Text and photos courtesy of Michelle Mock
Third Largest Continent
North America is the third largest continent made up of Canada, the United States, Mexico and the countries of Central America. The primary languages spoken on this continent are English, Spanish and French. Many other languages are also spoken in North America, because people from all over the world have immigrated to this continent.
The indigenous people of the North American continent are from the many native cultures which flourished prior to the arrival of the Europeans. Many cultures developed and thrived, reaching a peak of greatness, and later declined. Sometimes they disappeared. Sometimes they rose again.
Spanish, French, British, German, Dutch and numerous other colonists came to the New World following their dreams. Initially, exploration was more as a quest for knowledge, to find what lay beyond the large blue ocean. Discoveries of a wealth of silver, gold and other treasures soon changed exploration into conquest.
Geology of North America
When we speak of plates when discussing our Earth, we are not talking about a dinner plate. We are referring to plate tectonics and the large masses of earth crust which float about on top of the molten material beneath. The North American continent is mostly on the North American plate.
Geography of North America
North America has many mountain ranges, canyons and rivers. The terrain can vary considerably from one part of the continent to another. There are many different geological features and places where people live can be very different indeed.
Climate and Seasons
Depending upon where you live in North America, you may experience very distinct seasons. Some places have similar weather year round.
History of North America
Thanks to historians, archaeologists and anthropologists, the history of North America is available to those living today. "In 1492, Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue"... the story of Christopher Columbus that I learned as a child, growing up in California, had me believing that Columbus discovered America and that the Pilgrims came with him and celebrated what became known as the first Thanksgiving. I was confused... as many children continue to be confused today. Let's see what is wrong with the ideas that were so firmly implanted in my 10 year old brain!
First of all, Columbus was not the first to "discover America". By the time he arrived, there were already people living in North America. Way back around 15,000 BC, approximately 17 THOUSAND years ago, the first people arrived in North America by crossing over a bridge of land and ice from Asia. They came through the area known today as Alaska. Over thousands of years they would spread south and east across the continents of North and South America.
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