Fall of the Viking Colony at Greenland


With a population that reached the peak of about 5000, the mysterious demise of the Viking Colony at Greenland leaves us puzzled. However, there are attributes that have proven to contribute to the deterioration of this colony. Some of these factors could have been fully avoided as well, if it weren’t for the Vikings need for a European lifestyle. When the climate turned for the worst the Viking Colony at Greenland were too stubborn to adapt to their new environment.

The Vikings tried to maintain their farming culture, which was essentially influenced by the Europeans. However, they didn’t realize this practice would soon turn against them. Cutting turf for their livestock left the land vulnerable to erosion. And when grass cover broke (from livestock grazing), that is what the land exactly experienced. Also crops and livestock strained during the 1300s, when the climate began to get colder and colder.

Furthermore, as the climate turned less favourable, drift ice began emerging along vital trade routes. Sailing routes, had to be changed. By the time “The Little Ice Age” was in full swing, in 1420, the Viking’s trading system was at its demise. Greenland lost much of its support from Europe. Also, when the trade ended, the Vikings were deprived of products that could have leaded them to survival.

However, while climate change did generate obstacles, there were ways to subsist (as the Inuit proved). However, the Vikings clinged onto their struggling farms and failed to implement effective Inuit methods like: the toggle harpoon and fishhooks for hunting, and appropriate apparel for the harsh climates. The Vikings certainly witnessed the Inuit and their methods, but never adopted them as their own.

Yes, the weather did turn for the worst. However it was the choice of the Vikings to fail. They gripped onto their farming culture, even during its obvious struggle. They rejected Inuit methods, which could have saved them, especially during the loss of there trading system. When the climate became less favorable, the Viking Colony at Greenland was too stubborn to adapt.


Fall of Viking Colony at Greenland rough notes
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