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(Wikipedia)   Alternative History time: What would have happened if the Vinland colony had been successful?   (en.wikipedia.org) divider line 52
    More: Survey, oral tradition, pronunciations, history, vinland  
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839 clicks; posted to FarkUs » on 14 Feb 2014 at 6:00 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-14 03:41:11 PM  
I dunno.. maybe we'd all be dumb blondes?
 
2014-02-14 04:31:04 PM  
We'd all have taken a turn for the Norse?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-02-14 04:38:29 PM  
We'd all be speaking a corrupted form of German now?
 
2014-02-14 04:39:43 PM  
The Vikings would be Americas Team?
 
2014-02-14 04:44:04 PM  
The Democrats would be the right wing fringe?
 
2014-02-14 04:45:29 PM  
We'd all be singing:

♪♫ "Vinland, Vinland, Vinland

The country where I want to be

Pony-trekking or camping

Or just watching TV

Vinland, Vinland, Vinland

Its the country for me" ♪♫
 
2014-02-14 04:49:51 PM  
I don't know how interested the vikings would have been in colonizing the southern part of the continent.  They liked to raid and loot, but didn't really settle where it wasn't cold.  I suspect the Spanish (or somebody) would have gone out to claim the lands south of western viking territory, just earlier than it actually happened.
 
2014-02-14 04:59:42 PM  

Rev. Skarekroe: I suspect the Spanish (or somebody) would have gone out to claim the lands south of western viking territory, just earlier than it actually happened.


Maybe, but the reason the Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, and English turned west to the sea, is that Constantinople fell in the East, cutting off land access. The Vikings were the only ones who had a reason or inclination to go west prior to that.
 
2014-02-14 05:32:31 PM  
Perhaps the Redskins would be called the  Skrælings

randy.whynacht.ca
 
2014-02-14 05:49:44 PM  

Somacandra: We'd all be singing:


first thing that came to my mind.
 
2014-02-14 06:11:12 PM  
More herring, probably.

Mmm
 
2014-02-14 06:15:23 PM  
Sarah Palin would be president of tacos.
 
2014-02-14 06:18:32 PM  
www.neckdeep.net
 
2014-02-14 06:23:25 PM  
Our favorite comfort food would be grilled lutefisk and cheese sandwiches?
 
2014-02-14 07:06:05 PM  
Bill Buckner would've caught that ball.
 
2014-02-14 07:07:24 PM  

Prey4reign: Our favorite comfort food would be grilled lutefisk and cheese sandwiches?


Hork.
 
2014-02-14 07:13:49 PM  
From the sound of it there wasn't any trade route, just a voyage there and a trek back. If they hadn't turned back there would probably be a tribe in Newfoundland with individuals of Norse appearance cropping up now and then.
 
2014-02-14 07:21:47 PM  
America would be full of hot Norwegian chicks instead of the fatties we have now?
 
2014-02-14 07:23:20 PM  
Øur sïstêrs wøüld hævê bëëń Bīttēń bÿ â møøśê.
 
2014-02-14 07:37:21 PM  
My aunt would have a dick, and she'd be my uncle.
 
2014-02-14 07:43:10 PM  
We'd all be doing our own homework.
 
2014-02-14 07:51:51 PM  

dillenger69: From the sound of it there wasn't any trade route, just a voyage there and a trek back. If they hadn't turned back there would probably be a tribe in Newfoundland with individuals of Norse appearance cropping up now and then.


I'm with you. They may have even made a miniature country which was known to Europe, but the social and political climate and technological restraints which were necessary to colonize North America were only barely happening as it was happening in history - it took a while and some proven gold deposits before anybody seriously cared. Ain't no gold in Newfoundland.
 
2014-02-14 08:04:33 PM  

dillenger69: From the sound of it there wasn't any trade route, just a voyage there and a trek back. If they hadn't turned back there would probably be a tribe in Newfoundland with individuals of Norse appearance cropping up now and then.


Yeah, but the point being for the sake of argument is that there WAS a trade route, and instead of the early nordic settlers being slaughtered by the natives.

English settlers, centuries later, were successful in the new world because spanish settlers in between had introduced small pox to the new world and the resulting plague decimated the native population and didn;t put up nearly as hard of a fight,  new world natives were more inclined to just let the new world settlers die out on their own as they tried to recover themselves.

the Nordics were slaughtered because the native population was strong and decided that if you were not going to be assimilated, you were to be slaughtered.

BUT, and here is my big but out for everyone to see...

if the nordic settlers, and the native tribes had gotten together and established proper trade? then yes, the Germanic tribes would have had a 500 year head start on colonising the new world. Northern europe would have been the dominant force of settling and forming North america. Spain and England would've fought over what is now the south east US and northern south america. but the dutch and swedes would've been the dominant influence in the northern hemisphere.

I can't imagine any further than that for any kind of witty or snide remarks and observations
 
2014-02-14 08:06:38 PM  
We'd probably be winning more medals in skiing right now.
 
2014-02-14 08:06:42 PM  
Firefly would have survived for 12 seasons and have three movies
 
2014-02-14 08:12:27 PM  
The Vinelanders would have pushed down south and egged the Aztecs to invade the north, and there would have been much raiding and rejoicing...
 
2014-02-14 09:34:31 PM  
The rest of the United States would be more like Minnesota.
 
2014-02-14 09:50:57 PM  

Prey4reign: Our favorite comfort food would be grilled lutefisk and cheese sandwiches?


That's just disgusting...
 
2014-02-15 01:31:34 AM  
Bush 2.0 would have been elected president, twice, by morons, and destroyed america by fighting wars on two fronts.
 
2014-02-15 03:30:47 AM  
Diff'rent Strokes would still be on the air! Lokar would have gotten your job on the show! Space Ghost's show would have been a huge success! He would have been elected governor of California, and then president of the whole universe!!
 
2014-02-15 03:35:10 AM  
My guess. People in Northern Europe had enough commerce with Scandinavia (and, yes, commerce often meant raids) at that time that it wouldn't have been unknown for long, and, because it would have opened up to a new world (i.e., not just being an outpost) it would have soon gained attention not so much as a new world but as a extension of lands unknown.

As soon as word would get around that there's lots of good land there, people like missionaries and speculators would be interested, but mostly from the powerful counties at the time. I.e., not England, Spain, France, Germany. But Italy (esp Venice), the Vikings, the Arabic empire. And freaking Lithuania.

The Arabs would be at a disadvantage because of geography but are likely to be the ones who saw the most promise in new lands. So one should expect them to have the most motivation, and they would have likely taken all of South and Central America, probably by sailing the trade winds which their drive to succeed would have discovered. The central american cultures of the time were weaker then and the Arabs would have had not trouble subduing them.

Meanwhile, Lithuania, Venice, and the Vikings would be battling for North America.

Generally speaking, Indians in the North fell to disease more than war. If it hadn't been for disease, North America would have ended up more like India is today, still with most indigenous population. But because of disease they will mostly give way to the Europeans and North America would develop somewhat similarly to how it did in the real timeline, but slower, and with different languages.

So, basically you have a Muslim South, a Pagan and/or Christian North (the Vikings might not have been successfully converted if they'd had more land wealth). So, let's say Canadians would worship Odin, USA would be entirely Catholic and speak half Italian and half Lithuanian, and Latin America would be Arab America.
 
2014-02-15 06:43:42 AM  
A good portion of why North America was successfully colonized by European powers was disease, but also firepower. The Aztecs, for example, were subjugated at gunpoint, not by plague. Had Europeans and others tried to colonize North America before gunpowder was available to them, I believe things would have been much different.

First of all, any power from the East that tried to take on colonization of Aztec land would have had a much harder time, and possibly been unsuccessful in the attempt. This would have led to a draining of power and resources from that particular force (let's say the Arabs), which would have significantly changed history for them.

As for more northern attempts, they might have had greater success, but again, without firepower backing them, the European powers attempting to colonize would have had to turn to diplomacy over force, giving the indigenous people much more power in the relationship than they actually had.

In the end, I'm sure there could have been successful colonies established in the New World, but they would not have dominated the continent. But meanwhile, these colonization attempts could have led to significant changes in history. The Crusades, for example, could have been much more successful if the Arab powers were focusing even some of their attention on colonizing the New World.
 
2014-02-15 06:46:17 AM  

MmmmBacon: A good portion of why North America was successfully colonized by European powers was disease, but also firepower. The Aztecs, for example, were subjugated at gunpoint, not by plague. Had Europeans and others tried to colonize North America before gunpowder was available to them, I believe things would have been much different.

First of all, any power from the East that tried to take on colonization of Aztec land would have had a much harder time, and possibly been unsuccessful in the attempt. This would have led to a draining of power and resources from that particular force (let's say the Arabs), which would have significantly changed history for them.

As for more northern attempts, they might have had greater success, but again, without firepower backing them, the European powers attempting to colonize would have had to turn to diplomacy over force, giving the indigenous people much more power in the relationship than they actually had.

In the end, I'm sure there could have been successful colonies established in the New World, but they would not have dominated the continent. But meanwhile, these colonization attempts could have led to significant changes in history. The Crusades, for example, could have been much more successful if the Arab powers were focusing even some of their attention on colonizing the New World.


horses also played a huge role.
 
2014-02-15 06:51:27 AM  

calbert: MmmmBacon: A good portion of why North America was successfully colonized by European powers was disease, but also firepower. The Aztecs, for example, were subjugated at gunpoint, not by plague. Had Europeans and others tried to colonize North America before gunpowder was available to them, I believe things would have been much different.

First of all, any power from the East that tried to take on colonization of Aztec land would have had a much harder time, and possibly been unsuccessful in the attempt. This would have led to a draining of power and resources from that particular force (let's say the Arabs), which would have significantly changed history for them.

As for more northern attempts, they might have had greater success, but again, without firepower backing them, the European powers attempting to colonize would have had to turn to diplomacy over force, giving the indigenous people much more power in the relationship than they actually had.

In the end, I'm sure there could have been successful colonies established in the New World, but they would not have dominated the continent. But meanwhile, these colonization attempts could have led to significant changes in history. The Crusades, for example, could have been much more successful if the Arab powers were focusing even some of their attention on colonizing the New World.

horses also played a huge role.


Indeed, but horses are often the first thing to go, when a new colony is starving. I expect the Europeans would have traded horses to the "locals" in exchange for goods more useful in establishing themselves in the early years of the colonies. This would have helped even the playing field some for the indigenous people.
 
2014-02-15 07:43:05 AM  
Not much. It basically would have been like Iceland or Greenland, but with trees.

Major colonization on a mercantile mode like the post is requiring isn't as simple as getting in a boat and going. It requires centralized governance, which the Vikings didn't have. It requires widespread record keeping, a currency, and whole host of other things that simply weren't a part of their system. They weren't barbarians, but they weren't setting up chancelleries and mints and organizing resources for trade either.

When they weren't raiding, the Vikings were small farmers and fishermen. They built no cities to speak of, they didn't go in for stone architecture that was anything more than purely functional, and they had no concept of coordinated action between fiefdoms. Also, their boats were square-rigged, open to the sea, and lacking compasses. They could make the voyage, but it was hard and dangerous enough that doing it regularly wasn't going to happen. Greenland was basically cut off for a reason.

Finally, northern Newfoundland isn't exactly the Ohio river valley. It's still more or less empty today for a simple reason: it's a barren place. It has a minuscule growing season, terrible weather, is rocky, and is entirely cut off by land. They could have established 100 colonies, and even if they all survived all they would be are outport villages exactly like they have today. They simply didn't have the technology, the population, or the governmental structure to make more of it.
 
2014-02-15 08:38:55 AM  
If you take the Pilgrims founding Plymouth colony in 1620 as your start date for modern European settlement of North America, it is second to the Vinland colony for length of settlement.

That's pretty successful.
 
2014-02-15 11:21:04 AM  
Nestorian Christianity would have become dominant.
 
2014-02-15 01:06:31 PM  

Gunther: If you take the Pilgrims founding Plymouth colony in 1620 as your start date for modern European settlement of North America, you are a moron.


FTF Santa Fe, St. Augustine, Jamestown, Port Royal, Quebec City and a few other places.
 
2014-02-15 01:19:18 PM  
 
2014-02-15 01:48:54 PM  

aerojockey: The Arabs would be at a disadvantage because of geography but are likely to be the ones who saw the most promise in new lands. So one should expect them to have the most motivation, and they would have likely taken all of South and Central America, probably by sailing the trade winds which their drive to succeed would have discovered. The central american cultures of the time were weaker then and the Arabs would have had not trouble subduing them.


I disagree with this. The Arabs were terrible seamen. They controlled the east-west trade along the silk road and the shipping lanes down the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and to India, but they were not known for exploring the open ocean. They held a monopoly on camel caravans across the Middle East and wouldn't see the point of a cross-Atlantic expedition for furs and fish. Especially not in the Canadian tundra, which is all anyone would know about the New World for several hundred years. Besides, they would have their hands full of Turks (both Seljiuks AND Ottomans), Mongols, Crusades, Byzantines and civil wars within a hundred years anyway and weren't exactly in the best shape to see what's on the other side of the world.

This goes also for the Muslims in Andalusia (Moorish Spain), who had their own issues and weren't interested in oceanic conquest.

Keep in mind also that seafaring technology at the time was very primitive. European explorers as far back as the Greeks and Carthaginians had gone into the Atlantic, but they never braved the ocean open and they always stayed within sight of land. For this reason, they couldn't go further south than Cape Bojador -- it's a promontory off the coast of Morocco, just south of the Canary Islands. At this point, the winds coming from the Atlantic ocean hit the African continent and blow south rather than north, making it very difficult for ships hugging the coast line to sail back to Europe.

This remained the point of no return for 1500 years until Portuguese sailors found a way around it -- by going west about 500 miles around the Canary Islands and finding the Gulf Stream which circumnavigates the Atlantic ocean. THIS discovery is what made trans-oceanic navigation possible. Without it, Christopher Columbus' journey can't happen. It turns a three month crossing into six weeks and it is absolutely vital for trans-oceanic trade.

But there was still another barrier: Once you sail out of sight of land, how do you know where you are? For centuries sailors used the north star -- Polaris, the only star that doesn't move since it's roughly directly overhead of the north pole -- to measure their latitude. The circumference of the Earth was well known and the north star was a good fixed point for calculating latitude. There was a problem, however: The further you sailed south, the lower in the sky the star got, until it disappeared completely at around 8 degrees north. Then where are you?

So the southern hemisphere was completely cut off to northerners until the astrolabe was invented, which used the sun's position at noon rather than Polaris at night. And it just happened to be invented by those same Portuguese explorers.


So it's not cut n dry to say that a solid Nordic colony in North America would have kicked off the Age of Exploration. A lot of other things have to fall in place as well, both technological and cultural (that whistleridge pointed out), otherwise no one's interested in freezing to death in a bug-infested rock off the coast of Canada for the sake of pelt and cod.

Now, warm weather Caribbean for gold and silver and slaves? That sounds more like it.
 
2014-02-15 01:49:13 PM  
We might have crosspolination of cultures between native americans and the norse?.
 
2014-02-15 01:50:01 PM  

CygnusDarius: We might have crosspolinationcrosspollination of cultures between native americans and the norse?.


FTFM.
 
2014-02-15 01:50:13 PM  

Ishkur: At this point, the winds coming from the Atlantic ocean hit the African continent and blow south rather than north


err...blow NORTH rather than SOUTH. I'm getting my directions mixed up.
 
2014-02-15 04:21:27 PM  
Caturday would be different.

i2.photobucket.com
 
2014-02-15 05:05:57 PM  

MmmmBacon: A good portion of why North America was successfully colonized by European powers was disease, but also firepower. The Aztecs, for example, were subjugated at gunpoint, not by plague. Had Europeans and others tried to colonize North America before gunpowder was available to them, I believe things would have been much different.

First of all, any power from the East that tried to take on colonization of Aztec land would have had a much harder time, and possibly been unsuccessful in the attempt. This would have led to a draining of power and resources from that particular force (let's say the Arabs), which would have significantly changed history for them.

As for more northern attempts, they might have had greater success, but again, without firepower backing them, the European powers attempting to colonize would have had to turn to diplomacy over force, giving the indigenous people much more power in the relationship than they actually had.

In the end, I'm sure there could have been successful colonies established in the New World, but they would not have dominated the continent. But meanwhile, these colonization attempts could have led to significant changes in history. The Crusades, for example, could have been much more successful if the Arab powers were focusing even some of their attention on colonizing the New World.


North America was a stone age culture.  If there were resources that the Vikings wanted to exploit they would have been able to take and hold North America.  All we had here was land, fish and wood though and from the Viking perspective and there was no shortage of any of that in Northern Europe.
 
2014-02-15 05:57:51 PM  

MmmmBacon: A good portion of why North America was successfully colonized by European powers was disease, but also firepower. The Aztecs, for example, were subjugated at gunpoint, not by plague. Had Europeans and others tried to colonize North America before gunpowder was available to them, I believe things would have been much different.


The Aztecs weren't around in 1000 AD, however.  Back then, Central America was a set of smaller states that wouldn't have been able to withstand attack as well as the Aztecs.  So I still think an Arab force invasion in 1100 or so would have been enough for conquest, even before firearms.
 
2014-02-15 06:11:27 PM  

Ishkur: I disagree with this. The Arabs were terrible seamen. They controlled the east-west trade along the silk road and the shipping lanes down the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and to India, but they were not known for exploring the open ocean. They held a monopoly on camel caravans across the Middle East and wouldn't see the point of a cross-Atlantic expedition for furs and fish. Especially not in the Canadian tundra, which is all anyone would know about the New World for several hundred years.


You make excellent points, so I'll just point out that although the Arabs were not maritimely-oriented, the Berbers were.  Arabia owned Northern Africa and Spain at that time, and the western outposts of the empire, upon learning of new lands, would have been interested to explore and conquer, and would have been up to the task of sailing there.  At first, of course, they'd use the same northern routes the Vikings used, but impetus to find better ways could have spurred techonological advances allowing them to cross the Atlantic via trade winds.  (It's likely that they would have crossed the Atlantic backwards first anyway.  "We found some nice warm land there, but didn't feel like going all that way north again so we took a shortcut.")

Ishkur: So it's not cut n dry to say that a solid Nordic colony in North America would have kicked off the Age of Exploration.


This is what-if. Nothing is cut-and-dry.
 
2014-02-15 06:16:06 PM  

dillenger69: From the sound of it there wasn't any trade route, just a voyage there and a trek back. If they hadn't turned back there would probably be a tribe in Newfoundland with individuals of Norse appearance cropping up now and then.


images.colourbox.com
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-02-15 06:39:47 PM  
As soon as word would get around that there's lots of good land there, people like missionaries and speculators would be interested, but mostly from the powerful counties at the time. I.e., not England, Spain, France, Germany. But Italy (esp Venice), the Vikings, the Arabic empire. And freaking Lithuania.

See "The Last Resort" by the Eagles.
 
2014-02-15 07:58:34 PM  

aerojockey: Arabia owned Northern Africa and Spain at that time, and the western outposts of the empire, upon learning of new lands, would have been interested to explore and conquer, and would have been up to the task of sailing there


The Berbers were more interested in slaves, not exploration or conquest. Why go 7000 miles out of their way for pelts, cod and frozen rocks when they could stay home and make money poaching Italian Republic merchant ships and selling the occupants to the Seljuks?

The Atlantic ocean is a far cry from the Mediterranean Sea. Again, without knowledge of the Gulf Stream or the astrolabe, they were limited in where they could go and trance-oceanic conquest was too daunting for their ships, and besides what was their high point? Almohad Caliphate lets say? And they have far greater things to worry about, like fighting Genoa, Pisa and Sicily over trade routes and the Reconquista.

They're not exactly in a great position to go exploring. The Mediterranean world was pretty farked up during the Middle Ages.
 
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