South America & New World History

I wonder, what are people in South America taught about who discovered the New World?

I am not sure I am following. They are taught that it was Columbus which is really a lot more accurate than for North America proper. Columbus mainly just dicked around the Caribbean and hit Central America and South America.

Voyages 3 and 4:

North America has to deal with those Vikings which probably don’t impress South Americans much.

Maybe I should have worded the question more specifically. Allegedly, Columbus really discovered the West Indies (believing he had found a shortcut to the East Indies). Did he ever make landfall on the main land of South America?And, if not Columbus, who are the explorers of South America? Magellan comes to mind, but I don’t believe he made landfall…unless his men were forced to take on supplies (probably after they killed him).

As Shagnasty’s links show clearly, Columbus made landfall in South America on the third voyage (1498) and Central America on the fourth voyage (1502).

Check out the Conquistadors.

Magellan made landfall in South America (locations in what are now Brazil and Argentina) for resupply in 1519 and 1520, during the voyage of first circumnavigation led by him until his death. He was killed by locals in the Philippines (not by his own crew) in April 1521, months after leaving South America.

Columbus originally had something of a monopoly on exploration of the New World according to his original charter from Ferdinand and Isabella. By the late 1490s he was losing his influence at court, as the monarchs realized they had given him too much.

As has been noted, Columbus was the first to reach the South American mainland in 1498. Based on his lead (and the finding of pearls in the area), another four expeditions explored the northern coast of South America (which became known as the Pearl Coast) in 1499, led by Alonso Hojeda, Peralonso Nino, Vicente Yanez Pinzon, and Diego de Lepe. Several other expeditions explored in 1500. The first one to reach Central America, that of Bastidas in 1501, got as far as central Panama.

Meanwhile, easternmost Brazil was discovered by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral, who was attempting to round Africa but sailed too far to the west.

Columbus, after having been sent back to Spain in shackles in 1500 for mismanaging the governorship of Hispanola, was given one last chance to find Japan and China, which he still believed to be near Hispaniola. On this voyage, he explored the coast of Central America from Honduras to Panama, and established the first European settlement on the American mainland, at Belen in Panama (from which they were soon driven off by the Indians).

Exploration of northern and eastern South America accelerated in the next decade. In 1510 a settlement was founded in Darien, from which Balboa discovered the Pacific in 1513. Gradually the Spanish expanded their exploration along the Pacific coast, culminating in the conquest of Peru by Pizarro in 1532.

From the point of view of the OP, recognition of Columbus as a discoverer is much more logical for South Americans and other Latin Americans than it is for North Americans. Although Columbus discovered both the West Indies and the South American mainland, and made the first exensive exploration of Central America, the closest he came to North America proper (exclusive of Central America) was the Bahamas, on his first voyage. From then on he explored mainly to the south and west, since that’s where he thought the route to Japan and China was.

The Vikings, of course, were the first Europeans known to have reached North America (1000 AD), although their explorations were forgotten for centuries. The next explorer to reach North America (perhaps just Newfoundland) was Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), an Italian sailing for England, in 1497. The first explorer known definitely to have reached what is now US territory was Ponce de Leon, who landed in Florida in 1513.

I just asked my ladyfriend who was born and raised in Peru and she said that the same basic facts are taught (there’s no argument of course that Columbus came by in 1942) but the perspective is different. Rather than the “Columbus discovered his new virgin land unseen by Europeans” angle, it’s taught more like “in 1492, Columbus came and made contact with people of this land and later returned to landed at such-and-such where these tribes resided.”

I imagine that, in the land once ruled by the Incan Empire, it’s no real “discovery” to come across the continent they’d been living on for thousands of years.

Meh, keep imagining fella. That’s a bit revisionist.

Rather than make anyone play guessing games or turn this into a Great Debates thread, how about you simply state whatever contrary information you may have factually instead of leaving vague innuendo?

Are you disputing that Peru was once controlled by the Incans or that South America has had people on it for thousands of years? Or that the people who live there now might not describe the historical residents of that land as “discovered” when the Europeans started dropping by?

A remarkably ignorant and parochial comment. What do you know about Latin American attitudes in culture?

That’s quite right. In much of Latin America, especially Mexico, “Columbus Day” is celebrated as the Dia de la Raza, that is, the “Day of the Race.” This refers to the creation of the mestizo “race” from the mixture of European and Indian heritage that followed Columbus’s voyages. Having ancestry from both the “discoverers” and the “discovered” gives one a different perception of the significance of the event.

Well yes, I thought that much was obvious. You apparently are assuming that the current populace are some sort of monolithic culture that has maintained a self-conscious (not in the way you think) existance dating back to pre-columbian, pre-historic times despite not developing a (at least lately) practical written history. They may now be aware of their pre-history, but for hundreds of years their culture has been dominated and cleansed by European (Spanish) influence so much so that any concept of Incan origins versus Columbus is a recent conceit.

Reading what I typed and Colibri quoted, I guess there probably would be argument over teaching that Columbus arrived in 1942 :smack:

Regardless of whether or not you feel that it’s proper, that’s how they feel about it. However, I’ll be sure to pass your concerns along.

Well, if you are going to dispute my post, do so factually rather than simply calling me ignorant and running away. To sorta reiterate, the “Columbus Day” you cite is a relatively recent construct, not something that has been celebrated circa 1492. Please enlighten us how immediately post-Columbus and for the next several hundred years the native population continued to celebrate their Incan heritage.

Whatever, that doesn’t address my point. What is proper or not is not at issue.

Honestly, I have no idea what your point is. There’s a bunch of people in Latin America. Unlike North America where most of the native populations were outright destroyed during the spread of European colonization, the Central and South American nations are composed primarily of people with mixed native and European blood. Said people recognize that part of their blood and heritage comes from folks who were already kicking around on the land long before Columbus dropped in and so don’t see it as a “discovery” as much as “when he made contact”.

You seem to have some problem or point of disagreement with this but I’m at a loss to figure out what it is.

Running away? Because I haven’t posted for a few minutes? In any case, since your own initial post was entirely fact-free, I would ask you to advance some evidence in its support.

Yes, Día de La Raza was established in 1928, but that certainly doesn’t mean that indigenous consciousness and indigenous heritage were extinguished in Mexico between 1519 and that date. Although often suppressed, there has been a continuous thread of awareness of that heritage in many places in Latin America for the past 500 years.

In Peru, there have been repeated uprisings by people of Inca heritage since the conquest of 1532. Under the “Last Inca,” Tupac Amaru I, the Incas held out for 40 years against the Spanish after they had conquered most of Peru. His great-grandson, known as Tupac Amaru II, who was quite aware of his Inca heritage, led an uprising two centuries later. Consciousness of Inca heritage in part of the population has been continuous from the conquest until now. Peruvian culture continues to preserve aspects of indigenous culture, in both mestizo and Indian areas. When I worked in Peru, my assistant, from Cuzco, was very proud of his lineage from the Incas.

Here in Panama, even the mestizos in the back country recognize their indigenous heritage; their baseball teams are sometimes called the Cholos, the local equivalent of “Redskins” - because these guys are more than half Indian, and proud of it. Their traditional dances and music frequently commemorate the conflict between and melding of indigenous and Spanish cultures.

Let me spell it out for you slowly then fellow, if you can’t keep up.

They may now recognize it now, but they haven’t historically.

As I stated above, this is a bit of revisionist history, sorta, in the sense that what you state the current population thinks of themselves and their history is something that is only recently emerging, not something that has existed for millenia. For the last several hundred years Latin America has been dominated by European influences, there is no debate on this point. Cultural respect for the Incan empire has been non-existant until recently.

Per the wacky folks over at Wikipedia…
Within the academic field of history, historical revisionism is the legitimate reexamination of historical facts, with an eye towards updating histories with newly discovered, more accurate, or less biased information. The implication is that history as it has been traditionally told may not be entirely accurate.
In recounting the European colonization of the Americas, history books of the past paid little attention to the indigenous peoples of the Americas, usually mentioning them only in passing and making no attempt to understand the events from their point of view. This was reflected in the once widespread description of Christopher Columbus having “discovered” America. The portrayal of these events has since been revised, and much present scholarship examines the impact of European exploration and colonization on indigenous peoples.

If that’s what you’re arguing, I guess I can’t argue too hard against it. Of course, I can’t see a problem with it either.

No matter how slowly you spell it out, it’s still based on pure ignorance.

Again, what do you know about Latin American culture? Obviously not much, if you think what you wrote is true. Yes, the ruling culture of Latin Amerca has been dominated by European influences, but in many places indigenous consciousness and identity has remained strong, even in mestizo populations - and that cultural identity is what we are talking about.

In the case of Mexico, there has been continued recognition of the importance of indigenous heritage from the 1500s, through the 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s to the present.

From here