The Discovery of Amerigo Vespucci

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The Discovery of Amerigo Vespucci Who was Amerigo Vespucci? This is a question I asked myself as I was researching the man credited with the discovery of the new world. Much information has been written about Christopher Columbus and very little about Amerigo Vespucci. To understand who Amerigo Vespucci was is to look at his life and times in that time period. This paper is an attempt to look at his history and try to get a better understanding of his life in the “Age of Discovery”. To have an understanding of Vespucci is to remember that to the day of his death, Columbus persisted in claiming he was in parts of Asia. This is part of the old world mentality and shows that Columbus never fully comprehended the achievements of his voyages. Two continents are named after Amerigo Vespucci. A great achievement for a man who many feel is a charlatan of geography. Did he discover America or was this honor bestowed on the wrong man? “In the middle ages, Europe knew less about the earth than did some of the ancients, for the commercial decline of Rome brought about the contraction of geographical knowledge.” [Pohl 6]. During this time period, men began to disregard authority and learned to rely directly on their own investigations. This is the seed that brought about men like Columbus and Vespucci. The period of the Renaissance is the fertile ground that brought about changes in the world of inquiry and scientific achievement in Europe. “This new spirit of inquiry received its chief impetus from the invention of the printing press whose importance outweighed even the greatest political event of the time.”[Pohl 9]. Printing led to the overthrow of authority and allowed the men of the period to come into immediate contact with each ... ... middle of paper ... ...e the intellect of the times to figure out how to navigate in the oceans is just as important if not more than his discovery of a new continent. Some would argue this point but from my research, Amerigo Vespucci was truly the founder of modern navigation that brought civilization out of the dark ages to the modern era. He was truly a man of his times. Works Cited Cohen, Jonathen. “The Naming of America: Vespucci’s Good Name”. Encounters 7:16-20 Pohl, Frederick, J. “America Vespucci”, Pilot Major. New York: Octagon Books, INc., 1966 Arciniegas, German. Amerigo and the New World: The life and Times Of Amerigo Vespucci. Knopf, NY, 1955 Lester, C. Edwards. The life and Voyages of Americus Vespucius, New York: New Amsterdam Publoishing, 1903. Wills, Garry.Forward. Letters From A New World. Ed. Luciano Formisano, New York, Marsilo Publishers, 1992

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