1261-1500 1721-1815

Greenland, 1500-1721

Some time during the late 15th century the Viking population of Greenland succumbed to a combination of a climate which had turned colder, communication with Norway having broken down, diseases and attacks by the Innuit.
When the new world was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the Greenland (-Vinland) connection had been forgotten.
A small population of Innuit, spread over a long coastal stretch, lived of fishing and hunting, self-sufficient and practically without contact to the outside world, as well as unaffected by 'civilization'.
This changed when the discoverers, such as HENRY HUDSON, reached Greenland en route to what they believed to be the NORTHWEST PASSAGE. In 1652 the Danish (and Norwegian) monarch, recalling that as successor of the Viking kings of Norway he had a xlaim on the entire island, sent out an expedition under DANNELS. While the Danes did not repeat the Viking attempt to settle, they found Greenland an area where fur, a valuable commodity, could be acquired.

DOCUMENTS Article Greenland, from Catholic Encyclopedia

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on November 8th 2004

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