June 13, 2005

Who Desired It? Atleast, They DID NOT!!!

The story of birth of America starts with the discovery of America by Columbus.

It is difficult to sermonize that Columbus ever knew that what actually he was doing. The discovery of American continent, the coming of Columbus to the American continent were all the result of some other forces, thoughts and game plans. In that game plan, no where it was imagined that a country by the name of America was to be built. The game plans were different. It was the desire to find a route to the East India. The need and force were the desire to acquire the products of East which were needed by Europe. Some other forces impeded the route, the traditional route. The European world had fought those forces in the name of religion. But the motivation factor behind the urge to find the route was economical. It was the urge of the people to earn profit and fulfill the mundane needs which was prompting them to find the route to East. It is difficult to discern anywhere that even Columbus had such a plan as establishing habitable areas on the way. His plan was only to find the route to the east so that he might become useful in getting the importance because he knew the route. He was trying for this even before Vasco could have set off to find the route to India by encircling Africa.

I believe that even Columbus was not a serious player. He was a mariner. His job was to sail the ships. He was without a job. He was seeking a job and he was telling people that there could be a route by moving towards west. He was seeking opportunity. It was while exploiting that opportunity that he found the American continents. What Spain was getting out of it? It was just a matter of chance that they came across some civilizations on the continent which could be overpowered and it was the greed of the European world which was satisfied there. Where was the need to find colonies on American continents? If there was no need to find the colonies in America, then the very creation of the world of America seems to be the result as a byproduct of the meaningless human endeavours which had brought fruits.

Now let us take up some concepts and facts which came up before habitation on American land was founded. Nowhere, the idea of America was there.

Concept of North West Passage:
North West Passage is sea route which joins Pacific Ocean with Atlantic Ocean passing through north of Alaska. This route was first tried by John Cabot in 1490s sea expedition while making efforts to find route to China and India. It was John Franklin who was able to trace the route to some distance between 1845 and 1854 but disappeared before reaching China. It was Roald Amunsden, Norwegian who joined a Belgian expedition, who traversed the real North West passage in 1903-1906. Finally in 1969, US Oil Tanker, Manhattan successfully used this passage. The main problem of using this passage is the ice boulders and failure of the compass to work being on the pole.

River Hudson is named after the English navigator Henry Hudson (1565-1611). It was Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian sailor and pirate from a place near Florence, who was the first European to enter New York Bay. He was employed by Francis I of France of Valois dynasty to find a route to China and claim new lands for France. However the river was first explored by Henry Hudson in 1607 after whom this river the Bay were named. He explored it for English Muscovy Company on the ship of the company named Hopewell. The target of this exploration was to find North East Passage through Arctic Ocean to Far East. When after two attempts, Hudson failed to discover the route to Far East, the English Muscovy Company withdrew its support to Hudson’s expeditions. On that, Hudson turned to Dutch East India Company which provided him the required finance. It was his third voyage in 1609 which was carried on the Ship Half Moon employed under the Dutch East India Company. On this basis of his exploration, the Dutch were able to colonies the Hudson Valley in seventeenth century.

In 1613 Adriaen Block came to the river for the Dutch company and camped at the present place of Manhattan city of New York. In 1624, The Dutch West India Company established the Colony of New Netherlands. New Amsterdam was established by the Dutch people as a trading port on the south end of Manhattan in 1625. In 1664, this colony was surrendered to English but soon regained. Finally, by the treaty of Westminster, the Dutch ceded this colony to the English.

It was Henry Hudson who had explored the Delaware River in 1609. In 1610 Samuel Argall entered the Delaware Bay and named the area after the governor of Virginia Lord De La Warr. In 1638, a group of Swedes established the first settlement called Fort Christina. Now the city of Wilmington stands there. This settlement was a joint venture of Dutch and Swedish people. It was promoted by King of Sweden Gustav II Adolph, when he had become interested in colonization. The Dutch people who had joined the venture, were the members of a defunct Dutch West India Company. The settlement was called New Sweden. As it fell near to New Netherlands which was the settlement of Dutch people on present day Manhattan, the governor Peter Stuyvesant occupied New Sweden in 1655. In 1664, England brought it under its control and kept it under New York. This area was settlement of Native Americans who called themselves as Leni-Lenape. The literal meaning of Leni-:Lenape is Original People. They belonged to Algonquian linguistic group. They were highly respected by the associated Native Americans of the surrounding areas and called them grandfather.

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