Multiple-choice exercise

Choose the correct answer for each question.


Cristopher 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 firts 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 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 Vespicci had described. The mapmaker named it America in honour 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 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.