Amerigo Vespucci explored the world for Spain and Portugal during the late 15th century and early 16th century. The precise amount of his exploration is controversial. Some researchers believe that letters supposedly written by Vespucci that describe his journeys are forgeries.
Some of the letters discuss four ocean trips, while others mention just two. Vespucci's first verified journey began in 1499. He was the navigator for a fleet of four Spanish ships. This expedition explored some of South America and included the discovery of the Amazon River. It also ventured into the West Indies. The second confirmed trip occurred in 1501, when Vespucci sailed for Portugal and traveled as least as far as Brazil.Learn More
Amerigo Vespucci became an explorer because his education and background fitted him for the position of navigator on Spanish and Portuguese voyages to the New World. Additionally, while working with a ship supplier he helped outfit some of Christopher Columbus' voyages and may have met Columbus after his maiden voyage.Full Answer >
Amerigo Vespucci was the first explorer to reach continental lands in the Americas when he discovered the Amazon River and the sites of today's Rio de la Plata and Rio de Janeiro, and he gave South America the name "the New World." In 1507, the region that explorers were learning about was not an extension of the Asian continent and took the name "America" in Vespucci's honor.Full Answer >
Hernando Cortes sailed for Spain. He traveled to the New World at the age of 19 and played a major role in advancing Spain's position in the Americas. He is best known for defeating the Aztec Empire and conquering Mexico for Spain.Full Answer >
Hernando de Soto sailed and explored for Spain. After a successful career in the New World, including a stint in the army of conquistador Francisco Pizarro, he explored what is now the southern United States, including Florida, Georgia and Arkansas.Full Answer >