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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
History is written by the victors, and when we grow up learning a certain fact, taught by our teachers and marked in tests, there’s no reason to question it, but sometimes, just sometimes, history isn’t quite as it seems. Here are some common mistakes in history!
Number 1: Columbus discovered America – wrong!
Many people believe and even teach others that Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 but this is in fact not true. Asian tribes migrated to America and settled there, crossing the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska which had been created in the last ice age. The so called Native Americans were in fact the first discoverers of America coming from Asia. Following this Viking explorers from Iceland found North America in the 11th Century and whilst they did not settle due to small numbers and hostility from the North Americans, there was a Viking settlement discovered in Newfoundland, so Christopher Columbus wasn’t even the first European to find America. The reason he is so well remembered is because his discovery came at a time of imperial colonisation and opened America to the European powers Spain, France and England (despite Columbus being Italian).
Number 2: Paul Revere – The English are coming – wrong!
During growing hostilities between patriots in America and the British who owned the land, Paul Revere is famously said to have ridden at midnight to warn the American patriots “the British are coming, the British are coming”. The result gave them time to muster a defence and defeat the British at the battles of Lexington and Concord. In reality this did not happen as described. First of all the British soldiers in American territory were referred to as ‘regulars’ and so the phrasing of the quote is wrong to begin with. Secondly, whilst Paul Revere was sent on horseback to warn of the British troops, he was one of some 40 riders sent with that task and, overwhelmed by the situation, he actually fell off his horse and was held prisoner temporarily by the redcoats (the British soldiers). The reality is that Revere never delivered the message, numerous other unnamed riders did and he is only made famous by the poem by Henry Longfellow who is said to have chosen Revere of the various named riders as his name rhymes easily with such words as near and here! Yet if you go to Boston in America Paul Revere’s house is a tourist attraction to which I have been and he is hailed as a national hero! Most Americans don’t know the truth and are even taught this incorrectly in school.
Number 3: The Thirteen Colonies of the United States – wrong!
The thirteen colonies of the United States are the supposedly thirteen colonies of the Eastern part of North America that became the United States upon liberation from British rule. In reality there were only 12, as modern day Delaware was then part of Pennsylvania and wasn’t separated until 1776. Again though most Americans wouldn’t know this and the school curriculum even refers to the 13 colonies!
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