AP U.S. History
Zheng He or Christopher Columbus
Was Christopher Columbus the first to discover America? Nowadays if you ask someone who was the first to discover America, most would say Christopher Columbus. But if you ask a real historian or a history professor, they would go back as far as 70 years before Columbus discovered America. Columbus may have been the first to discover America, but evidence shows that there was another man who discovered America 70 years before Columbus. This man was a 15th Chinese Admiral who lived during the Ming Dynasty and he is Zheng He. Zheng He served the Ming Dynasty Emperor, Zhu Di (Yong Le), and was leader of 7 voyages in the Indian Ocean. He visited more than 30 countries with a fleet of giant treasure ships that had 9 masts and was about 450 feet, which was about 4 times the size of the Santa Maria. He had hundreds of ships and thousands of men working for on his 7 voyages.
What evidences proves that he discovered America before Columbus? Zheng He had maps that were drawings of the Pacific and Atlantic Coast of North America. There were diaries, letters and shop logs that show what they were looking for and where to go. Then there were cultural language in Native Americans influenced by the Chinese. Zheng He may have left some of his men behind and they taught the Native Americans there to speak Chinese. This then leads to the fact that DNA shows the ties between the Native Americans and the Chinese. This means that the men Zheng He left behind had intermarried with the natives there and Chinese clothing was found in the New World. Also animals and plants that were native to America were found in Asia and animals and plants native to Asia were found in America and other parts of the world. Another evidence that proves that Zheng He had discovered America before Columbus is that there are plenty of physical evidences of their arrival in America. In Trujillo, Peru there were cave drawings of Chinese...
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