Vikings were sailors. They used their expertise on the seas to explore. They traveled to find new land to live in that was good for farming, but they also lived as traders, buying exotic items like silk, wine, glass, and spices while giving in return what they had in abundance: fish, tin, wool, wheat, leather, iron, wood, fur, and honey. They also participated in the buying and selling of slaves.
What is considered the world’s first parliament was set up in Iceland by Vikings. The Vikings first came to the Americas by accident. A Viking reported having been blown off course trying to get to Iceland and having found a new land. In 1001, Leif Erikson, son of Erik the Red (the discoverer of Greenland), sailed west along with his crew; they were the first Europeans to have landed in America as far as we know.
They landed north of today’s United States, spending the winter in Newfoundland, Canada. After fights with natives, the beginning of a Viking settlement was abandoned.
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