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.Continue Reading
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
Portuguese explorer Amerigo Vespucci went from the coast of Guyana to the Amazon River and, on his second voyage, south from Brazil. His other routes are unverified due to conflicting accounts. During his travels, he discovered portions of South America and islands in the Caribbean Sea.Full Answer >
Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian navigator and explorer who played a large role in the discovery and exploration of South America. The continents of North and South America are named after him.Full Answer >
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 >
Although Amerigo Vespucci was one of the first explorers to encounter present-day Brazil, the country celebrates no official holidays in his honor. Including Christmas and New Year's Day, Brazil has 13 nationally-observed holidays. It has 12 regional holidays.Full Answer >