North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.
North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers (9,540,000 square miles), about 4.8% of the planet's surface or about 16.5% of its land area. As of July 2008, its population was estimated at nearly 529 million people across 23 independent states, representing about 7.5% of the human population. Most of the continent's land area is dominated by Canada, the United States, and Mexico, while smaller states exist in the Central American and Caribbean regions. North America is the third-largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, and the fourth by population after Asia, Africa, and Europe.
– in Europe (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union (green)
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain (//), is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The country includes the island of Great Britain (a term sometimes loosely applied to the whole state), the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another state: the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea in the east, the English Channel in the south and the Irish Sea in the west.
Hudson Bay (Inuktitut: Kangiqsualuk ilua, French: baie d'Hudson), sometimes (usually historically) called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about 3,861,400 square kilometres (1,490,900 sq mi), that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. The southern arm of Hudson Bay is called James Bay.
The Eastern Cree name for Hudson and James Bay is Wînipekw (Southern dialect) or Wînipâkw (Northern dialect), meaning muddy or brackish water. Lake Winnipeg is similarly named by the local Cree, as is the location for the City of Winnipeg.
European colonization of the Americas began in 1492, when a Spanish expedition headed by Christopher Columbus sailed west to find a new trade route to the Far East and inadvertently saw the American continent. Prior European contact existed on a limited basis when some Norse expeditions arrived on the shores of present-day Greenland and Canada, briefly settling them. Such voyages resulted in the discovery of a new land by Europeans; however, European conquest, large-scale exploration, and colonization followed only after Columbus's discovery. His first two voyages (1492–93) reached the Bahamas and various Caribbean islands, including Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and Cuba. In 1497, sailing from Bristol on behalf of England, John Cabot landed on the North American coast, though English colonization started a century later. In 1498, Columbus's third voyage reached the South American coast.
As the sponsor of the discovery voyage, Spain was the first European power to settle the Americas and colonize the largest areas, from North America and the Caribbean to the southern tip of South America. Spanish cities were founded as early as 1496 with Santo Domingo in today's Dominican Republic or San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1508 or Veracruz (Mexico) and Panama City in 1519. The city of St. Augustine, Florida founded by Spain in 1565 is the oldest continuously inhabited European city in present-day United States.
A viceroy // is a regal official who runs a country, colony, or city province (or state) in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory may be called a viceroyalty. The adjective form is viceregal, less often viceroyal. A vicereine is a woman in a viceregal position, or a viceroy's wife.
The title was originally used by the Crown of Aragon, where beginning in the 14th century it referred to the governors of Sardinia and Corsica. The absolutist kings of Spain came to appoint numerous viceroys to rule over various parts of their vast Spanish Empire in Europe, the Americas, and overseas elsewhere.
Newfoundland and Labrador (/ /, locally [nuːfəndˈlænd]; French: Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador) is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador to the northwest, with a combined area of 405,212 square kilometres (156,500 sq mi). In 2013, the province's population was estimated at 526,702. Approximately 92 percent of the province's population lives on the Island of Newfoundland (including its associated smaller islands), of which more than half live on the Avalon Peninsula. The province is Canada's most linguistically homogenous, with 97.6% of residents reporting English (Newfoundland English) as their mother tongue in the 2006 census. Historically, Newfoundland was also home to unique varieties of French and Irish, as well as the now-extinct Beothuk language. In Labrador, local dialects of Innu-aimun and Inuktitut are also spoken.
Newfoundland and Labrador's capital and largest city, St. John's, is Canada's 20th-largest census metropolitan area, and is home to almost 40 percent of the province's population. St. John's is the seat of government, home to the House of Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador and the highest court in the jurisdiction, the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal.
British colonization of the Americas (including colonization by both the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland before the Acts of Union which created the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707) began in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia and reached its peak when colonies had been established throughout the Americas. The English, and later the British, were among the most important colonizers of the Americas, and their American empire came to rival the Spanish American colonies in military and economic might.
This English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish colonization caused dramatic upheaval among the indigenous civilizations in the Americas, both directly through the use of imported military force and indirectly through cultural disruption and introduced diseases. Relations between the colonists and natives varied from constructive trade to armed conflict. Many of the indigenous societies had developed a warrior class and had a long history of warfare. The rapidity, silence, and ferocity of their war parties proved devastating against the colonial style of waging war, but the colonials generally emerged successful in the long term. Like the French, trade with the natives was an important part of English and British colonial policy, but they also heavily promoted settlement and development.
New France (French: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763. At its peak in 1712 (before the Treaty of Utrecht), the territory of New France, also sometimes known as the French North American Empire or Royal New France, extended from Newfoundland to the Rocky Mountains and from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.
The territory was then divided into five colonies, each with its own administration: Canada, Acadia, Hudson Bay, Newfoundland (Plaisance), and Louisiana. The Treaty of Utrecht resulted in the relinquishing of French claims to mainland Acadia, the Hudson Bay and Newfoundland, and the establishment of the colony of Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) as the successor to Acadia.
The history of North America is the study of the past, particularly the written record, oral histories, and traditions, passed down from generation to generation on the continent in the Earth's northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere.