Amerigo Vespucci was a pioneering navigator and popular chronicler, as well as the man who gave the American continent its name. He explored a long stretch of the South American coastline, and was the first person to realize that this part of the world was not an unknown region of Asia, but a completely separate continent. In particular, he discovered the mouth of the Amazon River and the bay of Río de Janeiro, and produced engaging accounts of the customs of the region’s indigenous inhabitants. With his passion for literature, science and travel, Vespucci embodied the values of the Renaissance. In just 50 minutes, you will find out how his expeditions shaped our understanding of the world and learn about the considerable legacy he left behind.
This straightforward and informative book provides a thorough discussion of Vespucci’s voyages and his important contributions to geography and cartography. It also features a full biography, a valuable introduction to the political, social and economic context and an evaluation of the impact of his actions, giving you all the essential information about this influential explorer.
About Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian-born businessman (although he undertook maritime voyages on behalf of Spain) with a passionate interest in geography, travel and literature. When the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller published the first map of the continent explored by Christopher Columbus, he named its southern half ‘America’ in homage to Vespucci, thus ensuring the posterity of his name. Although we still do not know for certain how many voyages Vespucci undertook or what his exact role was, his exploration of the South American coasts made a major contribution to our understanding of this part of the world.
This clear and accessible 39-page book is structured as follows:
- Introduction to Amerigo Vespucci
- Biography of Amerigo Vespucci
- Political, social and economic context
- The Florentine Renaissance
- The Spanish Reconquista
- A desire to conquer the world
- Amerigo Vespucci’s expeditions
- Departure conditions
- First voyage (May 1497-October 1498)
- Second voyage (May 1499-September 1500)
- Third voyage (May 1501-September 1502)
- Impact of Vespucci’s voyages
- Vespucci’s legacy
- A name for posterity
- Amerigo Vespucci, usurper
50MINUTES.COM – History