Who Named America ?

Amerigo Vespucci

America is named in honor of Amerigo Vespucci for his discovery of the mainland of the New World. Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512) was an Italian explorer, financier, navigator and cartographer. He set forth the revolutionary concept that the lands that Christopher Columbus sailed to in 1492 were part of a separate continent. Vespucci and Columbus were actually good friends. Amerigo Vespucci explored the New World through 4 voyages. A map created in 1507 by Martin Waldseemüller was the first to depict this new continent with the name “America,” a Latinized version of “Amerigo.”

Amerigo Vespucci the Explorer

Amerigo Vespucci signature

  Amerigo Vespucci statue         Amerigo Vespucci 1454-1512

Map 1507


6 thoughts on “Who Named America ?

  1. Roger Pocock

    Sorry, that’s incorrect. A common misconception, but if you apply a bit of logic it’s pretty obvious. Countries don’t generally get named after somebody’s first name. If it was named after him it would be called Vespuccia. America is named after Richard Amerike. Your article gives the consensus view, which is fine, but the consensus view is not always right, especially when it is based on an entrenched myth.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Roger Pocock

        If you are referring to the Waldseemüller map, it does not feature his name, only the name of America. The continent had been named before the map was drawn up, and before Vespucci ever set sail. His first name and the map helped to establish the name of the continent, but it was already called “America” several years before.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Roger Pocock

        No I am not a history teacher (thankfully!) Thank you for the link. I am sure there is no shortage of websites that show Vespucci as the source of the name. Doesn’t make them right though 😉 Some time ago QI tackled the Amerigo myth. I don’t know if the episode is available to view anywhere online, but it is always a series worth watching!

        Liked by 1 person

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