The "Native Americans" weren't native either, in the sense they didn't evolve here. They migrated over the Bering land bridge (now the Bering Straits) from Asia. They were the first people and that was roughly 16-17,000 years ago.
In "modern" history, the Vikings were here first, establishing a settlement. Led by Leif Ericksson (spelling varies) that was around the year 1000 AD.
Columbus "discovered" the New World in 1492 AD.
A case can probably be made for any of those three, using different criteria. I sincerely hope no book actually SAID Ponce de Leon (he was a member of Columbus' SECOND expedition).
Americus Vespucius sailed in several voyages from1499-1504. He mapped the place, wrote a letter with a false date and thus gave it a name. No case can be made for him "discovering" the New World.
I usually don't give so much information, preferring you research it yourself. However, there was so much MISINFORMATION here, I rather felt obligated to.
The reason why credit went to Spain Or Columbus for the discovery of the "new world" was because during that time contries were in a race to discover new lands. There was a thing called the Papal Bulls which gave CHRISTIANS rights to claim lands that were not inhabited by Christians. Because tribes were not christians and did not believe in the bible and all that all land that they were on during the time of discovery was up for grabs.
If you look up the Discovery Doctrine it will explain the whole thing.
Like it or not it was the Native Americans. They have been here for 50,000 years.
Europe was not even inhabited then.
So someone would have had to discover Europe first, for Europeans to even exist.
Even though the natives were there no one in the east knew they were there or that there was even a huge chunk of land there. So when columbus came and saw everything he was one of the first europeans to find america even though it was already filled with natives and back then the europeans considered the natives animal (which is wrong) so they thought they had found it first
I think the Viking DISCOVERED it but the native Americans just Evolved on it(, if that makes sense).
From what I understand, there was actually a man before Christopher Columbus. He named the continents after himself. His name was Americo Vespucci.
Don't forget Amerigo Vespucci.