This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Amerigo Vespucci: Pest Or Pioneer? Essay

2337 words - 9 pages

In nature, the wasp is a reviled creature and one that leaves its venom imbued with a harsh sting. When one is spotted, its natural purpose is overlooked and the creature is hastily condemned. In history, there is one figure who stands prominently as someone whose accomplishments are glorified while the man is slandered as a con man, a deceiving pest. That man is none other than Amerigo Vespucci. It is his name that two continents of the Western Hemisphere have engraved over their valleys and mountains. They will bear that namesake for always, but why? With speculation surrounding Vespucci’s motives and centuries of scholars arguing the validity of his discoveries, the search for the root of why the Americas bear his name has always fascinated those who are willing to research it. Depending on the source they study, they will be reading of a scheming wasp who left his stinger in two continents or the unsuspecting victim of other’s lies and misinformation.
The young Florentine was baptized in the year 1454. “The child was going to be named Amerigo, and as a result the New World was to be called America. In a sense, it was not the son of Stagio Vespucci being christened, but the New World” (Arciniegas 7). He was born into the bourgeoisie and was raised in Florence, which was considered to be a central area of economic prosperity. Stagio Vespucci was a man who believed life was about having fun and enjoying oneself. However, he had one condition for his children. He wanted them to be well educated and to understand Latin, the language of educated people of the era. The Vespucci family was a distinguished one although there is a hint of treachery in their past. Their family coat of arms prominently featured a procession of golden wasps. “‘Vespa’ meant wasp. Perhaps some revengeful deed, some ferocious action had caused the name to be assigned to the first of the Vespucci, but for many years there had been nothing waspish in the behavior of the clan” (Pohl 14). Amerigo was reared by this respected family and taught primarily by his uncle Giorgio Antonio, a widely known man who was held in high esteem. The family believed his influence would prove effective in the building of a young Amerigo’s character. “The Vespucci thought that Amerigo might follow the path of Giorgio Antonio and enter the Church” (Arciniegas 38). If that had occurred, then the maps of the world today might depict the Americas with entirely different names. Instead this fate was avoided and this man taught the future explorer many valuable skills that would aid him tremendously in the future. As a dean of the church, Giorgio instilled in Amerigo a sense of morality and faith, but he also provided him with the foundation he would need as a man of science later in his life. Amerigo was known for his writing ability, a trait his uncle surely had strengthened. “[Amerigo Vespucci] is the first of all navigators to know how to write well and amusingly” (Zweig 33). It is this aptitude...

Find Another Essay On Amerigo Vespucci: Pest or Pioneer?

The History and Beauty of Brazil

734 words - 3 pages History and Introduction The Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral arrived at present day Pôrto Seguro (Safe Harbor) in the state of Bahia on the Brazilian coast in April 1500 and named the new territory Ilha de Vera Cruz, Island of the True Cross, thinking he was on an island. A year later, Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci sailed to Brazil on a voyage commissioned by the Portuguese crown and returned home with a cargo of hard, reddish

Europe And The New World Essay

1624 words - 6 pages in affectionate terms and with respect. Yet later on in his memoirs he announces that their well built, healthy features and intelligence would make them good servants. Writings by explorer Amerigo Vespucci (of whom America is named after) does not describe the natives with such kindness. He states that their manner of living is barbarous, for they eat on the ground and do not have fixed times for their meals. He describes the women as ?heartless

Christopher Columbus

1487 words - 6 pages Navigator “discovered” was never given his name. Another Italian, Amerigo Vespucci, sailed to the Indies on two occasions and wrote back to Europe with stories of the New World. In 1507, when a group of geographers were working on a new atlas, the word “America” was written across the newly discovered lands. By the time they realized their mistake, it was too late to correct it. The biggest irony though is that neither Columbus nor Vespucci ever

The Exploration and Empires to America from foreign countries

1493 words - 6 pages Amerigo Vespucci. An Italian, Vespucci claimed he made voyages to the New World for Spain and Portugal beginning in 1497.- The discovery of the existence of America caused a wave of excitement in Europe.- To many Europeans, the New World offered opportunities for wealth, power, and adventure. European rulers and merchants wanted to gain control of the hemisphere's resources in order to add to their wealth. Rulers also sought to gain New World

Tracing the American Identity - The evolution thereof

1067 words - 4 pages and acceptance all the while recreating theboundaries of what Americans identity is and could be. The only thing that will evertruly identify, and remain the same, in the context of American identity, is America'sname itself given by none other than Amerigo Vespucci.

European Roots on American Culture

1140 words - 5 pages of Columbus (and less so Amerigo Vespucci) The story of 1492-- 1. RECONQUESTA Remarkable story of Moorish invasion, Galacian/Asturian resistance 800 years of war--story of intervals of warfare, or accommodation and of assimilation. (Moorish architecture, where Spanish learned about water, irrigation) Over 2000 words of Castillan are Arab--including the words of orange naranja or chess ajedrez, Using etymology, project

A Brief Biography of Christopher Columbus

1161 words - 5 pages John Cabot that sailed from England to North America in 1497-1498. In 1501 Amerigo Vespucci from Italy sailed to South America, and that is why 'America' was named after him. So it isn’t like Columbus was the only person to come up with the idea, it’s just no one really tried to follow that route. Columbus was rather made as an example for others to follow. Eventually people around Europe started to understand the world as a bigger place than they

Columbus and the New World Discovery

4502 words - 18 pages not to be Christopher Columbus, then it would have been Amerigo Vespucci or John Cabot or some mute, inglorious mariner now lost to history. Had Columbus, like his brother Giovanni Pellegrino, died young, the quincentennial might have been delayed a few years, but would still be on its way. Once the Europeans arrived, could they have pursued more-benign polices? Obviously one wishes that in the treatment of natives the Spanish had followed Las


2550 words - 10 pages surrounding region in the name of Portugal. The territory was named Terra da Vera Cruz, Portuguese for "Land of the True Cross"). An expedition under the command of the Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci was sent to Terra da Vera Cruz by the Portuguese government in 1501. In the course of his explorations Vespucci named many capes and bays, including a bay which he called Rio de Janeiro. He returned to Portugal with a cargo of brazilwood, and

Thomas More's Utopia

1502 words - 6 pages . We learn of his voyages with Amerigo Vespucci, his voyage to Ceylon, Calcutta, back to Portugal, only observing social practices. At this point we read of More's infatuation with Hythloday's recollection of the island of Utopia. We then see More's criticism of society arise. When More and Giles suggest to Hythloday that he "enter the service of some king or other," Raphael responds, "How can I do that by acting against all my instincts


1916 words - 8 pages returned in 1590.? When White returned he found the Colony?s buildings still standing but the colony was deserted.Carved into a post was the word CROTOAN, which may have been the name of a nearby island, inhabited by Indians. White searched for the settlers, but never found a trace. England?s first attempts to settle in North America had failed.? 11. Amerigo Vespucci wrote stories about the land, he also wrote, ?We arrived at a new land which? we

Similar Essays

Naming Of America Essay

1060 words - 4 pages under a central government (Faragher 957). Then and now our country is called the United States of America, U.S.A. or just "America." The naming of America began with a voyager, Amerigo Vespucci during the Age of Discovery, the cartographer, Waldseemuller, and ended with the people of the Thirteen Original Colonies, who officially named their country the "United States of America" when forming their government. One famous historian had this to

Post Columbus Global Shift Essay

643 words - 3 pages resources or goods to increase their economic success. Eventually, they were able to control trade in the international world for the benefit of their economies. Spain, a powerful leader in the core nations, set out to conquer the Americas. They were able to obtain large areas of land due to explorers. For example, Amerigo Vespucci was able to win papal approval claim the region of modern-day Latin America as Spanish territory. Furthermore

The Impact Of The Printing Press

1166 words - 5 pages to ”Early Modern Books” (Document L) new books printed during that time period were printed in vernacular, unifying Europe under a common language and “The Polyglot Bibles” claims, “The press did act at times as a unifying agent…” (Document G). Finally, the press helped to increase public knowledge and spark curiosity. “Printing and Map Making” and “The Story of Amerigo Vespucci” (Document I and J) explain that through explorers accounts

Autobiography Of Christopher Columbus (8th Grade) Uploaded Doc (Download For Graphics) Thx

952 words - 4 pages routes to Asia. They needed the spices and fine silks in Arabia and India. The empire was demand higher prices for the goods. Then they send Columbus. The winds pushed the ship to the Bahamas. There he thought he had found Asia, and the king and queen were pleased. The year after Columbus's death came, the reminder of the explorer's mistakes. In 1507, the New World was anmed, "America,' after his rival, Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. If only