North and Central America

By | March 8, 2021

Columbus and North America

In 1497/98 the Venetian Caboto reached Newfoundland, Cap Breton Island, the St. Lawrence Gulf as far as the Hudson Estuary; In 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon landed in Florida. In 1517, Hernandez de Cordoba researched Yucatán (Mayan culture).

The discoveries were followed by conquests, the time of the conquistadors: after exploring the Mexican coast (1518), Mexico was conquered by Cortes from 1519 to 1521, and the cultures of the Aztecs were destroyed. Further successes of the voyages of discovery: In order to open up a north-west passage, Frobisher drove along the Labrador coast to Hudson Bay in 1576-1578, and in 1585-1587 John Davis found the Davis Strait named after him (between Greenland and Baffinsland); In 1607, Hudson succeeded in entering the Arctic Ocean between Spitsbergen and Greenland to the northeast; 1725-1728 Vitus Bering sailed east through the polar sea road named after him, which separates America from Asia.

Only in the 16th/17th Century England and France appeared as colonizers in the New World, France in Canada and in the Mississippi area, England on the Atlantic coast, where the “New England States” emerged; first English colony Virginia (1607), landing of the Mayflower in Plymouth (1620); New England colonies: Massachusetts (1630), Providence and Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Maren, New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Carolina and Georgia. France already attempted colonial settlements in the 16th century, but these did not last: 1541 Cartier’s colony near Quebec, Coligny’s Huguenot settlement in Florida. Several foundations in the course of Richelieu’s colonial policy: Port Royal in Akadien (1604), Quebec, Three Rivers and Montreal in Canada (in the first half of the 17th century); 1682 the large area on both sides of the Mississippi: Louisiana; trading places in Martinique, Guadeloupe and Barthelemy. The Netherlands founded New Amsterdam (later New York) on the island of Manhattan in 1626. The rivalry between England and France caused constant struggles also in colonial America: in 1629 Canada temporarily in English possession, in the Utrecht Peace of 1713 France lost Acadia, Newfoundland and the Hudson Bay to England. The decision was made in the colonial war, at the same time as the Seven Years’ War, from which England emerged victorious as the greatest colonial power: the French troops, not sufficiently supported by the mother country, were defeated by the English; 1759 Conquest of Quebec after a surprise night attack by the English army. The Peace of Paris (1763) awarded Canada to the English, Louisiana became Spanish. Twelve years later, the 13 English colonies rose in 1775, leading to the war with the motherland (War of Independence) and the founding of the United States of North America. Only Canada remained a British colony. In the first half of the 19th century, Spanish and Portuguese South America also became independent: the emergence of the independent states of Latin America. The European colonial policy on the American continent was thus ended to a small extent. Origin of the independent states of Latin America. The European colonial policy on the American continent was thus ended to a small extent. Origin of the independent states of Latin America. The European colonial policy on the American continent was thus ended to a small extent.

From now on, the power-political superiority of the United States of North America (USA) dominated the double continent (economically and secondarily only politically): until 1927 in the form of imperialism, then through a policy of “good neighbors” on the path of a state “Dollar Diplomacy”. During World War II, almost all Latin American countries went to war alongside the United States. In 1948, the Organization of American States (OAS) was established in Bogotá under the leadership of the United States.

Country Proportion of women working (percent) Proportion of men working (percent)
Antigua and Barbuda
Bahamas 67.6 (2018) 82.0 (2018)
Barbados 61.9 (2018) 69.6 (2018)
Belize 53.3 (2018) 81.4 (2018)
Costa Rica 45.7 (2018) 74.6 (2018)
Dominican Republic 50.9 (2018) 77.6 (2018)
El Salvador 46.1 (2018) 78.9 (2018)
Guatemala 41.1 (2018) 85.0 (2018)
Haiti 63.3 (2018) 72.7 (2018)
Honduras 47.2 (2018) 83.6 (2018)
Jamaica 60.4 (2018) 73.9 (2018)
Canada 60.8 (2018) 69.7 (2018)
Cuba 40.0 (2018) 67.4 (2018)
Mexico 43.8 (2018) 78.9 (2018)
Nicaragua 50.7 (2018) 83.7 (2018)
Panama 52.5 (2018) 80.5 (2018)
Saint Kitts & Nevis
Saint Lucia 60.2 (2018) 75.3 (2018)
St. Vincent & the Grenadines 57.3 (2018) 79.2 (2018)
Trinidad & Tobago 50.4 (2018) 71.3 (2018)
USA 56.0 (2018) 68.2 (2018)

North America – Prehistory

A date of human presence in North America has not been precisely ascertained. The most common assumption is that Asian peoples in the period between 30,000 and 10,000 years BC. traveled from Siberia across the Bering Strait, which was then landlocked and connected Asia with America. Studies in the late 1900-t. however, has suggested that immigration began as early as 60,000 years ago. These peoples spread on the American continents and developed a rich variety of cultures which, with the later European penetration, have been collectively called Native American. The history of the North American Indians is dealt with under Native Americans (North America); see also Central America (pre-Columbian Indians), Mesoamerica and Inuit.

Central America

The geography of Central America

Central America consists of the narrow headland connecting North America with South America. The designation normally covers the area between Mexico’s southern border and Colombia’s northwest border. Geographically, Central America belongs to North America, although the area has a more cultural bearing on Spanish-speaking South America. Central America is a mountainous area and runs through the entire continent a mountain range connecting North and South America’s main mountain ranges. Many of the mountains are volcanoes and between these are large valleys with fertile volcanic soil. Along the two coastal routes towards the Pacific and the Caribbean, the landscape is flat with large banana and pineapple plantations. Also see population of North America on Countryaah.

Central America’s climate

The climate in Central America is tropical. Temperatures are high (25-35 °) throughout the year in the low lying areas, while those in the mountains range between 20 and 25 °. The east side of Central America’s mountain strip receives a lot of rain due to the pass wind that blows in from the Caribbean. The Pacific coast receives only half as much rain and actually has a dry period between November and April, while the Caribbean coast has full year rain. The sun looks forward every day, even during the rainy periods when the rain usually falls as short, violent showers in the afternoon or evening.

Animals and plants in Central America

The wildlife of North and South America spreads throughout Central America and provides a very varied nature. The landscape of Central America encompasses everything from tropical, lush rainforests on the Caribbean coast to mountain fogs, which are always enveloped by low hanging clouds, and the Pacific coast savannas and scattered forest plants that wither and turn brown during the dry season. Wildlife is as diverse as plant life, and typical Central American animal species include cougars, leopards, legumes, sloths, turtles, iguanas, a plethora of snakes and even more birds.

North and Central America