|Subdivisions of the Americas
North America (NA)
South America (SA)
May be included in
either NA or SA
North America (NA)
May be included in NA
North America (NA)
May be included in NA
Middle America (MA)
Caribbean (may be
included in MA)
South America (SA)
May be included
in MA or SA
May be included in A-A
Latin America (LA)
May be included in LA
The Americas, also known as America, are the lands of the western hemisphere, composed of numerous entities and regions variably defined by geography, politics, and culture.
The Americas are recognised in the English-speaking world to comprise two separate continents: North America and South America. The Americas are also considered to comprise a single continent (named América), in Latin America and some other areas.
Physical geography 
Human geography 
Geographical or geopolitical regions 
- North America—when used to denote less than the entire North American continent, this term may include Canada, Mexico and the United States, or just Canada and the United States together. It may also include the dependencies of Bermuda (U.K.), Greenland (Denmark), and Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France.)
- Middle America—Mexico and the nations of Central America; often also includes the West Indies. Occasionally, Colombia and Venezuela are also included in Middle America.
- South America—contains the nations of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela, and the French overseas department of French Guiana. Also includes the insular territories of the Falkland Islands (U.K.), the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (U.K.), Fernando de Noronha (Brazil), Trindade and Martim Vaz (Brazil), the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador), and the Juan Fernández Islands (Chile).
- Middle America (United States)—Middle America may also refer to the midwestern United States or the middle-class segment of the U.S. population.
United Nations geoscheme 
|United Nations geoscheme for the Americas
Within this scheme, the continent of North America comprises Northern America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Political divisions 
- United States of America—a federal republic in North America founded in 1776 and comprising 50 states and one federal district (the District of Columbia), with several outlying territories of varying affiliation; commonly referred to as the U.S. or simply America.
- Confederate States of America—a former confederation in North America from 1861 to 1865, comprising eleven southern states that attempted to secede from the United States of America: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Their rebellion precipitated the American Civil War; upon its conclusion, the Confederate States were readmitted to representation in the United States Congress.
- British America—former designation for British possessions in the Americas.
- British North America—former designation for territories in North America colonised by Great Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly after 1783 and in reference to Canada. At the start of the American Revolution in 1775, the British Empire in North America included twenty colonies north of Mexico. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the American Revolution and established boundaries between the United States and British North America; East Florida and West Florida were also ceded to Spain in the treaty, and then ceded by Spain to the US in 1819. From 1867 to 1873, all but one of the remaining colonies of British North America confederated (through a series of eponymous acts) into the Dominion of Canada. Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949.
- British West Indies—the islands and territories of the Caribbean under British colonial influence.
- Federal Republic of Central America—formerly the United Provinces of Central America, a federal republic in Central America from 1823 to 1840 comprising the newly independent Spanish territories: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and (later) Los Altos. In 1838, the federation succumbed to civil war and dissolved.
- Northern America (América Septentrional)-the first official name of Mexico.
- Mexican America (América Mexicana)-a name chosen and drafted in the first Mexican constitution.
- United Provinces of South America, denomination of Argentina during the early developments of the Argentine War of Independence, and official denomination of the country as per the 1819 Constitution (rejected 1820).
- West Indies Federation—a federation of several Caribbean island colonies and territories of the United Kingdom (see also: British West Indies) from 1958 to 1962. This was followed by the West Indies Associated States, a smaller, looser polity, from 1967 to 1981.
Linguistic/cultural regions 
- Anglo-America—the region of the Americas having significant historical, linguistic, and cultural links to England or the British Isles, e.g., where English (a Germanic language) is officially or primarily spoken; often just Canada and the United States.
- Latin America—the region of the Americas where Romance languages derived from Latin–namely Spanish, Portuguese, and variably French–are officially or primarily spoken. Though French is spoken in Quebec, it is typically not included due to Canada's links to Britain.
- Mesoamerica—a region of the Americas extending from central Mexico southeast to Nicaragua and Costa Rica; a term used especially in archaeology and ethnohistory for the region where an array of civilizations had flourished during the pre-Columbian era, and which shared a number of historical and cultural traditions.
- Mesoamerican Linguistic Area—a sprachbund, or linguistic region, defined as the area inhabited by speakers of a set of indigenous languages which have developed certain similarities as a result of their historic and geographical connections; roughly co-terminate with the archaeological/ethnohistorical Mesoamerica.
- Aridoamerica—an archaeological/ethnohistorical regional division, essentially comprising the arid/semi-arid northern portion of present-day Mexico, whose historical peoples are generally characterised by a nomadic existence and minimal reliance on agriculture.
- Oasisamerica—an occasionally used archaeological/ethnohistorical term for a (pre-Columbian) cultural region of North America.
- ^ "America." The Oxford Companion to the English Language (ISBN 0-19-214183-X). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 33: "[16c: from the feminine of Americus, the Latinized first name of the explorer Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512). A claim is also made for the name of Richard Ameryk, sheriff of Bristol and patron of John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto), the 16c Anglo-Italian explorer of North America. The name America first appeared on a map in 1507 by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller, referring to the area now called Brazil]. Since the 16c, a name of the western hemisphere, often in the plural Americas and more or less synonymous with the New World. Since the 18c, a name of the United States of America. The second sense is now primary in English: ... However, the term is open to uncertainties: ..."
- ^ Martin W. Lewis, Karen E. Wigen (1997). "Chapter One, The Architecture of Continents". The Myth of Continents. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-20742-4.
- ^ a b "Middle America", Encyclopædia Britannica, on line. Accessed October 12, 2007.
- ^ a b c "Middle America." Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary. Accessed October 11, 2007.
- ^ Nord-Amèrica, in Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana
- ^ "Central America". Encyclopædia Britannica, on line. Accessed October 12, 2007.
- ^ "North America". Michigan State University Global Access. Archived from the original on 31 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
- ^ "Joint Statement by Prime Minister Harper, President Bush, and President Calderón". The White House. 2007-08-12. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
- ^ "Citizenship and Human Rights in the North American Region". Centre of North American Politics and Society, Carleton University. 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
- ^ "Teaching Geography and Geopolitics". Foreign Policy Research Institute. May 2002. Archived from the original on 9 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
- ^ pp. 30–31, Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts, H. J. de Blij and Peter O. Muller, Wiley, 12th ed., 2005 (ISBN 0-471-71786-X.)
- ^ p. 168, Lewis and Wigen.
- ^ Burchfield, R. W., ed. 2004. "America." Fowler's Modern English Usage (ISBN 0-19-861021-1) New York: Oxford University Press, p. 48
- ^ McArthur, Tom. 1992."North American." The Oxford Companion to the English Language (ISBN 0-19-214183-X) New York: Oxford University Press, p. 707.
- ^ "North America", MSN Encarta, Microsoft. Accessed on line October 10, 2007. Archived 2009-10-31.
- ^ "Central America", MSN Encarta, Microsoft. Accessed on line October 12, 2007. Archived 2009-10-31.
- ^ "Central America", Encyclopedia Americana, Grolier: 2002.
- ^ "South America", MSN Encarta, Microsoft. Accessed on line October 12, 2007. Archived 2009-10-31.
- ^ Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings. United Nations Statistics Division, Country and Region Codes. Revised August 28, 2007. Accessed on line October 12, 2007.
- ^ Mexican Congress
- ^ Decreto Constitucional para la Libertad de la América Mexicana
- ^ What's the difference between North, Latin, Central, Middle, South, Spanish and Anglo America? Geography at about.com. Accessed on line October 12, 2007.
Additional sources 
See also