Where does America name origin come from? Should America have been called Colombia? Americo Vespucio.
Calling America was the award that Américo Vespucio received posthumously. Américo was the best publicist of the XV and XVI century.
Is it unfair that Christopher Columbus was deprived of the honor of naming the continent he discovered after him and that caused the last push to leave Middle Ages definitively in the the world?
History is an interpretation of history
It may be unfair. I do not have absolute truths, and every day I am more clear that nobody has them. History is just an interpretation of history. When one is very close to what happened, one has first-hand information but sees it from their subjective point of view, takes sides, and believes and makes believe that they have the truth without realizing that the facts can be seen. in a different way. And when you are far away, you lean on those who were close. Not having experienced the events in the first person allows us to be more objective, but is supported by subjective first-hand information. Therefore all history is an interpretation of history. But that doesn’t make smaller the importance of the event.
Why isn’t America called Colombia? America’s name origin, the New World.
Among other things because he always thought that he had reached India and everything that was not looked like a failure for him.
Having reached India could be of great interest to the great merchants and investors of the time who had made a great business selling what came from China and India through the Silk Road. But this route was cut off with the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans. Finding a new path did not excite ordinary people.
And a guy appears, 5 years after the first expedition in 1492. His name is Américo Vespucci. He goes to that new continent but he is not the one who commands the expedition. Amerigo Vespucci was not a great navigator. He wasn’t much of a cartographer either. This man did not care if that was India. He was the first to utter two words that dazzled the first who heard them. Those two words changed the face of the earth. The words were a “New World”
Américo was a good storyteller. Those who signed up for the first trips could have all kinds of qualities, but none of them were great storytellers.
Américo recounted that in this new world, the climate was so mild that the indigenous people encountered only wore a loincloth because the temperature did not force them to wear clothing like in Europe.
He said that in this new world, you did not have to go through hardships to have something to eat because you only had to raise your arm to pick fruit from the trees.
Had they discovered the Paradise?
This fueled the imagination of the Europeans, coming to think that what had been discovered was the paradise from which God had thrown us when Adam and Eve committed the original sin.
The discovery of America happened 50 years after Gutenberg invented the printing press.
It happened that the story that Americo Vespucio was telling reached the hands of the first printers of the time who took care of embellishing the story that Américo Vespucci had previously told.
That speech of Américo fit 100% with the desires and illusions of the common people.
When that continent began to be called America, both Christopher Columbus and Americo Vespucio were already dead. And although it was known that Américo had not discovered the continent, the word America had already caught on in such a way that there was no going back.
We can therefore give credit to Columbus for the discovery of the continent and to Américo for having managed to excite all of Europe with his message of the new world.
How does it sound to say that Americo Vespucio was the greatest storyteller of the 16th century?
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Amerigo: A Comedy of Errors in History. From Stephan Zweig.