Vespucci, Columbus, and the New World

Last Updated: 12 Mar 2023
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Before Columbus passed through the coastline of larger America, Amerigo Vespucci, whom the name America has derived, first came in. He navigated, explored, observed, made a map according to what he perceived, and made an exploration report to his King about it. In his description, we can notice a typical European character on the way he view people, environment and things. He wrote his observation on a negative perspective such as the Native Americans has no dress, no sense of ownership, no existing law, no religion, no morals, no ethics, and basically no culture.

In this statement, it gave a connotation that those native inhabitants were complete bare beings, which exactly the same description of people at the back of his head as he wanted to conquer the land believing that it was his new found world for the Europeans. As we analyze Amerigo’s text, we can understand how he wanted to introduce those natives to his monarch as insignificant people. Perhaps, his intention was to get full support from their King and Queen as they planned to completely renew their discovered land and afterwards conquer to make them own.

Christopher Columbus, 1530 Unlike Amerigo’s negative introduction about the Native Americans, Columbus has a more affirmative remark on their personalities. He said that these indigenous people of America were peaceful, calm, friendly, warm, handsome and of well-built body structure. However, the presence of negativity has also transcended in his text when he described their lifestyle as having no knowledge and totally ignorance about arms made of irons as the natives’ spears were only made of woods and cane.

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Another unpleasant testimonial was when he stated that these natives are vulnerable and ideal to become slaves, and that with only few of Europeans could make these people defeated. We can view that those positive and negative remarks of Columbus was urged by the same intention with Amerigo, which is to persuade the monarchs and allow them conquer the land to be the new colony of Europeans especially Portuguese. The New World

Both the Portuguese’s monarchs and the American natives were properly introduced by the so-called New World. Both Columbus and Vespucci has established and proposed this thought to them. To Vespucci, he thought that he discovered a world with nothing to have at all. He didn’t recognize or perhaps, he intentionally did not want to recognize the existing norm and culture of the natives because he wanted to make a change by himself and made a suggestion have the European culture on the land as a replacement on the existing norm.

His idea was that Europeans like them are advanced and superior in all aspects, which means that they are the only ones capable of transforming the land and society into a much more highly regarded culture. To Columbus, he indicated that a New World has to be set by offering material things to the natives in exchange of their freedom, strength and service being servants. However, his intention was not to upgrade the culture of the natives but to totally eliminate their culture for the betterment of the Europeans.

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Vespucci, Columbus, and the New World. (2016, Sep 05). Retrieved from

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