Amerigo Vespucci Facts For Kids: Know The Italian Explorer Better! | Kidadl


Amerigo Vespucci Facts For Kids: Know The Italian Explorer Better!

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Amerigo Vespucci was once an Italian trader, traveler, cartographer, and navigator from the Republic of Florence. 

Amerigo Vespucci stands as the first person to distinguish the landmasses of North and South America as different continents, which Europeans, Asians, and Africans had previously been unaware of the two continents. Prior to Vespucci's revelation, explorers such as Columbus considered the New World belonged to Asia.

The name 'America' is taken from his name. Amerigo is predominantly a masculine name of Italian origin that means 'Home Ruler'. Amerigo Vespucci was born on March 9, 1454 (or 1451) in Florence, Italy, to Ser Nastagio Vespucci, a notary, and his spouse, Lisabetta Mini. Antonio and Gerolamo were his older brothers, while Bernardo was his younger brother. Amerigo's uncle, Giorgio Antonio Vespucci, informed and educated him. The Vespucci family was acquainted with the Medici, a legendary Italian dynasty that controlled Italy for 300 years. Between 1497 and 1504, Vespucci conducted at least two expeditions to the New World. He is thought to have been the first to locate the Amazon River's mouth. During the Age of Discovery, Vespucci's findings led Spaniards to assume that North and South America were not related to Asia, which was a widely held notion at the time, and even supported by Vespucci himself. In 1508, the King of Spain appointed him as the nation's Pilot Major. He demanded that he instruct every marine captain in Spain. Interesting, right? Let’s learn more Amerigo Vespucci facts and new discoveries in the remaining article!

Afterward, also read about Christmas symbols for kids and Bangladesh facts.

What did Amerigo Vespucci discover?

Amerigo Vespucci set off on his first voyage on May 10, 1497. He discovered Rio De Janeiro and Rio de la Plata in Brazil on his third and most successful voyage. He dubbed South America as 'New World', assuming he had found a new continent. America was named after him in 1507.

Seven years after Columbus' first landing in the West Indies, Amerigo traveled in 1499. Between 1499 and 1502, Vespucci conducted two voyages, with a third possible in 1503 under the Portuguese flag. His first trip took him along the northern coast of South America to the Guiana mainland, situated in South America, far beyond Amazon's mouth along the Atlantic coast. Vespucci traveled to the northern section of South America and then into the Amazon River during his 1499 journey.

He named areas he observed, such as the 'Gulf of Ganges', believing he was in Asia, as did his exploratory contemporaries. In addition, he improved celestial navigation procedures. Amerigo Vespucci's Second Voyage began on May 16, 1499, when Vespucci undertook a second journey with Portuguese sponsorship, departing from Lisbon. Amerigo Vespucci set sail for Cape Verde with Alonzo de Ojeda, exploring and discovering Brazil and the coasts of Guiana.

They visited the Amazon River and Cape St. Augustine before returning to Spain. On May 14, 1501, he embarked on the third trip across the Atlantic Ocean, which brought him back to Cape Verde. Amerigo Vespucci’s fourth trip to South America was launched on June 10, 1503. On his way back, Vespucci discovered Bahia, as well as South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands.

What is Amerigo Vespucci most famous for?

Amerigo Vespucci is well known for discovering the continents of North and South America, which bear his name. But why were these landmasses named after him, given that his journeys took place after Christopher Columbus' famous 1492 voyage over the ocean blue?

Vespucci was the first person to recognize North and South America as separate continents, of which Europeans, Asians, and Africans had previously been unaware. Earlier to Vespucci's finding, adventurers such as Columbus believed that the New World was a part of Asia. The continents of North and South America are named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

Before Vespucci's discovery, early explorers such as Columbus felt the New World belonged to Asia. In 1501, Vespucci discovered the tip of South America while cruising along the coast. Vespucci confirmed his discovery by sailing towards the southernmost part of South America..

Amerigo Vespucci named a few constellations on a voyage back from the New World.

Who really discovered America Columbus or Vespucci?

By 1502, Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine trader, and adventurer, had deduced that Columbus was mistaken, and news of a New World had circulated across Europe. Vespucci's name was used to name America subsequently. Furthermore, neither individual was the first to explore the Americas, as experts today understand.

Columbus Day is celebrated on October 10th with a day off from work for Americans. It's an annual celebration that remembers the day in 1492 when Italian explorer Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas and acquired the new continent for Spain. Since 1937, the US has observed it as a national holiday. In reality, Columbus did not discover North America. He was the first European to see the Bahamas archipelago as well as the island of Hispaniola, which is now divided into Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

He continued on to Central and South America on his following journeys. Martin Waldseemüller, a mapmaker, dubbed the New World 'America' after the Italian Amerigo Vespucci, who surveyed the South American shoreline and was the first to recognize that it was a different continent from Asia. Columbus wasn't the first adventurer to discover the United States of America. Columbus was further hampered by his mistaken belief that he had discovered a new path to Asia. He had no idea that America was a separate continent.

Vespucci, on the other hand, knew that America and Asia were not connected. The name 'America' was first used on a world map by German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller in 1507 to honor Amerigo Vespucci’s contribution. According to Waldseemüller, the German mapmaker, the newly found continents should be named after the Italian explorer. Other cartographers used the term 'America' in subsequent publications. Gerardus Mercator, the great geographer, included it in his Orbis Imago, his very first world map, in 1538.

How did Amerigo Vespucci die?

Vespucci worked as a cartographer, navigator, adventurer, and cosmographer throughout his life. He relocated to Seville in 1490, when he encountered Christopher Columbus. He began his journeys and became a sailor's expert. Amerigo Vespucci succumbed to malaria on February 22, 1512, in Seville, Spain. He was only a month away from turning 58.

As a young man, Vespucci was enthralled by books and maps. In Florence, Italy, Vespucci engaged in a number of commercial ventures. Later, he went to work for a bank in Seville, Spain, where he formed a company with Gianetto Berardi, another Florentine. According to some versions, Vespucci worked for the Medici family from 1483 until 1492.

Aside from being the first to recognize that the New World was a separate continent from the West Indies, Amerigo Vespucci also named a few stars on a journey back from the New World in 1502. Among other things, he was dubbed the Southern Cross. In 1505, Vespucci became a naturalized Spanish citizen. In commemoration of Amerigo Vespucci, Italy constructed a great explorer ship in 1931. It's debatable whether Vespucci made any subsequent journeys. Some historians think Vespucci set out on a fifth or even a sixth voyage with Juan de la Cosa in 1505 and 1507, respectively, based on his descriptions. According to some sources, Vespucci's fourth expedition was his last.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Amerigo Vespucci facts for kids, then why not take a look at egg-citingly funny chicken puns or moral values and morality facts for children.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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