What did Vespucci explore?
Amerigo Vespucci is important because he was one of the early explorers of the New World, and also because the continents of North and South America were named in his honor. (He was also known by the name of Americus Vespucci.) Amerigo Vespucci was born in Florence, Italy in 1454. He was well-educated by his uncle, and became a businessman involved in trading goods. That is how he became familiar with ships. He moved to Seville, Spain in 1491 to work in the trading business there. He was probably there when Christopher Columbus returned from his first journey to the New World. He then helped Columbus get ships ready for his second and third voyages to the New World. Vespucci was a skilled navigator. As a trader, he was very interested in finding a quicker way to sail to Asia. He went on at least two, and possibly four, voyages to Central and South America between 1497 and 1504 for Spain and Portugal. He went to many places, including Venezuela and Brazil. After his explorations in 1501-1502, he was one of the first explorers to come up with the idea that these places he had visited were not part of Asia (as Columbus thought) but rather were part of a "New World." In 1507, a pamphlet was published called "The Four Voyages of Amerigo" and the author suggested that the new land that Amerigo had explored be named in his honor. At first, the name of America was only meant to apply to South America, but later on, both continents of America became known by his name. After his explorations, Amerigo returned to Seville and became its Master Navigator. He stayed in that job until he died in 1512.