Portal:North America

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Introduction

Location North America.svg

North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere; it is also considered by some to be 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 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, and the fourth by population after Asia, Africa, and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands (most notably the Caribbean) are included.

Countries and territories

Territories, dependencies, and subnational entities of a country not located primarily in North America are italicized.

Featured article

Salsa dancing
Salsa music is a diverse and predominantly Latin American and Caribbean genre that is popular across Latin America and among Latinos abroad. Salsa incorporates multiple styles and variations; the term can be used to describe most any form of popular Cuban-derived genre, such as chachachá and mambo. Most specifically, however, salsa refers to a particular style developed in the 1960s and '70s by Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants to the New York City area, and stylistic descendants like 1980s salsa romantica. The style is now practiced throughout Latin America, and abroad. Salsa's closest relatives are Cuban mambo and the son orchestras of the early 20th century, as well as Latin jazz. The terms Latin jazz and salsa are sometimes used interchangeably; many musicians are considered a part of either, or both, fields, especially performers from prior to the 1970s.

Salsa is the primary music played at Latin dance clubs and is the "essential pulse of Latin music", according to Ed Morales, while music author Peter Manuel called it the "most popular dance (music) among Puerto Rican and Cuban communities, (and in) Central and South America", and "one of the most dynamic and significant pan-American musical phenomena of the 1970s and 1980s". Modern salsa remains a dance-oriented genre and is closely associated with a style of salsa dancing.

Featured picture

Portsmouth Square, San Francisco, 1851
Credit: Unknown
An 1851 daguerreotype of Portsmouth Square, San Francisco, California. Now a one-block square in Chinatown, it is located on the site of the first public square established in Yerba Buena, the Mexican community that became San Francisco. It is named after the USS Portsmouth, which raised the American flag here at the onset of the Mexican–American War.

Did you know...

Pewee Valley Confederate Cemetery

  • ... that the Chontal Maya of Tabasco consider themselves the direct descendants of the Olmec civilization?

Selected biography

Charles Magoon
Charles Edward Magoon (December 5, 1861 – January 14, 1920) was an American lawyer, judge, diplomat, and administrator who is best remembered as a governor of the Panama Canal Zone and an occupation governor of Cuba. He was also the subject of several small scandals during his career. Magoon was born in Owatonna, Steele County, Minnesota.

As a legal advisor working for the United States Department of War, he drafted recommendations and reports that were used by Congress and the executive branch in governing the United States' new territories following the Spanish–American War. These reports were collected as a published book in 1902, then considered the seminal work on the subject. During his time as a governor, Magoon worked to put these recommendations into practice.

Selected quote

Sitting Bull June 19, 1868

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