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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
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The Cabinet of Natural History & American Rural Sports Vol. 3 - Beaver (1833)
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Canadian Scenery Illustrated: Volume 2 - St. John from the Signal (1865)
Canadian Scenery Illustrated: Volume 2 - The Market Place, Quebec (1865)
The Fair Dominion - On the Trail, Yoho Valley (1911)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Galliae Regni Potentiss (1570)
Souvenir of Chicago in Colors - (1910)
The Cabinet of Natural History & American Rural Sports Vol. 2 - Skunk (1832)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Front Cover (1570)
Heroes of the Plains - Wild Bill and the Cinnamon Bear (1881)
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Voyage Pittoresque Autour de Monde - Habitans des isles Aleoutiennes. (homme et femme) (1822)
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North American Indians Vol. 2 - Fig. 144 (1926)
Voyage Pittoresque Autour de Monde - Guillemot a ligne blanche (1822)
North American Indians Vol. 1 - Fig. 18 (1926)
Souvenir Views of the Hudson River Vol. 1 - Stony Point, of Revolutionary Fame (1909)
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Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains Vol. 3 - Book Display (1823)
The Hudson River Portfolio - View near Hudson (1820)
Souvenir of Chicago in Colors - (1910)
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Catlin's Indian Portfolio - Ball Play Dance (1844)
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American Scenery Vol. I - Title Page (1840)
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Das Illustrirte Mississippithal - The Indian Cemetery (1857)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - Fig. 230 (1926)
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Exterior Decoration - Plate IV (1885)
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San Antonio, A Descriptive View Book in Colors - (1913)
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North American Indians Vol. 1 - Fig. 46 (1926)
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Naval Actions of the War of 1812 - Memorial Medal in Honor of Captain William Burrows (1896)
Sketches of Newfoundland and Labrador - Starve Harbour (1858)
Ancient Mining on the Shores of Lake Superior - Back Cover (1863)
Views of New York - Back Cover (1904)
A Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's Straits Vol. 3 - Front Cover (1821)
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Canadian Scenery Illustrated: Volume 1 - Monmorency Cove (near Quebec) (1865)
The Mastodon Giganteus of North America - Mastodon giganteus - Plate VII (1852)
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Voyage Pittoresque Autour de Monde - Larik chef du groupe des isles Romanzoff (1822)
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American Scenery Vol. II - The United States Bank, Philadelphia (1840)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - Fig. 150 (1926)
Album of Virginia - Stribling Springs (1858)
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Sketches in North America and the Oregon Territory - Fall of the Peloos River (1848)
The Cabinet of Natural History & American Rural Sports Vol. 2 - Maryland Yellow Throat and American Redstart (1832)
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Related Maps

Map Name
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North American Indians Vol. 1 - Outline Map of the Indian Localities in 1833 (1926)
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Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geological Map of the Western Part of Plateau Province (1882)
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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)
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Explorations in the Interior of the Labrador Peninsula Vol. 2 - Map of the Peninsula of Labrador (1863)
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Hunter's Ottawa Scenery - Map of Railroad Routs to the City of Ottawa (1855)
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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)
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A Wonderland of the East - Map of Western Massachusetts and Connecticut (1920)
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Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Silesiae Typus (1570)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Regni Bohemiae Descriptio (1570)
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Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Saxoniae (1570)
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Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Vtriusque (1570)
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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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