Name of the America

How did America get its name?

Christopher Columbus
          Today America, popularly called U.S.A., is regarded as a superpower and one of the most affluent countries in the world. Its development is mainly confined to the last two hundred years.

          The world famous Italian traveler, Christopher Columbus set out on a sea Voyage in search of India in 1492. He landed on an island on the morning of October 12, 1492, and named it after the name of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain as ‘San Salvador’. This island was a part of America, now called Watling Island, He thought it was India, and started calling its inhabitants Indians.

          Even today, their descendants are often called Indians (though calling them ‘native Americans’ is more politically correct). Columbus wanted to go to Japan, but instead he reached Cuba and Hispaniola. Disappointed with his failure to locate India, Columbus returned to Spain on March 13, 1493.

Amerigo Vespucci
            On his second voyage, which started on September 24, 1493, Columbus discovered several Virgin Islands like Puerto Rico and Jamaica, but again failed to locate India. On his third journey in 1498, he discovered Trinidad and touched South America. During this period, a Florentine sailor named first person to have landed at the mainland of South America on June 16, 1497. In 1499, Alonso de Ojeda, accompanied by Amerigo Vespucci sailed up to the Orinoco straits and discovered Venezuela. During 1501-1502, Amerigo Vespucci himself directed a sea voyage under the Portuguese banner and discovered Brazil. It became clear to Amerigo Vespucci that what Columbus considered to be a part of Asia, was in fact a continent of the new world. In the beginning of 1500, Amerigo Vespucci’s writings were widely circulated and he got the credit of becoming the first European to have discovered South America. 

               A German geographer, Wald see miller, named the territory of Brazil as America in honor of Amerigo Vespucci. This name caught people’s fancy and the entire world started called the continents America, in his honor. To day, the tow continent-North and South America- is collectively referred to as the America. In New York, there is even a famous street called the avenue of the Americas.