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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. Amerigo was the third son,
there were two older brothers, Antonio and Girolamo, the
youngest was Bernardo. The parents were Stagio and
Elisabetta Vespucci. Italy, at this time was not yet a civilized
country. Italy was a bunch of city- states each self governed
and looking for money for it's own purposes and not for the
benefit of the country. Florence, where Amerigo was born
and grew up, was in the city-state governed by the powerful
Medici family. Later in Vespucci's life he ends up working
for this family helping govern the city-state. Italy, at this time
was not a good country as it is today. In 1492 Vespucci left
Florence for Seville, Spain because Italy had the monopoly
and didn't need, or want, exploration. Well into his forties,
around 1495, Vespucci became the director of a ship
company that supplied ships for long voyages. This was the
first opportunity Vespucci had to make voyages and he was
very happy about this, therefore he was only looking for
"new worlds" to discover and not money or rewards for
finding exotic places. In 1497 Vespucci said that he went on
a voyage to the "New World." Little is known about this
because there was not much evidence to support that he
actually made this voyage such as: journals, maps they used,
or any crew members journals about what happened. He
was said to be back in 1498. Later on down the road, after
this journey was said to take place people began to doubt
this and Columbus became known as the founder of the
"New World" even though he thought he was in India. In
1499 Vespucci was said to have made his second voyage
with Alonso de Ojeda as the captain. This voyage could be
backed by a great deal of evidence and is supposed to have
occurred. The watchman finally did spot land, the Cape
Verde Islands, and this is the first time anyone has been
purposely to the "New World." On this first journey
Vespucci explored the north eastern coast of South America
and also came in contact with Cuba, Hispaniola, and the
Bahaman Islands. Vespucci got back to Spain in 1500 and
told everyone about his findings of the land and the people.
On May 19, 1501 Vespucci left from the ports of the
sponsoring Spain on his third voyage. On this voyage
Vespucci was second in charge behind Gonocalo Coelho,
another one of Spains' explorers. They explored on this
expedition the Cape Santo Agostinho at the shoulder of
present day Brazil. This voyage was one of the less
successful because they explored only limited water area.
On the fourth, and last, voyage Vespucci explored more of
South America. In 1503, on this journey, led by Amerigo
Vespuccci himself, the captain and crew explored the south
eastern side of South America. They ran along the coast and
visited such places as Cape Soo Roque, Guanabara Bay,
Rio de la Plata, Cape Santo Agostinho, San Julian and
spotted the Falkland Islands. His crew returned back to
Spain in 1504 and told their story to mapmakers to put on
the maps. After the findings of the "New World" a
mapmaker suggested they call it America, after the knowing
founder. Martin Waldseemuller a German mapmaker was
one of the first to believe that Vespucci was the first
European to reach the "New World." In 1507, he suggested
they call it America and soon this name was used throughout
and eventually used officially in the naming of the continent.
Vespucci left a controversy when he died saying that he did
not make the voyage that started in 1497. Today scholars
still doubt that Vespucci made the voyage. Vespucci also
claimed, in his writings, that he captioned all the journeys
himself when he only captained one of the four reported
expedition. The results to Vespucci's findings was that North
and South America were named after him, and back in the
late 1400's and the early 1500's they would know that there
was a ... more
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