Thursday, January 16, 2020

Balance Of Power

Norse seafarers, otherwise called Vikings, under Leif Erikson, crossed from Greenland and into the New World a thousand years ago. They are the first confirmed contact by Europeans into the New World, beating Columbus by centuries. They would make settlements in North America for a few years, have contact (both friendly and not so friendly) with First Nations peoples, and withdraw back across the sea. A confirmed Viking site at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland is a World Heritage Site, and there must be more sites along the eastern seaboard, still waiting to be found.


Here we have wood chips and slag fragments, physical evidence of the Viking presence in Canada a millennium ago.


And yet the Viking time in North America would be brief, passing into history. Centuries later other Europeans would come, the French and the English staking claims in what is now Canada, bringing themselves into conflict or alliances with First Nations peoples. They would come pursuing myths, dreams, ambitions, and opportunities: trade goods, minerals, and the ever elusive Northwest Passage.


This, for instance, is one of the rock samples brought back by the English explorer Martin Frobisher. Despite his hopes that it contained gold, that was not the case.


The European presence in North America began to fundamentally shift the way things were.

30 comments:

  1. It's very interesting how they lived !

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  2. To pursue myths, dreams, ambitions, and opportunities sounds very tempting!

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  3. It confounds the imagination to contemplate the distances these Nordic explorers travelled.

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  4. The colonials and Europeans were very good at invading!

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  5. ...in the US today, the balance of power is being tested to its limits.

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  6. The site at L’Anse aux Meadows is fascinating.

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  7. I feel like if I would study these posts, I could do better on Jeopardy!

    Janis GDP

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  8. I know it was not really as idyllic as it looks from here, but the First Nations peoples seemed to be so in tune with nature.

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  9. I never knew there were original copies of Eric the Red's story to America. Very interesting to see the succession of explorers that came to Canada.

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  10. Fascinating to see the Viking maps.

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  11. Those Vikings were quite the adventurers.

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  12. @Gattina: it is.

    @Iris: indeed.

    @David: and the Vikings had a better sense of where they were; Columbus, centuries later, was convinced he was in India.

    @Grace: that is true.

    @Sandi: thank you!

    @Tom: unfortunately true.

    @Marie: I'd love to see it.

    @Janis: I'm pretty good at Jeopardy.

    @DJan: true on both counts.

    @Barbara: they did date from centuries later, but followed the accounts laid down by both.

    @RedPat: that it is.

    @Maywyn: or realistic.

    @Sharon: that they were.

    @Karl: definitely!

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  13. I don't know much about history of Vikings. This exhibit was quite interesting!

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  14. The Vikings in the New World is a fascinating part of history. It's probable (but not proven), they interacted more with the Native Americans than they noted. Tweeted

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  15. A shift in the way things were and are continuing to shift---for better or worse.
    So I spelled Snowmageddon wrong---hey it's me the best speller in grade school many many moons ago.--LOL.
    My partners relatives came from France and settled in french speaking Canada (Three Rivers) and some immigrated to the US--Wisconsin and some to Louisiana and some stayed. Interesting stuff
    MB

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  16. My history teacher taught us Eric the Red was in the new world centuries before Columbus. That was a radical thought for a 1950's middle school teacher.

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  17. The Norse took some amazing voyages and it's interesting to be learning more about where they went and what they left behind.

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  18. I wonder why the Vikings didn't settle here. Very interesting to read about William, thank you.

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  19. Fascinating historical post and photos ~ ^_^

    Happy Moments to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  20. North American history fascinates me! Thanks, William

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  21. I am glad to hear the Anishinaabe stood their ground.

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  22. How brave those Norse explorers were:)

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  23. Nordic mythology is an interesting story

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