North America is a continent that has many distinct cultural traditions and regions. While much of North America has a European heritage, parts of the region still retain indigenous cultures. In the 13th century, the Aztec empire spread across Mesoamerica, which included parts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica. In 1492, Christopher Columbus proposed a voyage of discovery to the New World and received funding from Spain and its rulers. Columbus reached the Bahamas, and the history of North America changed forever.
North America is composed of 23 countries and several dozen possessions, including all countries in Central America and the Caribbean. It also includes Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, the United States, and Greenland. Its boundaries include the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and Arctic Ocean. In addition, there are several large lakes and rivers in the region. While North America is comprised of several continents, there are some similarities between them.
The geology of North America is remarkably diverse. The continent has the oldest rocks on the planet. Its main landmass is dominated by the Canadian Shield, with the Appalachian Mountains rising to the southeast and the Cordillera Mountains to the west. Other major bodies of water are located near the shores of North America, including the Gulf of Mexico and Hudson Bay. The Gulf of California, in particular, is very large and provides many opportunities for exploration.
North America continues to play an important role in global trade. Both the United States and Canada are members of the G8, a political forum of the world’s leading industrialized nations. The G8 countries include France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Both countries also are members of the World Trade Organization, a global organization that regulates international trade. Further, the G8 countries are also members of the United Nations (WTO).
In general, North America comprises three to 23 countries. The continent also includes several countries in the Caribbean. The United States and Canada are the largest countries in North America, covering over eight million square miles. Many other countries also make up the region, including Mexico, Cuba, and the Caribbean. It is therefore important to learn about North America and its culture, as it is home to a diverse array of people. For example, Native Americans live in Canada, while people in Mexico are largely African and European.
North America occupies the northern half of the landmass in the Western Hemisphere. Most of the continent is located in the Northern Hemisphere, and includes all of Panama. Some authorities claim that North America begins at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico. The Caribbean Plate was raised during the formation of Central America, so North America is a part of the western hemisphere. There is a Darien watershed near the Colombia-Panama border, which forms the northern part of the continent.