How did America get its name?
Are you wondering How did America get its name? Lets’ read this interesting article bout this. America is named after Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer who espoused the then-revolutionary concept that the lands Christopher Columbus sailed to in 1492 were part of a separate continent.
A map in 1507 by Martin Waldseemüller was the first to depict this new continent with the name “America”, a Latinized version of “Amerigo”.
The map grew out of an ambitious project in St. Dié, France, in the early 16th century to update geographic knowledge derived from discoveries in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.
Martin Waldseemüller’s large world map was the most exciting product of that research effort. He included in the map data collected by Vespucci during his 1501-1502 voyages to the New World.
Waldseemüller named the new lands “America” on his 1507 map in recognition of Vespucci’s understanding that a new continent had been discovered after the voyages of Columbus and later in the late 15th century.
An edition of 1,000 copies of the large woodcut was reportedly printed and sold, but no other documents are known to have survived.
The first map, printed or manuscript, clearly depicted a separate Western Hemisphere, with the Pacific as a different ocean.
The map reflected a breakthrough in knowledge, acknowledging the newly discovered American landmass and forever changing humanity’s understanding and perception of the world.
How did America get its name
American place names can be very confusing even to native English speakers. From Philadelphia (Greek for “loving brother”) to Chicago (Algonquian fox for “place of the wild onion”), the map of the Americas is a derivative hodge-podge. For a clear example, take the three adjacent states in New England.
Vermont is a reverse, rough translation of the French for “Green Mountain,” Mont Vert. Massachusetts is derived from the name of the Native American people who lived in the area, Algonquian Massachusetts. T
he meaning of the word was “on the big hill.” New Hampshire comes from a county in southern England. And why do we call turkey a turkey? Learn about the history of the nation’s favorite bird, the turkey.
But what about America itself?
Why aren’t the continents of North and South America called “Columbusia” after Christopher Columbus? The word America comes from a lesser-known navigator and explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. Who made the decision? a cartographer.
Like Columbus, Vespucci traveled to the New World (first in 1499 and again in 1502). Unlike Columbus, Vespucci wrote about it.
Vespucci’s travelogues were published between 1502 and 1504 and were widely read in Europe. Columbus was also stopped because he thought he had found another route to Asia; They did not know that America was a new continent.
How did America get its name
However, Vespucci realized that the Americas were not contiguous with Asia. He was also the first to call the New World or Novus Mundus in Latin.
With the discovery of this “New World,” maps were constantly redrawn. No one knew which land was where and how big it was.
Because of this confusion, maps from the 1500s are incredibly inaccurate and contradictory. (They also often featured images of mythical sea creatures.)
From Amerigo to America
In 1507, a German cartographer named Martin Waldseemüller was making a map of the world—a very serious map. He called it Universalis cosmography or universal cosmography.
Made of 12 wooden panels, it was eight feet wide and four and a half feet tall. He based his paintings of the New World on Vespucci’s published travelogues.
All countries were seen as feminine (like his Lady Liberty of today), so Waldseemüller used the Latinized form of Amerigo to name the new continent “America.”
Cartographers copied each other’s choices, so Columbus was dropped from the map. The rest is history.
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