Amerigo Vespucci, or simply Vespucci as many people would recall his name, is an Italian explorer and navigator. Â He was considered the first to have discovered the so-called New World or the continents of North and South America back in the late 1400s and early 1500s. Â During his time, he was already famous for having discovered two continents that didn’t belong to Asia. Â Back then, there already were many so-called world explorers, but Vespucci became widely famous because of his huge discovery of the two American continents.
Vespucci even became more famous because his name is attributed to be the basis for what people know today as “North America” and “South America.” Â Through a German scholar named Martin Waldseemuller, the term “America” was written in various maps that spread around the world, and this particular term was coined by Waldseemuller to honor Vespucci’s discovery of the great American continents. Â Thousands of copies of Waldseemuller’s map were sold around that time making the term “America” widespread and known in many parts of the world. Â It was even said that the German scholar wanted to change the name of the “New World” continents, but the term “America” had stuck over time, and this eventually led to the naming of the two continents as North and South America.
Vespucci’s expeditions were targeted at discovering new land and territory outside of the previously discovered Asian continent. Â Starting off with the Spanish flag, Vespucci was able to reach the central part of the Americas. Â His second voyage was under the Portuguese flag, and this time he reached the Brazilian shores and the coastline of South America. Â All his discoveries were documented through his letters sent to his friends in Europe. Â And with people attributing the name “America” to the explorer Amerigo Vespucci, he has become famous not only in Europe but also in many parts of the world.