European Exploration of America

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What are the misconceptions about Christopher Columbus?

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There are quite a few misconceptions about Christopher Columbus. A common one is that Columbus set out to prove that the earth was round. However, the ancient Greeks had already proved this roughly 2,000 years earlier. Furthermore, Columbus never actually set foot on what is now known as the United...

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There are quite a few misconceptions about Christopher Columbus. A common one is that Columbus set out to prove that the earth was round. However, the ancient Greeks had already proved this roughly 2,000 years earlier. Furthermore, Columbus never actually set foot on what is now known as the United States. Columbus merely "discovered" the isle of Hispaniola, which is modern Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Columbus went to his grave thinking he had landed in east Asia.

Columbus was also not likely the first European to cross the Atlantic Ocean. While historians typically attribute that achievement to Leif Erikson, who is thought to have landed in modern day Newfoundland about five centuries prior to Columbus, some believe that Celtic explorers may have landed on the shores of North America even before him.

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