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Amerigo Vespucci: The History of Life

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In 1507, the name America emerged after a world map was created based on the travels of Amerigo Vespucci. Amerigo Vespucci was a merchant and explorer who sail the New World for Spain in the 15th century. Vespucci was born on March 9, 1454, in, Italy. Vespucci’s family were friends with the Medici family, who ruled Italy from the 1400s to 1737. Amerigo had received his early education from his uncle, friar Giorgio Antonio Vespucci. Vespucci made his expeditions sometime between 1497 and 1504. Amerigo Vespucci was a navigator under the command of Alonso de Ojeda during a voyage sent by Spain between May 1499 and June 1500. In this voyage, Vespucci is believed to have discovered the mouth of the Amazon river. It is believed that he went as far back as Cape St. Augustine. On his way back, Vespucci arrived at Trinidad and went to Haiti after he spotted the mouth of the Orinoco river. When Vespucci arrived back in Spain, he prepared for a new voyage to reach the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of the Ganges, and the island of Tropane, but Spain refused. So, Amerigo Vespucci sailed for Portugal at the end of 1500. Vespucci sailed under Portugal aid on May 13, 1501. The expedition reached Brazil toward Cape St. Augustine.

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The rest of the expedition is debated, but Vespucci may have been the first European to discover Rio de la Plata. The expedition may have journeyed farther, but the return route is unknown. Vespucci returned to Lisbon on July 22, 1503. The expedition of 1501- 02 is important because it convinced Vespucci and other scholars that the discovered lands were not a part of Asia. In 1508, Amerigo Vespucci was appointed to chief navigator at the Commercial House for the Indies. He would prepare the official map of newly discovered lands and the routes to those lands. He would be chief navigator until his death from Malaria, on February 22, 1512. Vespucci died in Seville, Spain as a Spanish citizen. Maria Cerezo, his wife, was granted a pension for her husband’s services.

A cartographer named Martin Waldseemuker used the name America in 1507, to honor Vespucci’s contribution to discovering Brazil. In 1538, Mercator, another mapmaker, expanded the name America to cover both northern and southern portions of America. Vespucci was also known for naming constellations like the Southern Cross while he was on a voyage back from the New World in 1502. Amerigo Vespucci was the first person to suggest that the New World was a different continent and not apart from the West Indies. America was named after Amerigo Vespucci because he was the first explorer to realize that America was a new continent. Unlike Christopher Columbus, Vespucci publicly wrote about his findings. If Christopher Columbus had made his findings public, America may have been named differently.

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Amerigo Vespucci: The History of Life. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/amerigo-vespucci-the-history-of-life/
“Amerigo Vespucci: The History of Life.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/amerigo-vespucci-the-history-of-life/
Amerigo Vespucci: The History of Life. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/amerigo-vespucci-the-history-of-life/> [Accessed 2 Feb. 2023].
Amerigo Vespucci: The History of Life [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2023 Feb 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/amerigo-vespucci-the-history-of-life/
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