Amerigo Vespucci

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By Christopher Caputo, Raina Kikani and Jeffrey Matlack

Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian explorer. He was born on March 9, 1454 and died on February 22, 1512. He was born in the Republic of Florence. He died from malaria in 1512 at the age of 58.His occupation was a merchant, explorer and cartographer. During his voyages he sailed from Spain down the coast of South America. The Americas were later named after him.

Background

Amerigo Vespucci was born and raised in Florence, Italy. He was taught by his Uncle. When his elder brothers went to college he stayed back and helped his family gain money by selling pickles. When he married Maria Cerenzo he moved to Spain.


First Voyage

He moved to Seville, Spain in 1491 to work in the trading business there and received permission from the king to go on a voyage. There is a theory that he was in Spain with Columbus and then took his idea of finding an easier trade route to Asia. His voyage was not a success to Asia, but he landed in what he called ''The New World''. Also known as Guiana, Brazil. Vespucci claimed this for Spain. He did this in 1501-1502. When he returned he started to plan his next voyage.

Second Voyage

After an unsuccessful journey Amerigo Vespucci sets sail to Cape Verde with Alanzo de Ojeda. He ends up discovering Cape St. Augestine and the Amazon river in 1499. Vespucci claimed these lands for Spain too. He returned to Spain in 1500. After these voyages he was considered one of the better men who achieved a lot and could be respected.


Third Voyage

On May 14,1501 Amerigo Vespucci set sail for Cape Verde again. He was assigned to do this by Portugal. He reached the coast of Brazil, they sailed south along the coast of South America. After the first half of his trip he mapped the stars out. The stars were named Alpha and Beta Centauri. The Greeks already knew about this, but Europeans had forgotten about the pictures in the sky. Unfortunately he never reached his destination he allowed Europeans to learn about the world around them.


Fourth Voyage

Little is known about his 4th voyage or even if it took place.


Reasons for His Voyages

He sailed to explore and claim land for Spain. On his first voyage he was hoping to reach Asia. Vespucci brought back precious minerals such as gold and platinum.

Achievements

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  • Became a trusted sailor

  • Many countries wished he could explore for them and claim land

  • Later in is life America was named after him

  • He brought back valuable resources to Spain and claimed land for them

  • Amerigo was named chief pilot major (this is a huge honor)


Why was America named after him?

America was named after him because he got the credit for discovering America. But it is proven that Columbus was there first. He never even set foot in present day U.S yet Martin Waldseemuller, a map drawer, thought he reached a part of Asia and then added this part to the map. This is what his map looked like.

Interesting Facts

  • He was a former pickle merchant


Bibliography

  • Video from Teachertube by Abby

  • Wikipedia on Amerigo Vespucci

  • Research with help from Google


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