Middle America (Americas)

Last updated
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
Timezone 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]

In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics, human impact characteristics, and the interaction of humanity and the environment. Geographic regions and sub-regions are mostly described by their imprecisely defined, and sometimes transitory boundaries, except in human geography, where jurisdiction areas such as national borders are defined in law.

Latitude The angle between zenith at a point and the plane of the equator

In geography, latitude is a geographic coordinate that specifies the north–south position of a point on the Earth's surface. Latitude is an angle which ranges from 0° at the Equator to 90° at the poles. Lines of constant latitude, or parallels, run east–west as circles parallel to the equator. Latitude is used together with longitude to specify the precise location of features on the surface of the Earth. On its own, the term latitude should be taken to be the geodetic latitude as defined below. Briefly, geodetic latitude at a point is the angle formed by the vector perpendicular to the ellipsoidal surface from that point, and the equatorial plane. Also defined are six auxiliary latitudes which are used in special applications.

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.

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]

Physical geography The study of processes and patterns in the natural environment

Physical geography is one of the two major sub-fields of geography. Physical geography is the branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the domain of human geography.

South America A continent in the Western Hemisphere, and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere

South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas. The reference to South America instead of other regions has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics.

Isthmus Narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas

An isthmus is a narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water by which they are otherwise separated. A tombolo is an isthmus that consists of a spit or bar, and a strait is the sea counterpart of an isthmus.

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]

Central Africa Core region of the African continent

Central Africa is the core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda. Middle Africa is an analogous term that includes Angola, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, and São Tomé and Príncipe. All of the states in the UN subregion of Middle Africa, plus those otherwise commonly reckoned in Central Africa, constitute the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). Since its independence in 2011, South Sudan has also been commonly included in the region.

Mesoamerica Cultural area in the Americas

Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area in North America. It extends from approximately central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica, and within this region pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas. In the 16th century, European diseases like smallpox and measles caused the deaths of upwards of 90% of the indigenous people. It is one of five areas in the world where ancient civilization arose independently, and the second in the Americas along with Norte Chico (Caral-Supe) in present-day Peru, in the northern coastal region.

Cultural area region with one relatively homogeneous human activity or complex of activities

In anthropology and geography, a cultural region, cultural sphere, cultural area or culture area refers to a geography with one relatively homogeneous human activity or complex of activities (culture). These are often associated with an ethnolinguistic group and the territory it inhabits. Specific cultures often do not limit their geographic coverage to the borders of a nation state, or to smaller subdivisions of a state. Cultural "spheres of influence" may also overlap or form concentric structures of macrocultures encompassing smaller local cultures. Different boundaries may also be drawn depending on the particular aspect of interest, such as religion and folklore vs. dress and architecture vs. language.

See also

Americas (terminology)

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

Aridoamerica ethnic group

Aridoamerica denotes an ecological region spanning Mexico and the Southwest United States, defined by the presence of the culturally significant staple foodstuff Phaseolus acutifolius, a drought-resistant bean. Its dry, arid climate and geography stand in contrast to the verdant Mesoamerica of present-day central Mexico into Central America to the south and east, and the higher, milder "island" of Oasisamerica to the north. Aridoamerica overlaps with both.

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.

Sources

  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.
International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

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

Related Research Articles

Central America central geographic region of the Americas

Central America is located on the southern tip of North America, or is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas, 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: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America has been estimated to be 41,739,000 and 42,688,190.

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.

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.

Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists organization

The Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists is a sub-entity of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which oversees the Church's work in the nations of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands, and Venezuela. Its headquarters, which is the only division of the church whose headquarters is outside its territory, is in Miami, Florida. The Division membership is 3,835,017 as of June 30, 2018.

Caribbean Basin

The Caribbean Basin is generally defined as the area running from Florida westward along the Gulf coast, then south along the Mexican coast through Central America and then eastward across the northern coast of South America. This region includes the islands of the archipelago of the West Indies. Bermuda is also included within the region even though it is in the west-central Atlantic, due to its common cultural history created by European colonization of the region, and in most of the region by the presence of a significant group of African descent.

Caribbean Plate A mostly oceanic tectonic plate including part of Central America and the Caribbean Sea

The Caribbean Plate is a mostly oceanic tectonic plate underlying Central America and the Caribbean Sea off the north coast of South America.

<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.

<i>Desmoncus</i> genus of plants

Desmoncus is a genus of spiny palms native to the Neotropics. The genus extends from Mexico in the north to Brazil and Bolivia in the south, with two species present in the southeastern Caribbean.

  1. Desmoncus chinantlensis Liebm. ex Mart. - southern Mexico and Central America
  2. Desmoncus cirrhifer A.H.Gentry & Zardini - Panama, Colombia, Ecuador
  3. Desmoncus costaricensis (Kuntze) Burret - Costa Rica
  4. Desmoncus giganteus A.J.Hend. - Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, western Brazil
  5. Desmoncus horridus Splitg. ex Mart. - Trinidad, Venezuela, the Guianas, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil
  6. Desmoncus interjectus A.J.Hend. - Colombia
  7. Desmoncus kunarius de Nevers ex A.J.Hend. - Panama
  8. Desmoncus latisectus Burret - Bolivia
  9. Desmoncus leptoclonos Drude - Paraguay, Brazil
  10. Desmoncus loretanus A.J.Hend. - Loreto region of Peru
  11. Desmoncus madrensis A.J.Hend. - Peru
  12. Desmoncus mitis Mart. - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia
  13. Desmoncus moorei A.J.Hend. - Nicaragua, Costa Rica
  14. Desmoncus myriacanthos Dugand. - Panama, Colombia, Venezuela
  15. Desmoncus obovoideus A.J.Hend. - Panama
  16. Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart. - eastern Brazil
  17. Desmoncus osensis A.J.Hend. - Costa Rica
  18. Desmoncus parvulus L.H.Bailey - Venezuela, Colombia, northwestern Brazil, the Guianas
  19. Desmoncus polyacanthos Mart. - Trinidad, Windward Islands, Venezuela, the Guianas, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil
  20. Desmoncus prunifer Poepp. ex Mart. - Loreto region of Peru
  21. Desmoncus pumilus Trail. - Colombia, northwestern Brazil
  22. Desmoncus setosus Mart. - Colombia, northwestern Brazil
  23. Desmoncus stans Grayum & Nevers - Costa Rica
  24. Desmoncus vacivus L.H.Bailey - Colombia, northwestern Brazil, Peru

Mesoamerica(n) or Meso-America(n) may refer to:

<i>Tinamus</i> genus of birds

Tinamus is a genus of birds in the tinamou family. This genus comprises some of the larger members of this South American family.

<i>Aegiphila</i> genus of plants

Aegiphila is a genus of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae, first described in 1763. It was formerly classified in the Verbenaceae. It is native to Mexico, Central America, South America, the West Indies, and Florida.

The Central America bioregion is a biogeographic region comprising southern Mexico and Central America.

<i>Cycnoches</i> genus of plants

Cycnoches, abbreviated as Cyc. in the horticultural trade, is a genus of 34 currently accepted species of orchids native to South America, Central America and southern Mexico.

The Mesoamerican region is a trans-national economic region in the Americas that is recognized by the OECD and other economic and developmental organizations, comprising the united economies of the seven countries in Central America — Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama — plus nine southeastern states of Mexico — Campeche, Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz, and Yucatán.

The Isthmian-Atlantic moist forests (NT0129) are a Central American tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion located in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.