Amerigo Vespucci Essay 1

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Many people have had a great influence upon our world. Some have changed it in a generally good way, such as Abraham Lincoln. Others have affected the world negatively, such as Adolph Hitler. Still others have changed the world thoroughly, their changes resounding through time, such as Christopher Columbus. One other has changed the world thoroughly, and though all know his name, few know who this actually is. This man is Amerigo Vespucci or, as known to the Spanish, Americo Vespucio. Vespucci was born on March 9, 1454, in Florence, Italy. He was born into an old family, having lived in the same mansion for over two hundred years. While Amerigo did not receive a formal education, he was taught by his highly respected uncle, Georgio Vespucci, a Dominican friar. In 1479, Vespucci became internationally involved, going with a relative to be a diplomat to the King of France. In 1491, Vespucci became a diplomat to Seville, namely, one of the ship building companies there. Vespucci, instead of returning home, remained in Seville. He later helped prepare Columbus's ships for his second and third voyages, even becoming acquainted with the famous explorer. Columbus told Vespucci about his travels, and Vespucci paid close attention. While Columbus believed that he had sailed to India, Columbus's descriptions did not match what was known about India. Vespucci believed that Columbus had not actually sailed to India from Spain, but had actually sailed to a "Mundus Novus" or a "New World." When the head of the ship building company died in about 1495, Vespucci became manager of the company. Vespucci used this new power to go on expeditions himself. It is believed that he took part in four voyages. All of these took part between 1497 and 1504. What little is known about each of these voyages comes from Vespucci's personal letters, sent primarily to Piero di Tommaso Soderini, one of his nobleman friends from Italy. Vespucci's first voyage took place from 1497...
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