North America, which it maintained contact with (or at least records of) throughout the 14th century. Only the plagues of the 15th century led the Catholic Church to “lose” Vinland. THe Franciscans told Columbus this, who probably presumed Vinland must be somehow related to Asia, since all the known lands at that time were actually one connected (Africa, Asia, and Europe) or thought to be connected (as the straits which separate Austalia from Asia were not yet discovered.)