Welcome to… Amerigo?

Do you know how or where North and South America got the name America? It was all due to man named America Vespucci who, like most people during the Renaissance, was an explorer  (from Italy).

amerigo_vespucci

Vespucci was not always an explorer but a clerk for the House of Medici, as well as a trade merchant. But, when Vespucci was helping supply Christopher Columbus’s ships, Columbus just talked to him about the New World,and Vespucci all of a sudden wanted an adventure! So when King Manuel I offered him a spot for a journey to the New World he took it. They sailed to South America in May 1499. Vespucci was not the captain of his ships but the navigator so he was almost a watcher of what was going on  as they sailed. When they made it there he kept a journal of all things he did and he published it as they made there trip home. Vespucci made many trips after that but died of malaria 1512.

waldseemuller_map_in_color
As you can see all of the United States (present day) is not there on the map as well as Vespucci’s ship is at the lower part of South America

Five years before he died a man named Martin Waldseemüller, based on books, created a new map that was fairly accurate but North America was not there! America is credited with his name, Amerigo, as the name of the new continent and even though he didn’t find America first he did find most of the East coast of South America!

Quinn Palmer

RPC Student

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