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Essays on the history of north american discovery and exploration

The colonial architecture of the United States and Canada was as diverse as the peoples who settled there: Each group carried with it the style and building customs of the mother country, adapting them as best… North America occupies the northern portion of the landmass generally referred to as the New World, the Western Hemisphereor simply the Americas.

  • This is incredibly hard rock;
  • Such a rebel was Roger Williams, a minister of blameless life, a brilliant man learned in the law, who questioned both the right of taking the Indians' land and the wisdom of keeping church and state unified;
  • In 1745, Logan erected a building for his collection and bequeathed it and his books to the city.

Mainland North America is shaped roughly like a triangle, with its base in the north and its apex in the south; associated with the continent is Greenlandthe largest island in the world, and such offshore groups as the Arctic Archipelagothe West IndiesHaida Gwaii formerly the Queen Charlotte Islandsand the Aleutian Islands. Uummannaq Fjord and Uummannaq Rock, Greenland. To the northeast Greenland is separated from Iceland by the Denmark Straitand to the northwest Alaska is separated from the Asian mainland by the much narrower Bering Strait.

North America

Although at first the term America was applied only to the southern half of the continent, the designation soon was applied to the entire landmass. Those portions that widened out north of the Isthmus of Panama became known as North America, and those that broadened to the south became known as South America. According to some authorities, North America begins not at the Isthmus of Panama but at the narrows of Tehuantepecwith the intervening region called Central America.

The Colonial Period

Under such a definition, part of Mexico must be included in Central America, although that country lies mainly in North America proper. To overcome this anomalythe whole of Mexico, together with Central and South American countries, also may be grouped under the name Latin Americawith the United States and Canada being referred to as Anglo-America.

This cultural division is a very real one, yet Mexico and Central America including the Caribbean are bound to the rest of North America by strong ties of physical geography. Greenland also is culturally divided from, but physically close to, North America. Some geographers characterize the area roughly from the southern border of the United States to the northern border of Colombia as Middle Americawhich differs from Central America because it includes Mexico.

Columbus’ Confusion About the New World

Some definitions of Middle America also include the West Indies. A small farm nestled in the rugged highlands of central Honduras. Its geologic structure is built around a stable platform of Precambrian rock called the Canadian Laurentian Shield.


In between these two mountain belts are the generally flat regions of the Great Plains in the west and the Central Lowlands in the east. These have allowed North America to become one of the most economically developed regions in the world, and its inhabitants enjoy a high standard of living. North America has the highest average income per person of any continent and an average food intake per person that is significantly greater than that of other continents.

The descendants of these peoples, the various Native American and Eskimo Inuit groups, largely have been supplanted by peoples from the Old World.

  • I ruled out tracks, and I ruled out burrows, and then, when I saw the near perfect alignment of these in lines and how they cross cut several different dune deposits, the light finally came on, and I realized it's got to be earthquakes;
  • Another appeared with a gold belt;
  • The view from the Hollywood Hills will be very different;
  • Okay, now, get this edge right here, and just peel it back real slow.

People of European ancestry constitute the largest group, followed by those of African and of Asian ancestry; in addition there is a large group of Latin Americans, who are of mixed European and Native American ancestry.

This article treats the physical and human geography of North America.

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia

For discussion of individual countries of the continent, see the articles CanadaMexicoand United States of America. See also coverage of North American regions under the titles West Indies and the individual countries of Central America.

  • A similar situation developed in Massachusetts, where the Massachusetts Bay Company had been given the right to govern;
  • They wanted a share of the land and its people, and when their demands were not met they revolted against the government of Columbus;
  • These are layers of sandstone;
  • Peter Martyr could rejoice that "so many thousands of men are received to bee the sheepe of Christes flocke.

For discussion of major cities of the continent, see specific articles by name—e. For discussion of the indigenous peoples of the continent, see the articles Native American and pre-Columbian civilizations.

  1. In the more thickly settled areas, a few neighborhood schools provided instruction but, in general, the individual planter was obliged to assume the cost and responsibility of hiring tutors. It goes much deeper into the ground.
  2. These travelling landmasses radically re-shaped our Pacific coastline.
  3. Without granite and other light rocks there might not even be any continents, because at one time the only rock on the face of the earth was volcanic rock, like basalt.
  4. The cod fishery alone rapidly formed a basis for prosperity in Massachusetts.

The principal treatment of North American historical and cultural development is contained in the articles mentioned above and in the article Latin America, history of. For further discussion of arts and literature, see the articles American literatureNative American artsCanadian literatureand Latin American literature.

  1. He pleads with them to buy out his indenture and let him return to England as "there [is] nothing to be gotten here but sickness and death.
  2. But 440-million years ago, they would have been dwarfed by something else.
  3. For, on the frontiers, the hardy Scotch-Irish, though living in primitive cabins, refused to fall into the slough of ignorance.