Did the Chinese Discover America
‘’Did the Chinese discover America? ’’ The writer maintains the significant of explorations made by Columbus in fourteenth century. He describes that after Columbus’s explorations, efforts have been made to rewrite the history by arguing that it was Amerigo Vespucci who discovered the America and named after him, the Norsemen sailed to these areas centuries before Columbus, and Native Americans were living in these areas thousands of years before. Recently, Gavin Menzies has brought a significant story to the media by claiming that they were Chinese who first discovered America.
He has faced a strong criticism by Robert Finaly who says that Menzies’s story is just a historical humorous. In the article ‘’1421: The year China discovered America,’’ Menzies claims that the emperor Zhu Di sailed toward Pacific coastwith four fleets on 2 February 1421. Menzies defends his theory by bringing some evidences and connecting with Chines voyages like finding several old wrecks in Oregon containing paraffin wax, which was used by Chines.
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The wood and seeds from the wrecks analyzed and identified to be a Keteleria, which was used by Chines in the Middle Ages for building ships. Also, the Chines settlers have married with Native Americans and their descendants were different from other people. In the article ‘’How not to rewrite world history: Gavin Menzies and the Chinese Discovery of America,’’ Robert Finaly criticizes Menzies on most of the facts that he brought to support his theory by saying that most of the evidences are not based on historical studies, but they are rather humor.
He misinterprets historical resources and data about Zheng He expeditions. Finaly accuses that Menzies received money from publishers in advance to print his book. As far as I am concerned, I believe that Menzies does not provide adequate evidences to prove his theory based on historical resources, but he rather brought some baseless facts and details mixed with his personal narratives to integrate all parts of the story.
While illustrating some of the facts, Menzies himself confesses that they are yet to be proved. For example, he mentioned that the wood and seeds found wrecks in California are provisionally diagnosed as Keteleria, which was used to build ships by Chinese. In conclusion, trying to rewrite the history using inadequate baseless evidences or interpreting the facts in different ways will destroy the history. Researchers should try their best to use the historical resources and data as correctly as they are.