North America is the third largest continent in the world, with a vast range of landscapes, wildlife and cultural traditions. Its diverse regions include national parks and pristine wilderness, as well as ancient forests and fascinating animals. Each region also has its own complex and mixed cultural heritage shaped by waves of migration and indigenous peoples.
The continent has a variety of natural scenery, from deserts to tropical rain forests. Its largest mountain range is the Rocky Mountains, which run from northern Canada to the southwestern United States and extend into Central America and Mexico. Many of the world’s most famous national parks are located in this mountain range. In addition, cities and towns across the continent boast magnificent architecture.
Before Columbus landed in the New World, indigenous peoples inhabited much of the region. Their culture did not recognize the claims of the European powers. However, word spread throughout Europe, and thousands of explorers stepped ashore along the Atlantic Ocean’s coastline. John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano explored the eastern coast of North America in 1497 and 1524, while Jacques Cartier led a series of voyages for the French crown that included penetration of the St. Lawrence River.
North America has a varied geology, from ancient cratons to the formation of vast, flat prairies. The continent was once part of the supercontinent Pangaea, which included Eurasia to the east. Its mountain ranges, including the Appalachian Mountains, formed nearly 480 million years ago, and are among the oldest in the world.
After World War II, the country experienced a rapid economic growth. Its middle class expanded, while the country began an industrialization process that included heavy industry. The country eventually became known as the Mexican miracle. Eventually, the United States, Canada and Mexico formed the North American Free Trade Area. This created the largest free trade region in the world.
The most common languages spoken in North America are English and Spanish. French is the first language of over 20 percent of the population in Canada. Indigenous languages are also widespread in parts of North America. In addition to Spanish and French, indigenous people speak Nahuatl, Maya and Spanish. These languages are also being revived in parts of the country.
North America’s proximity to each other and the rapid growth of the global economy have created new challenges to the region’s prosperity. The continent’s proximity to one another has led to common issues and security risks, which include the use of illicit drugs, terrorism, and transnational crime. The region is highly interdependent, but despite this, it remains the most prosperous region of the world.
The North American continent is home to a diverse range of native and non-native species. There are three native tree species to the temperate rain forest in North America. These are the Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, and western red cedar. All three of these trees grow to an average height of 90 meters. The region also has several indigenous animal species, such as the Roosevelt elk.