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.Know More
Born in 1454, Vespucci was raised in Florence, Italy. Unlike his older brothers, who became academics, he found employment as a merchant under the powerful Medici family. In 1492, the year Columbus discovered the West Indies, the house of Medici sent Vespucci to Spain. Enthralled by the example of Columbus and the possibility of fame as an explorer, he set sail as a navigator in voyages first under the auspices of the Spanish crown and later sponsored by the Portuguese.
There is historical controversy about how many voyages Vespucci made to America. It is certain that between May 1499 and June 1500 he took part in a Spanish expedition that reached Guyana and followed the South American coast to the mouth of the Amazon River. In 1501, under Portuguese patronage, Vespucci sailed south as far as Patagonia. He was the first to realize that South America was a new continent, which he called the New World. In 1507, a German cartographer called the New World America, after the feminine version of Vespucci's name.Learn more about Exploration & Imperialism
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.Full Answer >
The governments of Spain and Portugal sponsored Amerigo Vespucci's voyages to the New World. The Spanish monarchy sponsored his first voyages in the 1490s, during which he discovered parts of South America, and the Portuguese king sponsored his later journeys.Full Answer >
Amerigo Vespucci explored South America on multiple voyages ending in 1504 and possibly beginning as early as 1497. According to Biography, historians disagree about whether Vespucci actually made the 1497 voyage, discovering Venezuela before Christopher Columbus.Full Answer >
The most common theory about the origin of America's name is that the country is named after Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian explorer who reached the New World in 1502. After returning to Florence, he suspected that Christopher Columbus was not correct in assuming that the land he explored was part of Japan and India. He produced a pamphlet describing the New World, which gained Vespucci a namesake.Full Answer >