Middle America (Americas)

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Middle America
Middle America (orthographic projection).svg
Area2,728,827 km2 (1,053,606 sq mi)
Population (2007)188,187,764
States
Dependencies
GDP $1.416 229 trillion
(PPP, 2005 est.)
Major languages Spanish, English, Mayan, French, Haitian Creole, Antillean Creole, and others
Time zones UTC −4:00 (Barbados) to
UTC −8:00 (Mexico)
Largest urban agglomerations

Middle America is a region in the mid-latitudes of the Americas. In southern North America, it usually comprises Mexico, the nations of Central America, and the Caribbean. In northern South America, it usually comprises Colombia and Venezuela. The Caribbean is occasionally excluded from the region, and the Guianas are infrequently included. [2] [3] [4]

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Physiographically, Middle America marks the territorial transition between the rest of North America and South America, connecting yet separating the two. [5] On the west, the Middle American mainland comprises the tapering, isthmian tract of the American landmass between the southern Rocky Mountains in the southern United States and the northern tip of the Andes in Colombia, [6] separating the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Atlantic Ocean (viz. the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea) on the east, while the Greater and Lesser Antilles form an island arc in the east. [5] The region developed subaerially southward from North America as a complex volcanic arc-trench system during the Early Cretaceous period, eventually forming the land bridge during the Pliocene epoch when its southern end (at Panama) collided with South America through tectonic action. [7]

Political map of Middle America. MiddleAmerica-pol.jpg
Political map of Middle America.

Occasionally, the term Middle America is used synonymously with Central America [4] (compare with Middle Africa and Central Africa). In English, the term is uncommonly used as a synonym of the term Mesoamerica (or Meso- America), [6] [8] which generally refers to an ancient culture region situated in Middle America extending roughly from central Mexico to northern Costa Rica. [9] In addition, some residents of the region (e.g., Costa Ricans and Nicaraguans) may be referred to as Meso-Americans or Central Americans, but not, however, as Middle Americans, which refers to a particular constituency in the United States. [10]

See also

Related Research Articles

Central America central geographic region of the Americas

Central America is a region in the southern tip of North America and is sometimes defined as a subregion of the Americas. This region is bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: El Salvador, Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The combined population of Central America is estimated at 44.53 million (2016).

Guiana Shield Precambrian geological formation in northeast South America, and one of three cratons of the South American Plate

The Guiana Shield is one of the three cratons of the South American Plate. It is a 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian geological formation in northeast South America that forms a portion of the northern coast. The higher elevations on the shield are called the Guiana Highlands, which is where the table-like mountains called tepuis are found. The Guiana Highlands are also the source of some of the world's most spectacular waterfalls such as Angel Falls, Kaieteur Falls and Kuquenan Falls.

<i>Xanthosoma</i> Genus of plants

Xanthosoma is a genus of flowering plants in the arum family, Araceae. The genus is native to tropical America but widely cultivated and naturalized in other tropical regions. Several are grown for their starchy corms, an important food staple of tropical regions, known variously as malanga, otoy, otoe, cocoyam, tannia, tannier, yautía, macabo, ocumo, macal, taioba, dasheen, quequisque, ʻape and as Singapore taro. Many other species, including especially Xanthosoma roseum, are used as ornamental plants; in popular horticultural literature these species may be known as ‘ape due to resemblance to the true Polynesian 'ape, Alocasia macrorrhizos, or as elephant ear from visual resemblance of the leaf to an elephant's ear. Sometimes the latter name is also applied to members in the closely related genera Caladium, Colocasia (taro), and Alocasia.

Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists organization

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Mesoamerica Cultural area in the Americas

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Geography of Mesoamerica geographic area and features of Mesoamerica, a culture area in the Americas inhabited by complex indigenous pre-Columbian cultures, such as, the Olmec, Teotihuacan, the Maya, the Aztec and the Purépecha

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<i>Crypturellus</i> Genus of birds

Crypturellus is a genus of tinamous containing mostly forest species. However, there are the odd few that are grassland or steppe tinamous. There are 21 species of and a total of 67 taxa.

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References

Citations

  1. "Population of urban agglomerations with 750,000 inhabitants or more in 2005, by country, 1950-2015" (PDF). United Nations. 2005. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  2. CIA political map of Middle America. 1994. Perry–Castañeda Library Map Collection; University of Texas Library Online
  3. "Middle America." Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary , 11th ed. 2003. ( ISBN   0-87779-809-5) New York: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
  4. 1 2 Augelli, John P. (June 1962). "The Rimland-Mainland Concept of Culture Areas in Middle America". Annals of the Association of American Geographers: 52 (2): 119–129. JSTOR   2561309. Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies, to which the term is normally applicable, share a general [geographic] focus .... For some ... "Middle America" refers only to Mexico and Central America; others add the West Indies and, infrequently, even Colombia, Venezuela, and the Guianas. Occasionally, the term "Central America" is used synonymously with "Middle America". Also, German geographers often refer to just the isthmian territories from Panama to Guatemala as Mittelamerika .
  5. 1 2 Gonzalez, Joseph. 2004. "Middle America: Bridging Two Continents" (ch. 17). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Geography. ( ISBN   1-59257-188-3) New York: Alpha Books; pp. 213–7
  6. 1 2 "Middle America." Encyclopædia Britannica 2006. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
  7. Coney, Peter J. 1982. "Plate tectonic constraints on the biogeography of Middle America and the Caribbean region." Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden: v. 69, pp. 432–443
  8. 'Glossary' Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine Images of the Past, 4th ed. 2005. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
  9. Dow, James W. 1999. The Cultural Anthropology of Middle America Archived 2007-07-04 at the Wayback Machine .
  10. "American." The Oxford Companion to the English Language ( ISBN   0-19-214183-X). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 35.

Sources

Coordinates: 17°24′00″N91°00′00″W / 17.4000°N 91.0000°W / 17.4000; -91.0000