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North America

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North America Collection

History Archive - North America Collection

North America is larger than South America, having an area of 8,700,000 square miles. On the northeast is Hudson Bay, and on the eastern coast are the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the Bay of Fundy, Delaware and Chesapeake Bays, the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Honduras, with other smaller indentations, affording ample and safe harbors. The western coast has few inlets, the most important being San Francisco Bay, Puget Sound and the Gulf of California.

In the early 1900's the political divisions of North America are the United States, the Dominion of Canada, Newfoundland, Mexico and the Central American States. Canada occupies almost the whole of the continent north of the great lakes and lat. 49° N. The territory of the United States extends from the British possessions to Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico and from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Alaska Territory, belonging to the United States, occupies the northwest corner of the continent. The republican form of government prevails everywhere, except in the British dominions.

For modern history of North America, see collections on United States, Canada and Mexico;

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Geography

On the western side is the great Rocky Mountain range, running the whole length of the continent. Besides the main Rocky Mountain range, called Sierra Madre in Mexico, are parallel ridges, the Coast, Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges. This vast system of mountain ranges and high plateaus has an extreme breadth of 1,000 miles. Between the main range and the Sierra Nevadas, lies a high table land called the Great Basin, which includes Utah, Nevada and parts of Arizona and New Mexico. The highest peaks are, in Alaska, Mount McKinley, 20,464 feet, Mount Saint Elias, 18,024 feet, Mount Wrangell, 17,524 feet; in the Sierra Nevada range, Mount Whitney, 14,898 feet; in the Cascade range, Mount Shasta 14,510 feet, Mount Rainer or Tacoma, 14,526 feet; in Mexico, Orizaba, 18,250 feet, and Popocatapetl, 17,520 feet.

On the east coast is the Appalachian range, which is lower than the Rockies and runs parallel to the Atlantic, but further from the coast line. Appearing first in the Wotcish ridge of Labrador, it extends to the table lands of Alabama. The White Mountains, Adirondacks, Allegheny and Blue Ridge Ranges belong to this system. Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, 6,688 feet, and Mount Washington, in New Hampshire, 6,293 feet, are the highest peaks.

Between these two mountain systems is the great central plain, stretching from the Arctic Sea to the Gulf of Mexico. The eastern and southern portions of this great plain are, or originally were, heavily timbered. The central portion on both sides of the Mississippi and stretching west to the higher planes of the Rocky Mountain system is the great prairie country, level or slightly rolling, nearly treeless, with a deep and wonderfully fertile soil. East of the Appalachian range is a region of hills and valleys, known as the Piedmont region, sloping down to a wide coastal plain, with low, swampy lands on some portions of the coast. On the Pacific Coast is a narrower but rich and productive region, rising to the western slopes of the mountains, and running through California, Oregon and Washington up into British Columbia.

The southern end of the continent through Mexico is chiefly a great tableland, reaching an elevation of 8,000 feet, dropping abruptly on the east to the Gulf of Mexico, and sloping more gradually to the Pacific. A low level is reached at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The greater part of Central America, including Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador and northern Nicaragua, is mountainous, sinking in southern Nicaragua to 100 feet above sea level, where is Lake Nicaragua.

References:

The New Student's Reference Work (1914)

Regional Sub-Divisions

Available Books

Related Images

Image Name
Voyage dans l'Interieur de l'Amerique du Nord Atlas - Ansicht von Mauch-Chunk (Pennsylvanien). / Vue de Mauch-Chunk (Pennsylvanie). / View of Mauch-Chunk (Pennsylvania). (1840)
[Views of Old New York] - The Clermont on the Hudson River, 1810 (1875)
American Scenery Vol. I - Centre Harbour (Lake Winnipisseogee) (1840)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Cyprus Insula (1570)
The Aboriginal Port Folio - A Sioux Chief (1836)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - Fig. 259 (1926)
Journey from the Mississippi Vol. 1 - <i>Sequoia gigantea (Wellingtonia gigantea)</i> (1858)
Sketches of Newfoundland and Labrador - Quidi Vidi (1858)
Canada, Painted and Described - Toronto, from the Island (1907)
Voyage Pittoresque Autour de Monde - Idoles des isles Sandwich. (4 figs each) (1822)
Catlin's Indian Portfolio - Buffalo Hunt Chase III (1844)
Journey from the Mississippi Vol. 1 - Place of Sacrifice of the Zuni Indians (1858)
Report of the Exploring Expedition from Santa Fe - Casa Colorado and La Sal-Mountains. Looking Northerly. (1876)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - Fig. 306 (1926)
Album of Virginia - Red Sulphur Spring (1858)
Catlin's Indian Portfolio - Buffalo Hunt Chasing Back (1844)
Souvenir Views of the Hudson River Vol. 3 - Catskill, N.Y. - Arrival of the Day Line Steamer (1909)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - Fig. 235 (1926)
Voyage dans l'Interieur de l'Amerique du Nord Atlas - Missouri Indianer. Indien Missouri. Missouri Indian; / Oto Indianer. Indien Oto. Oto Indian; / Chef der Puncas. Chef des Puncas. Chief of the Puncas. (1840)
Voyage Pittoresque Autour de Monde - Guillemot a gros bec (1822)
Voyage Pittoresque Autour de Monde - <i>Vers Marins</i> (Jellyfish) (1822)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Back Cover (1570)
Three Wonderlands of the American West - Map of the Grand Canyon, Arizona (1912)
The Aboriginal Port Folio - Chat-o-nis-see, Pottowattomie Chief (1836)
Explorations in the Interior of the Labrador Peninsula Vol. 1 - Mosquito Lake (1863)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Maison d'Etat de Pensylanie etc (1820)
An Inquiry into the Origin of the Antiquities of America - Plate II (1839)
Canada, Painted and Described - Mount Cheops and the Hermit Range (1907)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Les Islandais (1820)
Exterior Decoration - Plate IV (1885)
Pioneers in Canada - Great Auks Gannets Puffins and Guillemots (1912)
A Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's Straits Vol. 3 - Back Cover (1821)
The Aboriginal Port Folio - A Young Miami Chief (1836)
Canadian Scenery Illustrated: Volume 2 - A Settler's hut on the frontier (1865)
Canadian Scenery Illustrated: Volume 1 - The Chaudiere Near Bytown (1865)
North American Indians Vol. 1 - Fig. 12 (1926)
Voyage dans l'Interieur de l'Amerique du Nord Atlas - Niagara Fälle. / Les chûtes du Niagara. / Niagara falls. (1840)
The Black Hills - North and South Section, Black Hills (1876)
Voyage Pittoresque Autour de Monde - Corbeilles des isles Aleoutiennes (1822)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Indigenes de la Caroline meridionale (1820)
Rochester, the Flower City - Powers Hotel (1905)
Explorations in the Interior of the Labrador Peninsula Vol. 1 - A Visit to Otelne in His Lodge (1863)
American Scenery Vol. II - Harper's Ferry (from the Blue Ridge) (1840)
Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America - A Plan of Captain Carver's Travels in the Interior Parts of North America (1781)
Historical Stories of American Pioneer Life - The Prairie - Mahtonee Surprises the Sleeping Sentinel (1897)
Ancient Mining on the Shores of Lake Superior - Outline Map Showing he Position of the Ancient Mine Pits of Keweenaw Point (1863)
A Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's Straits Vol. 1 - View of the Royal Morai in the Bay of Ti-Utatua in the Island of Owehee (1821)
Heroes of the Plains - Wild Bill's Fight with Fifteen Soldiers (1881)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Siecle, annee et mois Mexicaines representes par des figures (1820)
The Black Hills - A Cross Section Through Crow Peak (1876)
Homes of our Forefathers in Boston - Old Corner Bookstore (1889)
Catlin's Indian Portfolio - Buffalo Hunt on Snow Shoes (1844)
Explorations in the Interior of the Labrador Peninsula Vol. 1 - Canoes Crossing the Foot of the Grand Rapids (1863)
Das Illustrirte Mississippithal - Mouth of the Wisconsin from Pikes Hill (1857)
North American Indians Vol. 1 - Fig. 20 (1926)
Souvenir View Book of the White Mountains - Mt. Washington and the Ammonoosuc, Bretton Woods (1923)
The Cabinet of Natural History & American Rural Sports Vol. 1 - Swans (1830)
Voyage Pittoresque Autour de Monde - Habitans des isles Aleoutiennes. (homme et femme) (1822)
Sketches on the Nipisaguit - Book Cover (1860)
American Scenery Vol. I - The Tomb of Kosciusko (1840)
The Mastodon Giganteus of North America - Mastodon giganteus - Plate XVII (1852)
Hunter's Ottawa Scenery - The Chasm, Chaudiere Falls, Ottawa River, Canada (1855)
Panama-Pacific International Exposition - The Golden Gate from the Exposition (1913)
Washington, the City Beautiful - Thomas Circle (1918)
North American Indians Vol. 1 - Fig. 94 (1926)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Danse (1820)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - Fig. 251 (1926)
Canadian Scenery Illustrated: Volume 1 - Fish Market Toronto (1865)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map Of The Mesozoic Terraces Of The Grand Canon District (1882)
The Aboriginal Port Folio - Ma-ko-me-ta or Bear's Oil, a Monomonie Chief (1836)
A Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's Straits Vol. 3 - Chart of the Caroline Islands [II] (1821)
Voyage dans l'Interieur de l'Amerique du Nord Atlas - Ischohä-Kakoschóchatä, Tanz der Mandan Indianer. / Ischohä-Kakoschóchatä, Dance des Indiens Mandans. / Dance of the Manda Indians. (1840)
Exterior Decoration - Plate XVI (1885)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - Fig. 227 (1926)
California: Its Past History; Its Present Position; Its Future Prospects - Emigrant Party on the Road to California (1850)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Maison du General Washington (1820)
The Black Hills - Indian Graves, Belle Fourche (1876)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - Fig. 184 (1926)
Explorations in the Interior of the Labrador Peninsula Vol. 2 - Seal Hunting in the Gulf (1863)
Washington, the City Beautiful - Old National Museum (1918)
The Mastodon Giganteus of North America - Mastodon giganteus - Plate XXIV (1852)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - Holy Iland, Garnsey, Farne and Iarsey [Copy II] (1676)
Voyage Pittoresque Autour de Monde - Coquero de Bresil (Cocos Romanzoffiana Cham.) (1822)
The Fair Dominion - Mount Lefroy. Canadian Rockies (1911)
American Scenery Vol. II - Winter Scene on the Catterskills (1840)
Sketches on the Nipisaguit - The Camp, Grand Falls (1860)
Voyage dans l'Interieur de l'Amerique du Nord Atlas - Map to Illustrate the Route of Prince Maximilian of Wied (1840)
Utah, the Land of Blossoming Valleys - Title Page (1922)
American Scenery Vol. I - A Forest on Lake Ontario (1840)
Pencil Sketches of Colorado - Twin Lakes (1866)
The Cabinet of Natural History & American Rural Sports Vol. 2 - Grey Fox (1832)
Report of the Exploring Expedition from Santa Fe - Carboniferous and Cretaceous Fossils (V) (1876)
Naval Actions of the War of 1812 - The "Peacock" and "Hornet" at Close Quarters (1896)
Voyage dans l'Interieur de l'Amerique du Nord Atlas - Mató-Tope, Mandan Chef. / Mató-Tope, chef Mandan. / Mató-Tope, a Mandan chief. (1840)
The Aboriginal Port Folio - Original Blue Wrapper (1836)
Canadian Scenery Illustrated: Volume 2 - St. John from the Signal (1865)
The Mastodon Giganteus of North America - Title Page (1852)
A Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's Straits Vol. 3 - Chart of the Caroline Islands [I] (1821)
Narrative of the Canadian Red River Exploring Expedition Vol. 2 - "The Fox", Chief of the Plain Crees (1860)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - Fig. 118 (1926)

Related Maps

Map Name
Canadian Scenery Illustrated: Volume 1 - Map of Canada (1865)
American Scenery Vol. I - The North-Eastern Part of the United States (1840)
American Scenery Vol. II - The North-Eastern Part of the United States (1840)
North American Indians Vol. 1 - Outline Map of the Indian Localities in 1833 (1926)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - United States Indian Frontier in 1840 (1926)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - A Chart Shewing the Moves of the Mandan and the Place of Their Extinction (1926)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geological Map of the Western Part of Plateau Province (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Sketch Map ... showing the Faults of the Grand Canon District. (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Map of the Uinkaret Plateau [North Half] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Map of the Uinkaret Plateau [South Half] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Map of the Uinkaret Plateau [Composite] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Southern Part of the Kaibab Plateau. [Part I. North-Western Sheet] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Southern Part of the Kaibab Plateau. [Part II. North-Eastern Sheet] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Southern Part of the Kaibab Plateau. [Part III. South-Western Sheet] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Southern Part of the Kaibab Plateau. [Part IV. South-Eastern Sheet] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Southern Part of the Kaibab Plateau [Composite] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map Showing the South-Western Portion of the Mesozoic Terraces (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Mesozoic Terraces of the Grand Canon District (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map Showing the Kanab, Paria and Marble Canon Platforms (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Colorado Plateau and San Francisco Mountains (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic map sheets XX-XXIII [Composite] (1882)
Columbus and Columbia - Panoramic View of the Columbian Exchange (1892)
Columbus and Columbia - Map of Chicago (1892)
Narrative of the Canadian Red River Exploring Expedition Vol. 2 - Map of the Country from Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean (1860)
Narrative of the Canadian Red River Exploring Expedition Vol. 2 - Geological Profiles of Routes Along the Expedition (1860)
Explorations in the Interior of the Labrador Peninsula Vol. 1 - Map of the River Moisie and Adjoining Country (1863)
Explorations in the Interior of the Labrador Peninsula Vol. 2 - Map of the Peninsula of Labrador (1863)
Report of the Exploring Expedition from Santa Fe - Map of Exploration and Surveys in New Mexico and Utah (1876)
Hunter's Ottawa Scenery - Map of Railroad Routs to the City of Ottawa (1855)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Carte geografique de L'Amerique (1820)
Ancient Mining on the Shores of Lake Superior - Outline Map Showing he Position of the Ancient Mine Pits of Keweenaw Point (1863)
A Journal of Travels into the Arkansa Territory - A Map of the Arkansas River by H.S. Tanner (1821)
Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America - A New Map of North America from the Latest Discoveries - 1778 (1781)
Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America - A Plan of Captain Carver's Travels in the Interior Parts of North America (1781)
Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains Vol. 1 - Map of the Country Drained by the Mississippi (1823)
Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains Vol. 3 - Vertical Section on the Parallel of Latitude 41 Degrees North and 35 Degrees North (1823)
A Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's Straits Vol. 1 - Chart of Beering's Straits (1821)
A Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's Straits Vol. 1 - Chart of Course Taken by the Rurick (1821)
A Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's Straits Vol. 2 - Plan of the Group called Romanzoff's Islands (1821)
A Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's Straits Vol. 2 - Chart of the Islands of Radack and Ralick (1821)
A Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's Straits Vol. 3 - Chart of the Caroline Islands [I] (1821)
A Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's Straits Vol. 3 - Chart of the Caroline Islands [II] (1821)
A Wonderland of the East - Map of Western Massachusetts and Connecticut (1920)
A Wonderland of the East - Map of Vermont and New Hampshire (1920)
A Wonderland of the East - Map of Eastern New York (1920)
Map of the British Empire in America - A Map of the British Empire in America with the French and Spanish Settlements adjacent thereto. by Henry Popple. (1746)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Barbariae et Biledvlgerid Nova Descriptio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Natoliae / Aegypti, Recentior Descriptio / Carthaginis Celeberrim Sinus Typis (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Palestinae Sive Totius Terrae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Turcici Imperii Descriptio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Persicic Sive Sophorum Regni Typus (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Indiae Orientalis Insularumque Adiacientium Typus (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Tartariae Sive Magni Chami Regni (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Russiae, Moscoviae et Tartariae Descriptio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Septentrionalium Regionum Descrip (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Poloniae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Transilvania (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Hungariae Descriptio Wolfgang Lazio Auct. (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Schlavoniae, Croatiae, Carniae, Istriae, Bosniae, Finitimarumque Regionum Nova Descriptio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Graeciae Universae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Cyprus Insula (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Insularum Aliquot Maris Mediterranei Descriptio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Regni Neapolitani (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Thusciae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Lakii Lacus Vulgo Terretorii Romani Descrip Fori Iulii (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Pedemontanae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Ducatus Mediolanensis (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Italia Novissima Descriptio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Helvetiae Descriptio Aegidio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Palatinatus Bavariae Descriptio et Wirtenbergensis Duvatus Vera Descriptio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Typus Vindelicae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Salisburgensis (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Austriae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Silesiae Typus (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Regni Bohemiae Descriptio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Franciae Orientalis Monasteriensis (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Saxoniae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Daniae Regni Typus (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Vtriusque (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Hollandiae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Zelandicarum et Prussiae Descriptio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Flandria (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Brabantiae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Gelriae, Cliviae Finitimorumque Locorumverissima Descriptio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Descriptio Germaniae Inferioris (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Germania (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Galliae Narbonensis / Sabaundiae et Burgundiae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Caletensium / Verom. (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Regionis Biturigum Limaniae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Galliae Regni Potentiss (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Portugalliae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Regni Hispaniae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Angliae, Scotiae et Hiberniae sive Britannicar Insularum Descriptio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Europae (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Africae Tabula Nova (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Asiae Nova Descriptio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - America Sive Novi Orbis Nova Descriptio (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Typus Orbis Terrarum (1570)
A Voyage Round the World - Chart of the World Shewing the Track of the Neva (1814)
A Voyage Round the World - Harbour of St. Catherine - 1804 (1814)

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