Geography now north america live

By Jason Shvili on May 14 in History. Before any Europeans set foot in North America, there were approximately five hundred different nations inhabiting the continent, each with their own customs and traditions. From the caribou hunters in the arctic to the pyramid builders of Mesoamerica, North America was a continent rich in cultures.

Unfortunately, European invasions led to the death of indigenous residents of the land in the millions, almost wiping out their traces from the region. Today, it is very important to preserve and protect the rich cultures of these peoples as they survive in small pockets dispersed across North America, and are threatened by globalisation and modernisation. Here are some examples of tribes that populated the continent before the Europeans arrived to conquer and take over their land and establish their own culture in North America.

The Inuit existed primarily as hunter-gatherers before the arrival of Europeans. They hunted caribousealswhaleswalruses and other sea mammals for food, and also to use as material for their clothing, tools, houses and kayaks. The igloos that the Inuit are famous for were used as temporary housing during long winter hunting trips.

Inuktitut is the native language of the Inuit and has several dialects. Cree territory stretches from northern Alberta in the west to northern Labrador in the east.

Like the Inuit, the Cree were also hunter-gatherers before Europeans arrived on the continent.

geography now north america live

For most of the year, they lived in small bands or hunting groups, but during the summer, they would gather into larger groups in order to socialize, trade or perform ceremonies. Their homes were cone or dome-shaped dwellings covered in animal skins. Cree society was largely egalitarian and communal in nature. Before the original thirteen British colonies merged to form The United States of America, there was a group of six nations in what is now upper New York state that came together to form their own union.

North America

They formed what was called the Iroquoisor Haudenosaunee, Confederacy. Iroquois society was matrilineal. The clan mothers represented the clans of each nation and had certain responsibilities. The Iroquois lived year-round in villages and were horticulturalists. Their confederacy was essentially a pre-Columbian form of representative democracy, which according to some, may have inspired the creation of the United States.

The Cherokee were the largest nation in what is now the southeastern U.

geography now north america live

Although they began as hunters, they eventually embraced agriculture as well. Cherokee society was matrilineal, with clan membership derived from the mother. The Cherokee lived in fortified towns consisting of waddle and daub houses, or asi, as they called them, plus a larger meeting house. They are related to the Iroquois, but they were never part of the Iroquois Confederacy. In fact, they formed their own confederacy in their native land, which was in the Appalachian Mountainsin territory now part of present-day Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas.

The Choctaw lived in what is now southeastern Mississippi. Their homes were thatch-roofed cabins built with logs or bark and plastered over with mud. They were very skilled farmers and produced crops, not only for their personal use, but also to sell and trade.

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Their crops included corn, beans and pumpkins. The Choctaw also fished and gathered wild fruit and nuts. Some of the Plains Indians were fully nomadic, while others were semi-nomadic and did engage in some agricultural activities. Their lives largely centered on hunting bison for food and other traditional uses. The Navajo made their homeland in what is now the southwestern U.The Northregionnorthern United Stateshistorically identified as the free states that opposed slavery and the Confederacy during the American Civil War.

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Of these, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota were not states at the time of the Civil War, and Missouri, though part of the Union, was a slave state; thus, regional lines were, and remain, unclear. Regional distinctions, however, did exist. As early asPres. George Washington used the terms North and South, warning against the danger of basing political differences upon geographic lines. The most critical sectional distinction, however, had already been recognized inwhen slavery was banned in the Northwest Territory an area known today as the American Midwest.

Soon after the American Revolutionslavery disappeared in all states north of the Mason and Dixon Linethe boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland. In the 19th century transportation developed markedly along east-west lines; e. Thus, both immigration and trade bound northern sections together, creating a remarkable homogeneity of ideologypolitical and educational institutions, cultural ties, and economic patterns.

By the s the question of the extension of slavery into the western territories was the central issue uniting the North and bringing it into conflict with the South.

The North attained its highest self-consciousness as a region during the war, when its name became synonymous with the Union.

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The North attempted, largely unsuccessfully, to ensure the political enfranchisement and socioeconomic equality of African Americans in the South during the Reconstruction period — Meanwhile, the North itself was experiencing an unprecedented period of economic growth as it underwent industrialization. As the 19th century progressed, the North, particularly the Middle Atlantic states and the Great Lakes area of the Midwest, became more and more typified by big cities, big business, and big industrial complexes.

This dominance, however, was not without its costs. Immigration brought millions of southern and eastern Europeans to northern cities, swelling their populations and providing a cheap source of industrial labour but also causing problems of housing, health, and education.

When this wave of immigration slowed dramatically afterit was replaced in the second half of the 20th century by another wave made up of Southern blacks, Latin Americans, and East Asians. Continuing heavy industrialization had affected the environmentcausing water- and air-pollution problems, while the concentration of African Americans in Northern inner-city ghettos spawned tension and violence and severely affected patterns of housing, education, employment, and public health.

By the late s this figure had fallen to barely more than half. Likewise, the North accounted for 58 percent of the total population of the United States inbut only about 40 percent at the turn of the 21st century.

North America Facts

Efforts at renewal and revitalization were undertaken by many Northern cities, with varying effect. Print Cite. Facebook Twitter. Give Feedback. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires login.

Geography of Latin America

External Websites. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degreeNorth America is the third largest continent in size and the fourth largest when we consider population.

The North American continent houses 23 countries. The continent is located in the Northern Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere. Largest Country : Canada. The country is covering almost half the North American continent's land area. Canada is slightly bigger than the USA and about as big as China. Read more about Canada here. Largest City : Mexico City, which is the capital city of Mexico with a population of about 9 million. With more than 20 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area, this is one of the largest cities in the world.

Read more about Mexico here. Smallest Country : St Kitts and Nevis with only about 54, inhabitants. This island country is located in the Caribbean Sea. The least populated dependency is Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory, with less than 6, inhabitants. Biggest Island : Greenland. This is also the world's largest island that is not a continent! Greenland is located in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Together with the Mississippi River, it forms one of the largest river systems in the world. Untilthis mountain was referred to as Mount McKinley. Denali is considered the third most isolated mountain peak in the world of the world's Seven Summits after Mount Everest in Asia and Aconcagua in South America.

The Seven Summits are the highest mountain peaks or summits of each continent. Biggest Lake : Lake Superior. Lake Superior is shared by Canada to the north and the United States to the east, south and west.

Lake Superior is also considered the largest freshwater lake by area in the world. Lowest Point : Death Valley. First records are found on the island of Greenland from about Indigenous people lived in various clusters from small family groups to large empires across the whole continent.

The European explorers arrived in larger numbers only after Christopher Columbus discovered America in There were power struggles between the colonisers from England, France and Spain as well as revolutions of the local indigenous people which later led to the creation of the different independent states.

People of North America : Before the Europeans arrived in North America, the indigenous and native Americans were the people who lived on the continent.

Today, the biggest groups of native Americans are the Cherokee, Navajo and Iroquois people. In Mexico, the largest indigenous minority groups belong to the modern Mayan people such as the Yucatan or Campeche people. Mayan or mixed Mayan people are also among the largest ethnic groups in other countries. Spanish and French are spoken by many as second language in the USA. Over 20 million people live in the metropolitan area of the capital city of Mexico.North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere.

It can also be described as a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Oceanto the east by the Atlantic Oceanto the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Seaand to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean.

North America covers an area of about 24, square kilometers 9, square milesabout North America is the third-largest continent by area, following Asia and Africaand the fourth by population after Asia, Africa, and Europe. Inits population was estimated at nearly million people in 23 independent statesor about 7. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial periodvia crossing the Bering land bridge approximately 40, to 17, years ago. The so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10, years ago the beginning of the Archaic or Meso-Indian period.

The classic stage spans roughly the 6th to 13th centuries. The pre-Columbian era ended inwith the beginning of the transatlantic migrations of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the early modern period.

Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonistsindigenous peoplesAfrican slavesimmigrantsand the descendants of these groups.

Owing to Europe's colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak European languages such as English, Spanish or French, and their states' cultures commonly reflect Western traditions.

North America

He explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio : [6]. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name Americus Vespuciusbut in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Later, other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent. Some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries except in the case of royaltythe derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question.

This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. In the limited context of the North American Free Trade Agreementthe term covers Canada, the United States, and Mexico, which are the three signatories of that treaty. North America has been historically referred to by other names. Geographically, the North American continent has many regions and subregions. These include cultural, economic, and geographic regions.

Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Anglo-America and Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America, Belizeand Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations though sub-national entities, such as the state of Louisiana and the province of Quebechave large Francophone populations; in Quebec, French is the sole official language [20].

The southern part of North American continent is composed of two regions. These are Central America and the Caribbean. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, Canada, the United States, and Greenland.

Pierre and Miquelon, Canada and Greenland.The countries of Central America also are part of the continent, and several islands, including the West Indies and Greenlandare associated with North America. Belts of mountains run along the east and west sides of North America. In the east are the Laurentians and the Appalachians. The mountains in the west are much taller. They include the Rocky Mountainswhich extend from Canada to Mexico. Between the Appalachians and the Atlantic Ocean in the east is a low coastal plain.

Another vast lowland stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians. The Great Lakesin east-central North America, make up the largest area of fresh water in the world. Together these rivers drain the central United States. Most of North America has a mild climate, with warm summers, cold winters, and moderate rainfall. However, much of Alaska and northern Canada have bitterly cold winters and short, cool summers.

Parts of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico are very dry, with regions of desert and semidesert.

Tribes That Populated North America Prior To The Arrival Of Europeans

Central America has hot weather and heavy rainfall throughout the year. The mountainous parts of North America contain large areas of thick forests. Douglas firredwoodpineand spruce trees grow along the northern Pacific Coast.

Tropical hardwood forests grow in Mexico and Central America. Few plants grow in the desert and cold northern regions. Prairies form a belt between forest and desert, mainly on the Great Plains of the central part of the continent.

geography now north america live

Animals native to North America include bighorn sheepmountain goatsmooseand elk. There are also pumas mountain lionsbobcatslynxcoyoteswolvesand bears.Boliviacountry of west-central South America. Extending some miles 1, km north-south and miles 1, km east-west, Bolivia is bordered to the north and east by Brazilto the southeast by Paraguayto the south by Argentinato the southwest and west by Chileand to the northwest by Peru.

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The country has been landlocked since it lost its Pacific coast territory to Chile in the War of the Pacific —84but agreements with neighbouring countries have granted it indirect access to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The constitutional capital is the historic city of Sucrewhere the Supreme Court is established, but the administrative capital is La Pazwhere the executive and legislative branches of government function.

Bolivia is traditionally regarded as a highland country. In the late 20th century, however, the demographic and economic landscape began to change as the eastern lowlands—particularly the department of Santa Cruz—developed rapidly.

The country has a rich history. It was once the centre of the ancient Tiwanaku Tiahuanaco empire, and from the 15th to the early 16th century it was a part of the Inca empire. After the arrival of the conquistadores, Bolivia was subsumed within the Viceroyalty of Peruand it provided Spain with immense wealth in silver. There the Andes reach their greatest breadth and complexity. The system in Bolivia is dominated by two great parallel ranges.

An impressive line of snowcapped peaks, some exceeding 20, feet 6, metrescharacterize this northern section, which maintains an average elevation of more than 18, feet 5, metres for more than miles km. The plateau is a relatively flat-floored depression about miles km long and 80 miles km wide, lying at elevations between 12, and 12, feet 3, and 3, metres. Terraced fields built hundreds of years ago lie at the foothills of snow-covered peaks, which have been sacred to the Indians since ancient times.

The surface of the Altiplano is composed mostly of water- and wind-borne deposits from the bordering mountains, and it slopes gently southward, its evenness broken by occasional hills and ridges.

The margins of the Altiplano are characterized by numerous spurs and interlocking alluvial fans accumulations of silt, gravel, and other debris that were brought down from the mountains and that have spread out in the shape of a fan.

In Bolivia the name Yungas often refers to a smaller region northeast of La Paz, which, like the neighbouring region of Alto Beni the upper basin of the Beni River north of Caranaviis part of the larger Yungas region.

In southern Bolivia the Andes become much wider and are formed by a high, tilted block called the Puna, with west-facing escarpments and more gentle eastward slopes down to the plains.

The Puna is broken up by the Valles, a system of fertile valleys and mountain basins that are generally larger and less confined than those in the Yungas. They lie at elevations mostly between 6, and 9, feet 1, and 2, metres and are noted for their rich, varied agriculture and the so-called garden cities of CochabambaSucre, and Tarija.

North and east of the Andes and Yungas is the Oriente region, an extension of the Amazon River basin that covers more than two-thirds of Bolivia.

geography now north america live

The vast area of the Oriente is composed of low alluvial plains llanosgreat swamps, flooded bottomlands, open savannas, and tropical forests. In the extreme south is the Bolivian Chacowhich forms part of the Gran Chaco ; it is a level area that varies strikingly with the seasons.

During the rainy season it becomes a veritable swamp, but it is a hot semidesert during the remaining seven or eight months of the year. Northward from the Chaco the relief of the Santa Cruz department is somewhat more varied, exhibiting a gentle downward slope to the north. The Oriente includes much of the northern departments of Beni and Pando, where the low plains are covered by savanna and, in the far north, by expanses of tropical rainforest.

Bolivia Article Media Additional Info.North America is the third largest continentand is also a portion of the second largest supercontinent if North and South America are combined into the Americas and AfricaEuropeand Asia are considered to be part of one supercontinent called Afro-Eurasia.

The northern half of North America is sparsely populated and covered mostly by Canadaexcept for the northeastern portion, which is occupied by Greenlandand the northwestern portion, which is occupied by Alaskathe largest state of the United States.

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The central and southern portions of the continent are occupied by the contiguous United StatesMexicoand numerous smaller states in Central America and in the Caribbean. Islands generally associated with North America include Greenlandthe world's largest island, and archipelagos and islands in the Caribbean. Natural features of North America include the northern portion of the American Cordillerarepresented by the geologically new Rocky Mountains in the west; and the considerably older Appalachian Mountains to the east.

The north hosts an abundance of glacial lakes formed during the last glacial periodincluding the Great Lakes. North America's major continental divide is the Great Dividewhich runs north and south down through Rocky Mountains. Lawrence into the Atlantic. Climate is determined to a large extent by the latituderanging from Arctic cold in the north to tropical heat in the south. Seventy percent of North America is underlain by the Laurentia craton, [5] which is exposed as the Canadian Shield in much of central and eastern Canada around the Hudson Bayand as far south as the U.

The continental crust started to form 4 billion years ago Gaand six of the microcontinents collided to form the craton about 2 Ga. This core has been enlarged by plate tectonicsmost notably between 1. The craton started to rift about 1. Otherwise the craton has remained relatively stable, with some rocks dating from 2.

The Laurentia craton is the center of the Proterozoic supercontinent Rodinia in most models, [9] and was also part of the later LaurussiaPangeaand Laurasia supercontinents. Roughly 3 million years ago Mathe volcanic Isthmus of Panama formed between the North and South American continents creating a bridge over what was the Central American Seaway and allowing the migration of flora and fauna between the two landmasses in the Great American Interchange.

Starting 2. Glaciers descended the slopes of the Rocky Mountains and those of the Pacific Margin. Extensive glacial lakes, such as Glacial Lake MissoulaBonnevilleLahontanAgassizand Algonquinformed by glacial melt water. North America may be divided into at least five major physiographic regions : [ citation needed ]. The Coastal Plain and the main belts of the North American Cordillera continue in the south in Mexico where the Mexican Plateaubordered by the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Madre Occidentalis considered a continuation of the intermontane system to connect the Transverse Volcanic Rangea zone of high and active volcanic peaks south of Mexico City.

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