Americas (terminology)

Last updated
Subdivisions of the Americas
MapLegend
LocationNSAm.png
  First America(FA)
  Far North America (FNA)
  May be included in
       either NA or SA
LocationNSAm2.png
  North America (NA)
  May be included in NA
  Central America
  Caribbean
  South America
LocationNSAm3.png
  North America (NA)
  May be included in NA

       Northern America

  Middle America (MA)
  Caribbean (may be
        included in MA)
  South America (SA)
  May be included
        in MA or SA
LocationNSAngloLatin.png
  Anglo-America (A-A)
  May be included in A-A
  Latin America (LA)
  May be included in LA

The Americas, also known as America, [1] are lands of the western hemisphere, composed of numerous entities and regions variably defined by geography, politics, and culture.

Contents

The Americas are recognised in the English-speaking world to comprise two separate continents: North America and South America. The Americas are also considered to comprise a single continent named America in parts of Europe, Latin America and some other areas. [2]

Americas landmass comprising the continents of North America and South America

The Americas comprise the totality of the continents of North and South America. Together, they make up most of the land in Earth's western hemisphere and comprise the New World.

English-speaking world Countries and regions where English is everyday language and people (or peoples) who speak English

Approximately 330 to 360 million people speak English as their first language. With 258 million native speakers, the United States of America comprises the majority of the global total. As pictured in the pie graph below, most native speakers of English are Americans.

Continent Very large landmass identified by convention

A continent is one of several very large landmasses of the world. Generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to smallest, they are: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.

Physical geography

North America Continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere

North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere; it is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.

Island Any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water

An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, and a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines.

Atlantic Ocean Ocean between Europe, Africa and the Americas

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's oceans, with an area of about 106,460,000 square kilometers. It covers approximately 20 percent of the Earth's surface and about 29 percent of its water surface area. It separates the "Old World" from the "New World".

Human geography

Geographical or geopolitical regions

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

United Nations geoscheme

United Nations geoscheme for the Americas
LocationNSAmUNGeoscheme.png
  Northern America
  Central America
  Caribbean
  South America

Within this scheme, the continent of North America comprises Northern America, Central America, and the Caribbean. [19]

Political divisions

United States of America LocationWHUnitedStatesofAmerica.png
United States of America
 
Confederate States of America (1861-1865) LocationWHConfederateStatesofAmerica.png
Confederate States of America (1861-1865)
Federal Republic of Central America (1823-1840) LocationWHFederalRepublicofCentralAmerica.png
Federal Republic of Central America (1823-1840)
West Indies Federation (1958-1962) LocationWHWestIndiesFederation.png
West Indies Federation (1958-1962)

Linguistic/cultural regions

See also

Related Research Articles

A subregion is a part of a larger region or continent and is usually based on location. Cardinal directions, such as south or southern, are commonly used to define a subregion.

Northern America Canada, United States, and Greenland

Northern America is the northernmost region of North America. The boundaries may be drawn slightly differently. In one definition, it lies directly north of Middle America. Northern America's land frontier with the rest of North America then coincides with the Mexico–United States border. Geopolitically, according to the United Nations' scheme of geographic regions and subregions, Northern America consists of Bermuda, Canada, Greenland, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, and the United States of America.

British America English territories in North America

British America included the British Empire's colonial territories in North America, Bermuda, Central America, the Caribbean, and Guyana from 1607 to 1783. The American colonies were formally known as British America and the British West Indies before the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) and formed the United States of America. After that, the term British North America was used to describe the remainder of Britain's continental American possessions. That term was used informally in 1783 by the end of the American Revolution, but it was uncommon before the Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839), called the Durham Report.

West Indies Island region in the Caribbean

The West Indies is a region of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean that includes the island countries and surrounding waters of three major archipelagos: the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles and the Lucayan Archipelago.

Geography of North America

North America is the third largest continent, and is also a portion of the second largest supercontinent if North and South America are combined into the Americas and Africa, Europe, and Asia are considered to be part of one supercontinent called Afro-Eurasia.

The languages of North America reflect not only that continent's indigenous peoples, but the European colonization as well. The most widely spoken languages in North America are English, Spanish, and to a lesser extent French, and, especially in the Caribbean, creole languages lexified by them.

Outline of North America Overview of and topical guide to North America

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to North America.

Caribbean region to the center-east of America composed of many islands and of coastal regions of continental countries surrounding the Caribbean Sea

The Caribbean is a region of The Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.

Index of Dominica-related articles Wikimedia list article

The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the nation of Dominica.

Index of Turks and Caicos Islands-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the British Overseas Territory of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The military history of North America can be viewed in a number of phases.

References

  1. "America." The Oxford Companion to the English Language ( ISBN   0-19-214183-X). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 33: "[16c: from the feminine of Americus, the Latinized first name of the explorer Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512). A claim is also made for the name of Richard Ameryk, sheriff of Bristol and patron of John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto), the 16c Anglo-Italian explorer of North America. The name America first appeared on a map in 1507 by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller, referring to the area now called Brazil]. Since the 16c, a name of the western hemisphere, often in the plural Americas and more or less synonymous with the New World. Since the 18c, a name of the United States of America. The second sense is now primary in English: ... However, the term is open to uncertainties: ..."
  2. Martin W. Lewis; Karen E. Wigen (1997). "Chapter One, The Architecture of Continents". The Myth of Continents. University of California Press. ISBN   0-520-20742-4.
  3. 1 2 "Middle America", Encyclopædia Britannica, on line. Accessed October 12, 2007.
  4. 1 2 3 "Middle America." Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary. Accessed October 11, 2007.
  5. Nord-Amèrica, in Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana Archived 2016-05-15 at the Portuguese Web Archive
  6. "Central America". Encyclopædia Britannica, on line. Accessed October 12, 2007.
  7. "North America". Michigan State University Global Access. Archived from the original on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
  8. "Joint Statement by Prime Minister Harper, President Bush, and President Calderón". The White House. 2007-08-12. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
  9. "Citizenship and Human Rights in the North American Region". Centre of North American Politics and Society, Carleton University. 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
  10. "Teaching Geography and Geopolitics". Foreign Policy Research Institute. May 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  11. pp. 3031, Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts, H. J. de Blij and Peter O. Muller, Wiley, 12th ed., 2005 ( ISBN   0-471-71786-X.)
  12. p. 168, Lewis and Wigen.
  13. Burchfield, R. W., ed. 2004. "America." Fowler's Modern English Usage ( ISBN   0-19-861021-1) New York: Oxford University Press, p. 48
  14. McArthur, Tom. 1992."North American." The Oxford Companion to the English Language ( ISBN   0-19-214183-X) New York: Oxford University Press, p. 707.
  15. "North America", MSN Encarta, Microsoft. Accessed on line October 10, 2007. Archived 2009-10-31.
  16. "Central America", MSN Encarta, Microsoft. Accessed on line October 12, 2007. Archived 2009-10-31.
  17. "Central America", Encyclopedia Americana, Grolier: 2002.
  18. "South America", MSN Encarta, Microsoft. Accessed on line October 12, 2007. Archived 2009-10-31.
  19. Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings. United Nations Statistics Division, Country and Region Codes. Revised August 28, 2007. Accessed on line October 12, 2007.
  20. Mexican Congress Archived 2008-03-15 at the Wayback Machine
  21. Decreto Constitucional para la Libertad de la América Mexicana Archived 2013-05-20 at the Wayback Machine
  22. What's the difference between North, Latin, Central, Middle, South, Spanish and Anglo America? Geography at about.com. Accessed on line October 12, 2007.

Sources