Amerigo Vespucci

  • Length: 1022 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Many people have had a great influence upon our world. Some have changed it in a generally good way, such as Abraham Lincoln. Others have affected the world negatively, such as Adolph Hitler. Still others have changed the world thoroughly, their changes resounding through time, such as Christopher Columbus. One other has changed the world thoroughly, and though all know his name, few know who this actually is. This man is Amerigo Vespucci or, as known to the Spanish, Americo Vespucio.
Vespucci was born on March 9, 1454, in Florence, Italy. He was born into an old family, having lived in the same mansion for over two hundred years. While Amerigo did not receive a formal education, he was taught by his highly respected uncle, Georgio Vespucci, a Dominican friar.
In 1479, Vespucci became internationally involved, going with a relative to be a diplomat to the King of France. In 1491, Vespucci became a diplomat to Seville, namely, one of the ship building companies there. Vespucci, instead of returning home, remained in Seville. He later helped prepare Columbus's ships for his second and third voyages, even becoming acquainted with the famous explorer. Columbus told Vespucci about his travels, and Vespucci paid close attention. While Columbus believed that he had sailed to India, Columbus's descriptions did not match what was known about India. Vespucci believed that Columbus had not actually sailed to India from Spain, but had actually sailed to a "Mundus Novus" or a "New World."
When the head of the ship building company died in about 1495, Vespucci became manager of the company. Vespucci used this new power to go on expeditions himself. It is believed that he took part in four voyages. All of these took part between 1497 and 1504. What little is known about each of these voyages comes from Vespucci's personal letters, sent primarily to Piero di Tommaso Soderini, one of his nobleman friends from Italy.
Vespucci's first voyage took place from 1497 to 1498. It was organized by the King of Spain to confirm that the new lands were actually far away from Spain. This expedition was captained by Vicente Yanez Pinzon, captain of the Nina on Columbus's first voyage. Vespucci's role in the voyage was to be the assistant cartographer. From this voyage, Vespucci helped determine the coastline of much of Central America, as well as determining that Cuba was actually an island and mapping many new, unknown islands.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Amerigo Vespucci." 23 Jun 2018
Title Length Color Rating  
Amerigo Vespucci Essay - Many people have had a great influence upon our world. Some have changed it in a generally good way, such as Abraham Lincoln. Others have affected the world negatively, such as Adolph Hitler. Still others have changed the world thoroughly, their changes resounding through time, such as Christopher Columbus. One other has changed the world thoroughly, and though all know his name, few know who this actually is. This man is Amerigo Vespucci or, as known to the Spanish, Americo Vespucio. Vespucci was born on March 9, 1454, in Florence, Italy....   [tags: Vespucci History Biography] 1022 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Discovery of Amerigo Vespucci Essay - 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....   [tags: American America History]
:: 5 Works Cited
2512 words
(7.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Amerigo Vespucci Essay - Amerigo Vespucci Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian explorer was born in Florence, Italy in the year of 1454. Florence was a good city to grow up in for young Amerigo, because of the growing interest in the field of exploration. Some of the adults told young Amerigo about the wonders and riches of the Indies. Like the other Italian boys in his village, undoubtedly Amerigo was fascinated with by those tales. Amerigo lived in the Ognissanti section of Florence with a lot of the Vespucci family. The Vespucci family was pretty well off, so Amerigo thought that he was in line for a lot of money after his father's passing, but his brother Antonio was highly favored over the rest of the children....   [tags: essays research papers] 500 words
(1.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Amerigo Vespucci Essay - Vespucci was the one person for whom North and South America was named after. Vespucci had a wonderful life and found many things on his voyages. Amerigo Vespucci was born in Florence, Italy in March of 1451, and grew up in a considerable mansion near the river. As a young boy, Amerigo's happiest moments studying the stars. He excelled in mathematics and his hobby was copying maps. His dream as a young boy was to travel and get a better picture about what the Earth looked like. Amerigo spent half of his life as a business man hoping to strike it rich so he could explore....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 1 Works Cited
852 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on The Discovery of The New World - I. Christopher Columbus: Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa in 1451. He was inspired by merchants and mariners. As a teenager, he joined the crew of a merchant ship. In his twenties, he settled in Lisbon with his brother, making maps for a living. Later on, he married a woman whose father had connections with the captains on Henry the Navigator’s ship. The couple settled in Madeira as Columbus visited multiple trading posts on the west coast of Africa. During his sailing trips, Columbus read some books that stimulated his curiosity, such as Natural History, written by Pliny....   [tags: Christopher Columbus, Expeditions, Discovery]
:: 3 Works Cited
1449 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Age of European Exploration Essay - The Age of European Exploration The age of exploration was filled with courageous voyagers and conquistadores from all over Europe, much like today, there was much competition for land rights. The main disputes were between Spain and Portugal. And these are the representatives from not only these two countries, but surrounding ones as well. Christopher Columbus was a sea captain from Genoa. He first tried to convince Portugal, then Spain to sponsor a voyage to Asia across the Atlantic....   [tags: European Europe History] 527 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay about The Emerging American Character During the 1700’s - The Emerging American Character During the 1700’s (7 There once was an Italian man by the name of Amerigo Vespucci, who sailed the seas and explored South America. And later named America after himself. And there was Bartholomew Diaz who was also a navigator of the sea, but he was from Portugal, and the first European to round the cay of good hope in 1488. Then there was another Italian explorer, he to commanded the English exploration and alter discovered the North American mainland. He was John Cabot....   [tags: essays research papers] 581 words
(1.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Colonists Living Among Natives in the New World Essay - Colonists Living Among Natives in the New World When the Europeans invaded the New World in 1492 they brought along their culture and way of life. The Europeans were not prepared to encounter a previously developed culture, which was home to the Indians. The negative stereotype of the Indians as viscous savages and barbarians was immediately formed by the Europeans beginning as early as Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World. These negative stereotypes made Europeans believe that Indians were hardly human and "believed that no civilized person would choose to become an Indian" (Axtell, Invasion 302)....   [tags: American America History]
:: 5 Works Cited
2973 words
(8.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Ethnocentric First Impressions of the New World - Ethnocentric First Impressions of the New World The first impressions of the New World created by the European culture was created from minds that were ethnocentric. I am aware that not every single European citizen thought the same way about the Natives as it is generally depicted. The general concensus of the European people was that the newly discovered was theirs, and whoever inhabited the land was going to be conquered. The impressions of the New World were started prior to the landing of Christopher Columbus....   [tags: American America History]
:: 2 Works Cited
2495 words
(7.1 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Brazil Essay - Brazil Stretching over 2,500 miles form east to west and 2,700 miles from north to south, Brazil is the world’s largest tropical country. The only nations that are larger are the lands of Russia, Canada, China and the United States. Brazil has more then 150 million people spread unevenly over its huge land area, making it the fifth most populated country in the world. ( More then two thirds of Brazil’s people live in the cities and towns and more then 29 percent of them are in the ten cities with more then a million people....   [tags: History]
:: 4 Works Cited
2548 words
(7.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches

While this voyage was known to happen, whether or not Vespucci actually participated is unknown.
His second voyage took place from 1499 to 1500, as chief navigator under Captain Alonso de Ojeda. This expedition traveled further down the coast of South America then had ever been done before. During this voyage, Vespucci discovered the proof he needed for his "Mundus Novus." Nearly everything he saw and recorded contradicted what was known about India or the rest of Asia, specifically the islands and the native peoples. Additionally, he was able to determine that he was actually in a separate part of the world from Spain by using the stars. During this voyage, he discovered the Amazon River, the Orinoco River, and the Trinidad Islands in the Caribbean.
When Vespucci returned to Spain in 1500, he wanted to immediately go into another expedition to further explore this New World, as well as to find a way to Asia. Vespucci asked the King of Spain to fund another expedition, but he refused. Vespucci then turned to Portugal for help. Vespucci started his third voyage in 1501, under the Portuguese flag.
During this voyage, Vespucci traveled further down the coast of South America than any before him, which would stand for fifteen years. According to letters from Vespucci, his voyage made it all the way to what is now the coast of Patagonia, supposedly discovering Guanabara Bay of Rio de Janeiro and the estuaries of the Río de la Plata. However, he probably did no sail that far, as maps after he returned showed land only reaching the twenty-fifth southern parallel, showing that Vespucci really did not reach much further than that. During this expedition, Vespucci also mapped several constellations that had not been seen in Europe since the time of the ancient Greeks, such as Alpha and Beta Centauri, and Crux, the Southern Cross. During this voyage, Vespucci finally had proof that he had discovered his "Mundus Novus," as the lands he explored were much larger and extended further south than should be possible if he was actually in Asia.
After this voyage, Vespucci returned to Spain. There, in 1508, he was assigned the title of Pilot Major, or "Piloto Mayor de España." With this title came a large income and the responsibility to start a school for navigators. Vespucci ran this new school from his house, where he helped standardize then current navigation techniques as well as develop new, more reliable ones. Vespucci died of malaria on February 22, 1512 in Seville, Spain, at the age of 58.
In 1507, Martin Waldseemüller, a German cartographer, produced the first world map showing the Americas as separate continents. He based this new off of Vespucci's travels, giving the continents the new title of America, after Vespucci. This name quickly spread, giving the both North and South America their names.
Amerigo Vespucci was a man whose works thoroughly changed the course of history. By suggesting that the lands that Columbus discovered and that he explored were actually not part of Asia but instead their own continent, Vespucci gave his name to these lands. While there is controversy on whether he deserved this grand remembrance, Vespucci certainly did contribute heavily to the finding and exploration of the New World. He will now be remembered forever through his namesake.

Ober, Frederick A.. Amerigo Vespucci. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1907.

Canaday, James A.. "The Life OF Amerigo Vespucci." Columbus: Age of Discovery. Millersville University. 4 Mar 2008 .

Roberto Almagià, and The Editors of the Encyclopædia Britannica.. "Amerigo Vespucci." Britannica Biography Collection (n.d.). Middle Search Plus. EBSCO. Bob Jones Library, Madison, AL. 9 Mar. 2008 .

Return to