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America & the Story of Amerigo Vespucci. Created by Robert Martinez Primary Content by Joy Hakim, A History of US, The First Americans Images as cited.

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America & the Story of Amerigo Vespucci

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    1. America& the Story of Amerigo Vespucci Created by Robert Martinez Primary Content by Joy Hakim, A History of US, The First Americans Images as cited.

    2. Christopher Columbus did all the discovering, yet it was Amerigo whose name got put on the land. History isn’t always fair.

    3. Now Amerigo was an adventurer just like Columbus. He made several trips across the ocean and went way down the coast of South America.

    4. But what made him famous was that he wrote about his trips. His letters were so fascinating that everyone wanted to read them. And, thanks to Gutenberg’s printing press, many people did.

    5. Amerigo Vespucci did something else that was important. He understood that there was a huge continent over here, a continent new to Europeans, and he said so in his writings. He called it a “New World.” Remember, Columbus thought he had discovered a shortcut to India.

    6. Vespucci was a practical businessman whose hobbies were mathematics, sailing, and reading. While Columbus was dreaming of his shortcut to China, Vespucci looked at the land of South America with an open mind.'s%202&3%20voyIllustrated.gif

    7. “In those southern parts,” he wrote, “I have found a continent more densely peopled and abounding in animals than our Europe or Asia or Africa.” He could see that it was a vast continent and that it wasn’t China.

    8. A man named Martin Waldseemuller actually named America. He was a printer and mapmaker who was fascinated by Vespucious’s letters.

    9. He said, “Americus Vespucius has first related without exaggeration of a people living toward the south, almost under the antarctic pole…..”

    10. “…[They] go around entirely naked, and not only offer to their king the heads of their enemies who they have killed, but also feed eagerly on the flesh of the conquered foes.”

    11. You can see why these reading were so interesting to people at the time. In 1507 Waldseemuller printed a huge world map, and on it he put a new continent.

    12. Waldseemuller used information from the voyages of Columbus and Vespucci to make the map. He decided to put the name America on the southern continent, since Amerigo had written about it.

    13. His map was the most up-to-date and reliable one around. Many people bought it. Six years later Waldseemuller made a new map. This time he didn’t think it was such a good idea to call the new land America….He left the name off….

    14. ….but it was too late. People were already using it, and it stuck. Amazing, isn’t it, how fickle history can be?