The Indicator from Planet Money - How Vikings Launched Globalization 1.0

How the Vikings trading with a North American Indigenous group shortly after the year 1000 connected global trading networks and kicked off the first version of globalization.

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Content Keywords: father Valerie Hansen Norse Explorers
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NPR

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the year is 986 and the Northside his tail of a viking named yarny hair Johnson who is sailing west from Norway to spend the winter with his father. That is Yale historian Valerie Hansen and his father. He thought was a nice and so he went to Iceland. There's apparently never been any getting out of going home for the holidays, but beyond his father is not in Iceland. His father had gone to Greenland with other Norse Explorers. So we are knee keeps sailing Westport Greenland and he gets blown off course by the currents until he spots a new land south west of Greenland and he goes to three places that the sagas tell us about and one of them has slabs of rock that most people think is Baffin Island. One of them has a lot of trees and most people think that that's what the labrador coast of North Eastern Canada and then the third place

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Looks much more fertile in much more inviting and that place is called Vinland and we're not absolutely sure to this day where it was Ernie and his men keep sailing actually set foot on North American land instead. They returned to Greenland and tell the other North settlers what they've seen and around the year 1000 Leif Erikson follows that same path from Greenland back to Vinland becoming the first European to set foot in the Americas, but that is just the beginning of the story.

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This is Anna cater from Planet Money. I'm Cardiff Garcia and I'm in the show Vikings.

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Cardiff and I have sort of a strange shared love of Vikings promises loop back to economics. It is a story you might not have heard in your childhood classroom. How does Vikings kicked off globalization?

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Scholars think Vinland was somewhere near the Gulf of st. Lawrence in modern-day Canada that is close to the border with the US state of Maine Finland had plenty of trees and grass and fish and it had a great fight. So that is how it got its name Vinland. It was in the year 1000 when Leif Erikson sales there with his Viking fruit and then camps there for the winter the Vikings do not encounter any indigenous peoples before they returned to Greenland the first encounter between the North and Indigenous peoples in the Americas comes a few years later when leaves brother torvald brings his own crew to Vinland when they arrive the Vikings and torvald come across nine indigenous men's sleeping and then they do something horrible Valerie Hansen is historian at Yale. And the author of the Year 1001 Explorer is connected the world and globalization began the Norse without talking to them or waking them up or making any effort to figure out who they are.

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Kill eight of the nine men that they find and then the 9th man escaped and he comes back with some friends and they then attack the Norse and they shoot for Vogue and he dies of an arrow wound old men go back to Greenland and several years after that the Vikings returned again to Vinland under the command of torphin call Stephanie this time the Vikings not only make contact with the indigenous peoples, but they also trade goods with them. And this is the first recorded instance of Europeans trading with people in the Americas that we don't know exactly which indigenous group or groups. The Vikings came across Skylar think it might have been the incestral bear Thug, but there were several indigenous groups near the area that it could have been the Vikings for pelts in their trade with the indigenous groups. These pelts can be used to make clothes for a cold winter and the Vikings Sino cold winter was kind of their thing, but definitely needed for and Batman.

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Fur pelts are also just a prized good all across the world are used to make clothing there an extremely prized commodity in the medieval world and one of the successes, I think it's very interesting is that yes people in cold climates are making clothing out of four people in hot climates. The caliph of Baghdad has a wardrobe that's filled with for a rope in exchange for the fur pelts. The Vikings need something to trade that the indigenous peoples want wanted most was to buy red cloth. They also wanted to buy swords and Spears the cross Stephanie and snorri stories his other leader forbade that you know, it's all about the pop of color card it even back then so that I can stay for a little while in Vinland, but there is a misunderstanding when one of the indigenous peoples tries to grab a viking weapon, the relationship goes south and leader there is a battle and the Vikings are outnumbered Spears it all the Vikings realize that

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Not settled in Vinland without a constant threat of attack. So they abandon their settlement fight their way out and go back to Greenland to settle here is where we have to say that we don't actually know just how true these stories are Valerie says, these are stories that were passed down through the generations by descendants of the Vikings. So naturally they make the Vikings look good heroic adventurous and correspondingly. They were for the indigenous peoples in derogatory ways and make them out to be the bad guys. It's a totally one-sided account of what happened to separate Saugus Saugus and even the two sagas contradict each other about some of the events. Yeah, but even if the sagas are not actual history, we do know that the stories are at least based on actual history because there was more than enough archaeological evidence now to confirm that the Vikings really were in North America that they traveled there repeatedly from Greenland and that they both traded with

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Fought with at least one North American indigenous group in North America before they gave up possibly as little as a decade Valerie says but there was also archaeological evidence that the Vikings kept returning to visit North America for decades at least and maybe longer probably to pick up lumber for their buildings back in Greenland in our favorite piece of evidence for this a nurse Penny minted between 1065 and 1080p from the Vikings first and then between different indigenous groups, by the way, that Penny was dug up in the United States and it was found in a giant garbage pile called admitted with a lot of shells in it on a coastal site called Goddard point in here is why the trade between the Vikings and the indigenous group in North America is so interesting Valerie says that this trading network was one of the many trading networks that were being established.

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Simultaneously at that moment in history around the year 1000 to the west of the Atlantic Ocean. There were trading networks linking North and South America in the Americas. There is a trading center called Cahokia Mounds, which is in East st. Louis modern East st. Louis and at Cahokia archaeologists have found goods from the Northeast from the Great Lakes from California. There's some evidence of ties to even the Maya and then there's connections between the Maya in Mexico and the Andes and to the east of the Atlantic Ocean Valerie says, there are trade networks all through Europe and they're these new networks in Eastern Europe. They're connected to Africa. There's a trade route from East Africa that goes up to Baghdad to Port a side effect that is called phosphorus. And then that trade route goes around India and Southeast Asia and gets to China. So when making it across the Atlantic and connecting east to west the Vikings had closed the global Loop is Valerie.

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As when they establish that trade with indigenous peoples in North America and even if it wasn't a huge amount of trade and even if that trade only lasted a short while it was the first time in history that hypothetically in item that was traded almost anywhere in the world could have made it to almost any other part of the world and that is how the Vikings lost globalization or at least an early version of it International Trade Viking Style. By the way. We are using the words North and Vikings interchangeably technically not the same thing. The Vikings were Norse people who specifically engaged in a looting and visits to the Americas by the nurse for something different. We took a bit of literary license. He don't just the way that they do in the sagas. It's an indicator was produced by Darren woods and Sean cell. The indicator is edited by Patty Hirsch and is a production of NPR.

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I'm Rodney call Marc Anthony Manning.

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