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Thread: What if the Vikings

  1. #1
    Knight in kevlar armour Member spmetla's Avatar
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    What if the Vikings did a serious expansion into the Americas? I mean with forts and real settlements?

    What I'm trying to look at is what the world would have been like, imagine such an earlier time period that the European technology and government systems could have been adopted by the Native Americans. Diseases could have slowly spread into the Americas but I'd imagine it would have been slow enought that they would have built their immune systems to them.

    Ideally in my picture the link between North America and Europe would have stayed open via my permanent Viking settlements in the North. I'd imagine a major expansion of trade in Canada and New England. Also the flow of information would have allowed the North Americans to benefit from new technological developements (gunpowder) as they became more common instead of being thrown against them suddenly. Also horses and farming technology would most likely have been brought over earlier as well allowing the Native Americans to adopt them earlier. Also Europe would have had trade from the Americas as well so we might have seen corn, cocoa, and other items appear in Europe much earlier.

    I like to imagine that some Native Americans would have made small Kingdoms of the European type and had true fortifications. The Central American Empires wouldn't have been wiped out by disease and would probably built up small trading fleets to trade with modern day Canada which would in turn trade with Europe and vise versa.

    It think that American History would have been a lot more intersiting (for me at least) if this had happened. Not to mention that a lot of the older American History that had already happened would have been given a greater chance to have been written down and preserved for the future instead of just having to guess what was happening during pre Columbus America.

    "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"
    -Abraham Lincoln

  2. #2
    Scandinavian and loving it Member Lazul's Avatar
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    Well... the USA wouldnt exist, i think... and the name wouldnt be amerika i think, but Vinland...

    hehe, we vikings rule...
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    "Freedom without opportunity is a devil's gift."
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    karoshi Senior Member solypsist's Avatar
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    there's a book called What If? - the world's foremost military historians imagine... which sort of covers this. Basically (theory of consensus) is that the dominant tribes in middle and south america (Aztecs, etc.) would have probably spread their own culture through the north Americas, probably right up to the point of contact with Vikings. From there, however, it basically goes on to say that the Westernization of the Americas would have been unavoidable, and so it would be a bit like India or China, where there's a definite genetic "race" and language system, but people wear suits, sit and act like Europeans, and that general hybrid. So even though there would not have been a United States, there most certainly would have been a corporate culture (which would have originated in Europe).

  4. #4
    Senior Member Senior Member Longshanks's Avatar
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    The Vikings didn't have enough manpower or as great a technological edge as later Europeans to conquer/colonize all of Vinland. They most likely would have had coastal settlements and perhaps a few inland, but I don't think they would have controlled vast swaths of territory. The Native Americans would have eventually learned iron-working from continued contact with the Vikings, which would have leveled the playing field somewhat.

  5. #5
    Member Member chris's Avatar
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    vikings had an urge to go on.....and used the sea all they could. When they reach the Americas, and fought the Native Americans, they would have foudn that their old raiding desires wouldnt have accomplished much. But the goods of the land would have. I think they wouldnt have stopped at the appaliachins, or the rockies. These were the vikings, they coulds stay still they had to keep moving. If their old spirit stayed in them....the one of explorations, missions of bravery, i think they would have reach into south America. The amazing resources America had, would have been the fule to drive their wars....

    Would their be a USA? not as we see it. 500 extra years of usage of our resources would put us further in techknoledgy, but wre would be looking 500 years into the future. the vikings owuldnt have waisted any time wih the forestry, or mining. The real question is......would we have seen a world domination? The vikings would have eliminated the indians....they would i think given time, (they certainly had the desire) i think the Americas would havebeen theirs..Europe would be their but it would cease to be a true viking civilization. at least as ture as we tend to see it.

    The men who founded the USA were mostly Christian, and there Christian veiws....as well as their veiws of a democracy, wich is arguably Biblical, but thats a seperate issue, made our Constitution what it is. The colonists beat the English becuase they had the Atlantic seperating them and the english. They wouldnt have rebelled agaisnt the vikings, and if they had they wouldnt have won. We would be living in a giant Europe in a way. Certain changes becuase of the sea, and just the way America is, would have taken plce, but they wouldnt be so profound.

    #The biggest difference, had the vikings succeeded, would be our level of technology. I think the vikings who would have been the ones born years before and scoured the seas, would be the ones in space. I think we wouldnt just be on the moon. But all of this depends on alot. The whole nature vs. nurture. would the vikings still have had their exploration desires? The level of tech idnt arguable, seeing how in York they slammed it with the first reall industries, they are just that way.



    All those who wander, aren't lost.

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    Senior Member Senior Member Oaty's Avatar
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    Well there is strong belief that the vikings quite indeed did visit North America north of New york city. As Europeans started exploring and colonizing further north they noticed there were coastal tribes that were quite adept in Viking traditions.
    When a fox kills your chickens, do you kill the pigs for seeing what happened? No you go out and hunt the fox.
    Cry havoc and let slip the HOGS of war

  7. #7
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (chris @ Jan. 06 2004,10:08)]The men who founded the USA were mostly Christian, and there Christian veiws....as well as their veiws of a democracy, wich is arguably Biblical, but thats a seperate issue, made our Constitution what it is.
    I would add that a lot of the founding fathers where steeped in the age of enlightenment.

    Voltaire and co. had a huge effect.

  8. #8
    Knight in kevlar armour Member spmetla's Avatar
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    I don't think that the Vikings would have gotten farther east than the Missisippi. They were coastal people and needed rivers for their attacks to be effective, also the Native Americans would have been quite the adversaries, though not initially.

    THe modern world would be vastly different, there wouldn't have been the Europeanization of the Americas and the civilizations in the Americas could have just as easily become great powers if they were given the chance. Imagine fleets from central America trading with Africa and Europe, the world would have been vastly different. I doubt the Europeans would have been the ones to explore the Pacific without bases in the Americas so islands groups in Polynesia could have been discovered much later or earlier depending on how the Native Americans would have wanted to explore.

    If the Vikings were to seriously have expanded inland it would have probably been a slow expansion via the building of castles and lording around the local areas, the the Norman expansion into Wales. They would have needed to adopt cavalry and cavalry tactics and adopt to fight against the Native Americans who would in turn adopt to them.

    I wonder if the American Vikings would have stayed pagan (which they were at the time of Vinland's discovery) or converted to the beliefs of the Native Americans or Christianity.

    As as another note, Africa might have been spared being used for slave getting because the English and French wouldn't have had plantations in the Americas to run.

    I'd be interesting to see Native Americans running about in mail armour, building seige equipment and such. And darn political correctness, I don't like the extra typing to write Native American instead of Indians.

    From this post on I'll refer to Native Americans as Vinlanders in the discussion of this potential topic.

    "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"
    -Abraham Lincoln

  9. #9
    Throwing stones from afar Member Cazbol's Avatar
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    It's worth to note that none of the viking countries ever decided to colonise any part of Vinland. There was therefore no concentrated effort to send troops and such or to expand at all. The land was found by independent men and not sent by the kings and their motivation was pretty much "Hey, cool place. Let's stay for a while.".

    A hypothetical attempt at total viking colonisation would never have worked out. As has been mentioned the vikings would have had a very hard time inland. Fighting in the heavily forested areas would also have given the natives a major advantage.

    Judging from descriptions of the land, the most likely location of their settlements was the area around Newfoundland.

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    Member Member Guthwyn's Avatar
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    I can't quite recall what year it came out, but National Geographic did an interesting story on the vikings visiting the New World. #It considered how the vikings' technology would not have been advanced enough to give them as significant advantage (unlike later colonists). #In addition, they noted that, apparently, the natives they encountered didn't like them too much.
    # # I can't remember the name that the vikings used for the indians, but they had one. #I would recommend the article for anyone who has the time for a light read.

    Guthwyn

    Edit: I would guess the article was five years ago? Or around that.




  11. #11
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Guthwyn @ Jan. 08 2004,19:19)]I can't remember the name that the vikings used for the indians, but they had one. #
    Skraellinger? IIRC thats the word used for eskimos.


    CBR

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    Member Member Guthwyn's Avatar
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    I think it was like that--"Skraelings?". #Grrr...now I have to find access to an archive of Nat. Geo. so I can look it up again.

    Guthwyn

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    probably bored Member BDC's Avatar
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    Well assuming they had managed to colonise, maybe forming a small self sufficient colony? I guess trade goods would continue to trickle in from Europe first, then maybe both ways once word got around to the natives that people were willing to give them iron weapons in exchange for goods. The world would have seemed much smaller immediately, and Europe wouldn't have had the sense of being on the very west of the world...

  14. #14
    Throwing stones from afar Member Cazbol's Avatar
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    The name they used for them is "Skrælingjar".

  15. #15
    Member Member chris's Avatar
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    As far as casltes go, they didn't build any. The most hight tech fortification was quite hight tech for the vikings, being only barely keeps, mostly forts. These would not have slowed them down. The biggest difficulties, would be the Indians.....an aint politikawl 'rect....... honestly though, they would have proiven a huge difficulty. They knew the land, its every secret. Given time, and men (this discovery was toward the end, the vikings stopped being vikings) i htink they would have done it. the sheer determination, and requirement of war according to there religion would have been enough alone, plus you throw in their supperior weaponry? there you haveit.
    All those who wander, aren't lost.

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    Saupreuss Member Stefan the Berserker's Avatar
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    Well, Imagine the Vikings who refused to convert to Christianity came to Vinland instead of Iceland

    Holy Crusade against Vinland, may the heretic Americans die by the Sword

  17. #17
    Saupreuss Member Stefan the Berserker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Zitat[/b] ]Skraelings
    Not just Eskimos, it's relative with the middle-german Skärling and means Whimp/Fool. The Germans also called the Italians Skärlings in Medieval.

  18. #18
    Member Member Highlander X's Avatar
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    too bad for the vikings, they didn't really set out to colonize land as a nation. if they had maybe the Vinland settlement could have held on a little longer.

    Norse Newfies

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    Member Member Seven.the.Hun's Avatar
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    What if there were no hypothetical situations???
    hmm


    pillage, plunder, burn...

  20. #20
    Amir of the office desk Member Cebei's Avatar
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    I guess we would have a Varangian Bush and American girls would be more beautiful
    When the game ends, peon and king go into the same box.

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