The Americas. The New World. All of these names are valid. Here, you’ll find both North America and South America, which makes up most of the western hemisphere.

Both American Continent and their islands make up 28.4% of Earth’s land area, and 8% of its area overall. The American Cordillera is the most consistent topography here. It is a distant span of mountains that run along the west coast. Eastern America is home to many large river basins.

These include the Amazon,  the St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes basin, the Mississippi River, and La Plata. Stretching over 8,700 miles from both north to south, it is no surprise that the area experiences a variety of temperatures and ecology. From freezing temperatures in the Arctic tundra of Northern Canada and Alaska to the dense, tropical rain forests in Central and South America.

In a period beginning 17,000-42,000 years ago, human settlement began in America. These settlers were from Asia and were also followed by a second migration of Na-Dene speakers. Around 3500 BCE, an Inuit migration to the neo-Arctic region completed the American indigenous settlement.

Leif Ericson, a Norse explorer, is the first European settler. However, finding the New World similar to his homeland, he abandoned the colonies. The famous voyages of Christopher Columbus occurred in 1492 to 1502. These voyages led to the Columbian exchange between Old World powers and the Americas.

Sadly, goods were not all that was exchanged. Diseases hailing from both Europe and Africa wiped out entire tribes of indigenous peoples, leaving the land open to European colonization. These new residents included indentured servants, slaves imported from Africa, and also a mass migration of European citizens.

The American Revolution in 1776 began the decolonization of America. Now, the New World is many independent countries. Currently, almost all of the population of the Americas resides in independent countries; however, some common traits remain, including a tendency towards Christianity, and the use of Spanish, English, French, and Portuguese.

Over 1 billion residents live in this region, with over 65% of the population in its three most populous countries, The United States, Brazil, and Mexico. São Paulo, Mexico City, New York City, Buenos Aires and Los Angeles are also all cities with high populations.

October 11, 2016 7:01 pm Published by

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