Naming Columbus’ Discovery

Christopher Columbus never knew why he failed to find Asia. The reason is easy to understand today. Columbus was thousands of miles from Asia. North and South America and the Pacific Ocean lay between him and Asia. He had reached the shores of two continents that Europeans knew nothing about.

One of the first people to realize that Columbus had not reached Asia was Amerigo Vespucci. Vespucci was an Italian trader who lived in Spain. He had sold Columbus many of the things Columbus needed for his trips across the ocean.

Vespucci talked several Spanish sailors into taking him along on their westward voyages. On these trips, he became more certain that the land they saw was not a part of Asia. Many of the plants and animals he saw were unknown in Asia, Europe and Africa. For that reason, he decided this must be a new continent.

Vespucci wrote much about the new continent. Then a German mapmaker made a new map of the world. In it he included the continent Vespucci had described. The mapmaker named it America in honor of Amerigo Vespucci.

As Europeans learned more about America, they found that it was not one continent but two. They named them North and South America.

Why did people keep coming to the two Americas long after everyone knew they were not the part of Asia? Some, like Columbus, were looking for a water route through the Americas to Asia. Others were eager to see if the Americas had treasures too.

1. Christopher Columbus never knew...
A why he succeeded in reached the shores of two continents
B why he did not achieve the desired aim.
C mathematical and geographical calculations.
D Italian traders

2. Columbus was thousands of miles away from Asia...
A because he wanted to find North and South America.
B so he failed to find any land.
C and he knew that.
D so he did not find the water route he was looking for.

3. Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian trader who...
A asked Columbus to take him on his trips.
B realized Asia lay westward.
C the one to provide the necessities to be purchased by sailors.
D knew all the animals and plants he saw in America.

4. Vespucci wrote a lot about the new continent...
A but he was never able to visit it.
B and made a new map of the world.
C and finally called it America.
D and gave a detailed account of what he had observed.

5. The new continent was named America because...
A Vespucci knew that the land he saw was not a part of Asia.
B Vespucci was the first to realize that Columbus had not reached Asia.
C Europeans learned more about America.
D Cartographers placed a new land described by Vespucci in their maps.

6. Long after everyone knew the two Americas were not a part of Asia...
A people named them America.
B people stopped exploring them.
C people were still seeking new ways to Asia.
D people continued to write about them.

Answers:

1.B; 2.D; 3.C; 4.D; 5.D; 6.C
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