Amerigo Vespucci’s Perception of Native Americans

“Beyond the fact that they have no church, no religion, and are not idolaters, what more can I say?” (Page 34)

This quote spoken by America Vespucci portrays and once again emphasizes how much religion played a part in the current times of the voyages. Just by the subtle four worded question that was relayed from Vespucci’s mouth, “what more can I say?”, implied that what he saw in the Native Americans left him starstruck and speechless. He clearly had never seen something like this before where there was no sense of spiritual connection with the people of the region. I find the question at the end of the quote said by Vespucci as such a strong impactful way of questioning these people and a means of potential further analyzation. At a time where Christianity was the only thing that they knew from where they had come from, observing people like these can leave you speechless. Other than the surprising fact that they have no religion, Vespucci is disgusted by the fact that they have their women “being very lustful” and causing the private part of the man to swell up. I feel disgusted by that too actually and I feel as if his views all in all were clearly negative. Although, I feel like the way he stated that they have no religion just justified why they were who these people were. Vespucci used the words “beyond the fact” in trying to basically portray that them having no spirituality with a Higher Being was the last straw. He mentioned most of the disgusting, abnormal characteristics and then brought up religion to show that there is nothing to do with them. I really enjoy the piece of writing and structure that was built in this passage because I can possibly conclude and assume that Vespucci believes that the Native Americans are abnormal and disgusting because religion is nonexistent in their culture.

2 thoughts on “Amerigo Vespucci’s Perception of Native Americans

  1. I agree with your point in which you said “This quote spoken by America Vespucci portrays and once again emphasizes how much religion played a part in the current times of the voyages”. You furthered this point by saying that Vespucci had never encountered a society lacking religion or spiritualism, but i believe you could have expanded upon this by saying that he said the quote for a reason even deeper than just simply shock, he said it to explain that the native people can be corrupted.The fact that they had no religion that could be seen by an outsider made it seem as though there was a lack of institutionalization and society.Despite these points you had a solid claim and evidence.

  2. I agree with the statement of how important religion would be for the time period in which it was written. Religion kept order in a community rather than how the people of this newly found land were living in. As for the last comment Vespucci makes of “what more can i say?”, it is used as if the audience is all in on what he has to say and as he is only speaking the truth. As for assuming Vespucci is disgusted by the Natives and their beliefs, I can’t agree with it because we look upon the negative more heavily than other things in the text. Vespucci comments a lot of his admiration towards the women and men physical features and abilities. Also he couldn’t have been disgusted but rather seen this as an opportunity to take control and power of this unorganized nation. Just as they don’t have an established religion this is what the Europeans want to build a new beginning and to have all those in the land to become part of christianity. I am still able to agree with your statement of Vespucci believing that the Natives were abnormal rather than disgusting because of religion being nonexistent in their culture

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