Around the year 1000, Leif Erikson set out to find new land. Leif's expedition first came to an empty, grey land that they called Helluland (“Flat-Stone Land”). As they were sailing southward, they encountered a smooth, forested land which they called Markland (“Wood Land”).
They set sail southward once more, and found a forested, warm spot that they named Vinland. There they built some houses and explored the region before sailing back to Greenland. In 1003, Leif’s brother Thorvald led an expedition to Vinland and spent two years there collecting food and spice. In 1010, Thorfinn Karlsefni, after hearing
Thorvald’s reports of grapes in Vinland, led a colonizing expedition of 65 people. By the time they had stayed there three years, the colonists’ trade with the Native Eriksons had turned to warfare, and the colonists retuned to Iceland and got an arsenal of weapons to use for battle. These battles have since been known as the Wars of Foundation. Erikson then returned to Vinland and lived the rest of his life in his Vinlandic estate. Some text actually taken from Encyclopedia Britannica.
Colony of Norway
As a colony, there was a lot of progress made in exploration. After becoming a colony of Norway, there were over 1,000 settlers sent over to Vinland in the next 25 years. Eventually, the King of Norway designated over 20 explorers to explore the four main regions of Vinland at the time (Vinland, Markland, Helluland, and Slettene Land). By the end of the eleventh century, there were about 30 settlements up and down the Vinlandic coast.
Age of Prosperity
In the early 1100's, the job of Vinland was getting itself on it's feet. It worked on improving trade relations with places like Denmark and Scotland, and worked on exploring Erikson. Things were going very well for the Vinlanders. They kept sending out explorers to look for good places to build settlements and gather resources. In the 1140's, Vinland began to focus on mining. They set up mines in many of their big cities, and gathered many resources. Their economy quickly grew even more. This time has sometimes been called the Age of Prosperity for the Vinlanders.
In the 1190's, after the Vinlanders discovered the Inuit across the Helluland Bay, they were forced to get in a war. They lost, and gave the Inuit their own autonomous country. This was a harsh blow on Vinland, and ended the Age of Prosperity for them. They were forced to upgrade their military and tone down on their mining operations.
Poverty and Disease
The early thirteenth century was a terrible time for the Vinlanders. After having to tone down on trade and military operations, trade grew slowly apart with Denmark and England. Luckily, until around 1215, Vinland was able to continue transportation of furs back and forth.
In 1214, the first case of what is now known as Inclino (OTL Syphilis) hit the far west town of Minnibakki. It spread as settlers returned to merchant hubs to pass on goods to others. The Vinlandic king at the time was forced to quarantine these towns, but it ended up killing 15% of their population. The commotion ended with a one year cut of trade to Europe, only to have it reinstated in 1221 (one year after that).
Although short, this one year cease of trade caused much of the people of the major port cities to go into poverty. Many people starved in the coming years, which historians consider a side affect of the Inclino outbreak.
When Norway was taken over by Denmark, it became a colony of Denmark.
Transition to the Renaissance
By the time the Renaissance began in the early 1260's, the Vinlandic king worked as hard as he could to bring the kingdom into a new age. He ordered many new reforms on government, including some which allowed food to be taken from the rich and given to the poorer districts. Some people were still affected by Inclino, but many of these people were helped until their eventual insanity began.
By the 1270's, when the Renaissance was in full effect, Vinland was considered to be out of it's slump, as most people had a satisfying amount of food. Although most towns in the far west were still in poverty, the king didn't care much for them. He focused more on the issues in European countries than in his own backyard.
The 1300's was a century of advancement for Vinland. After (mostly) getting back on track from the Inclino outbreak and poverty in the area, art and science flourished. The town of Ytterhelen became the first city in Vinland to build a university, and soon became the scientific capital of Erikson. It still holds that title today, with some of the most prestigious schools in Vinland. The art in the area was arguably not as good as the art in Europe, as it was heavily influenced by Inuit and Cree drawings.
They had a series of rebellions in it's western area, due to their people dying and most others in the state of late starvation. Luckily for the king and badly for the rebels, most died out from a second outbreak of Inclino in the mid-1300's.
By the end of the Renaissance in the late 1400's, Vinland was a changed, stable, artistic kingdom. They seemed to be ready to face the rest of their years on par with the other powers.
Although mostly left alone by Denmark-Sweden, Vinland was still heavily taxed by them, and wanted independence.
To learn more, see the Vinlandic War of Independence.
The rebellions in the Western regions of Vinland had stopped years ago, but were still engrained in some people's memories. On top of this, the king was heavily taxing the people of Vinland, with no one able to stop him. This was probably because he needed more money, in order to get even farther ahead of the competition.
When the Chinese went to war with Vinland for their Vest Territory, many of the people settling the area refused to become militants for their army. The Chinese soon won the war, which led to the Vinlandic settlers being taxed less than they were before. Of course, the Chinese soon attempted to exile the former settlers in the area.
But after this exile occurred, the people still wanted independence from the tyrannical reign of their current king. Their western territories seceded, which began the Vinlandic Civil War.