Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
Xbox Game Studios
Xbox Game Studios known as Microsoft Studios, Microsoft Game Studios, Microsoft Games, is a division of Microsoft based in Redmond, Washington. It was established in March 2000, spun out from an internal Games Group, for the development and publishing of video games for Microsoft Windows, it has since expanded to include games and other interactive entertainment for the Xbox platforms, Windows Mobile and other mobile platforms, web-based portals. As the studio grew, it has acquired and relinquished ownership of several other studios, is the parent organization of thirteen other studios. Prior to the formation of a dedicated game division, Microsoft had its own Games Group, had made some acquisitions for developers and titles; this included the acquisition of FASA Interactive in 1999 for its MechWarrior game series, Access Software the same year for its Links series of golf games, Aces Game Studio, which worked on the Microsoft Flight Simulator games. The Games Group had established long-term publishing deals with developers like Ensemble Studios, Digital Anvil.
Under Microsoft, FASA Interactive was renamed FASA Studio, Access Software became Salt Lake Games Studio. Microsoft transitioned the Games Group into a wholly separate division named Microsoft Games around March 2000, along with other consolidation of games-related projects within Microsoft; this came alongside the public announcement of the first Xbox console, with Microsoft Games to serve as a developer and publisher of titles for both Xbox and Microsoft Windows. Robbie Bach, who held executive positions in Microsoft's entertainment divisions, was named senior vice-president while Ed Fries, a member of the former Games Group and instrumental for some of its acquisitions, was named as vice-president of the new division. Shane Kim served as the division's general manager. In 2001, the division was renamed Microsoft Game Studios. FASA Studio and Salt Lake Games Studio remained with Microsoft Games Studios. Digital Anvil and Ensemble Studios were acquired by Microsoft in 2001, respectively. One of the first major studio acquisitions following the division's formation was Bungie in June 2000, in the midst of its development of Halo: Combat Evolved.
With the acquisition, planned for release on personal computers, became a Microsoft-published title as well as a launch title for the Xbox on its release in 2001. Turn 10 Studios was established in 2001 for work on the Forza series of racing games. In September 2002, Microsoft Games Studios acquired Rare, who had extensively developed for Nintendo platforms. In 2003, Microsoft recognized that the EA Sports label was in a far stronger position to develop sports games for the Xbox console, among realignment steps, laid off about 78 employees within Microsoft Game Studios that were developing sports games in-house, sold Salt Lake Games Studio, now named Indie Games to Take-Two Interactive in 2004, where it became Indie Built. Peter Moore was named in 2003 as vice-president of Microsoft's Home and Entertainment Division, which included MGS, the Xbox division, Microsoft's home hardware market, reporting to Bach. In addition to pulling big publishers like Electronic Arts to the Xbox platform, Moore tried to push the Xbox in Japan by courting Japanese developers with support from MGS publishing.
Such games included Blinx: The Time Sweeper. Around 2004, MGS established Carbonated Games as an internal studio for the development of casual games for Microsoft's web games portal MSN Games, on the chat client MSN Messenger, on the Xbox Live platform. Kim and Fries were instrumental for securing MGS' publishing deal with Lionhead Studios for their 2004 game Fable, which would serve as the first major role-playing game on the Xbox platform. Subsequently in 2006, MGS acquired Lionhead Studios along with the Fable properties, as it sought to secure a Fable sequel for the upcoming Xbox 360. MGS folded the staff of Digital Anvil into the larger studio in 2005, following the release of 2003's Brute Force, closed down the studio in 2006. FASA Studio was closed three-and-a-half months after the May 2007 release of their last game, Shadowrun. In 2007, MGS announced the opening of a European office in Reading, headed by general manager Phil Spencer. Moore opted to leave Microsoft in July 2007, as to move back to the San Francisco Bay area with his family and to rejoin Electronic Arts.
Don Mattrick was named as his replacement as the new vice-president of the Xbox and Games Business, which included MGS. In 2007, Bungie amenably split from MGS to become a held independent company, with MGS retaining the rights to the Halo property. Bungie continued to develop two additional Halo games for Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach. MGS founded 343 Industries as an internal studio to develop future Halo games without Bungie. In 2008, MGS disbanded Carbonated Games and announced the formation of internal studio Xbox Live Productions to develop "high-quality digital content" for Xbox Live Arcade. Microsoft as a whole announced layoffs of up to 5,000 jobs across all divisions in January 2009 due to slowing sales of personal computers as a result of the late-2000s financial crisis. Within MGS, the studio had planned to disband Ensemble Studios after the completion of Halo Wars in early 2009, while the new layoffs led MSG to disband Aces Game Studio. Microsoft acquired Vancouver-based BigPark in May 2009, using the studio to develop some of the first games for the upcoming Kinect sensor for the Xbox 360.
In 2009, Phil Spencer was promoted to corporate vice-president of MGS, in order to replace the retiring Shane Kim. In 2010, MGS formed a mobile gaming studio, MGS Mobile Gam
A sect is a subgroup of a religious, political, or philosophical belief system an offshoot of a larger group. Although the term was a classification for religious separated groups, it can now refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and principles. In an Indian context, sect refers to an organized tradition; the word sect comes from the Latin noun secta, meaning "a way, road", figuratively a way, mode, or manner, hence metonymously, a discipline or school of thought as defined by a set of methods and doctrines. The present gamut of meanings of sect has been influenced by confusion with the homonymous Latin word secta. There are descriptions for the term. Among the first to define them were Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch. In the church-sect typology they are described as newly formed religious groups that form to protest elements of their parent religion, their motivation tends to be situated in accusations of apostasy or heresy in the parent denomination.
The American sociologists Rodney Stark and William Sims Bainbridge assert that "sects claim to be authentic purged, refurbished version of the faith from which they split". They further assert that sects have, in contrast to churches, a high degree of tension with the surrounding society. Other sociologists of religion such as Fred Kniss have asserted that sectarianism is best described with regard to what a sect is in tension with; some religious groups exist in tension only with co-religious groups of different ethnicities, or exist in tension with the whole of society rather than the church which the sect originated from. Sectarianism is sometimes defined in the sociology of religion as a worldview that emphasizes the unique legitimacy of believers' creed and practices and that heightens tension with the larger society by engaging in boundary-maintaining practices; the English sociologist Roy Wallis argues that a sect is characterized by "epistemological authoritarianism": sects possess some authoritative locus for the legitimate attribution of heresy.
According to Wallis, "sects lay a claim to possess unique and privileged access to the truth or salvation" and "their committed adherents regard all those outside the confines of the collectivity as'in error'". He contrasts this with a cult that he described as characterized by "epistemological individualism" by which he means that "the cult has no clear locus of final authority beyond the individual member." The corresponding words for "sect" in European languages other than English – Sekte, secta, sectă, sekta, sekte, szekta, секта, σέχτα – refer to a harmful religious sect and translate into English as "cult". In France, since the 1970s, secte has a specific meaning, different from the English word; the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Religion distinguishes three types of classification of Buddhism, separated into "Movements", "Nikāyas" and "Doctrinal schools": Schools: Theravada in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Mahāyāna in East Asia. Vajrayāna in Tibet, Nepal, India and the Russian republic of Kalmykia.
Nikāyas, or monastic fraternities, three of which survive at the present day: Theravāda, in Southeast Asia and South Asia Dharmaguptaka, in China and Vietnam Mūlasarvāstivāda, in the Tibetan tradition While the historical usage of the term "sect" in Christendom has had pejorative connotations, referring to a group or movement with heretical beliefs or practices that deviate from those of groups considered orthodox, its primary meaning is to indicate a community which has separated itself in some way from the larger body from which its members came and to which they may or may not still adhere. The term remains valid for this purpose. There are many groups outside the Roman Catholic Church which regard themselves as Catholic, such as the Community of the Lady of All Nations, the Palmarian Catholic Church, the Philippine Independent Church, the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church, the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God, Most Holy Family Monastery, others; the Indologist Axel Michaels writes in his book about Hinduism that in an Indian context the word "sect does not denote a split or excluded community, but rather an organized tradition established by founder with ascetic practices."
According to Michaels, "Indian sects do not focus on heresy, since the lack of a center or a compulsory center makes this impossible – instead, the focus is on adherents and followers." The ancient schools of fiqh or sharia in Islam are known as "madhhabs." In the beginning Islam was classically divided into three major sects. These political divisions are well known as Shia Islam and Khariji Islam; each sect developed several distinct jurisprudence systems reflecting their own understanding of the Islamic law during the course of the history of Islam. For instance, Sunnis are separated into five sub-sects, Hanafi, Shafi'i, Hanbali and Ẓāhirī; the Shia, on the other hand, first developed Kaysanism, which in turn divided into three major groupings known as Fivers and Twelvers. The Zaydis separated first; the non-Zaydis are c
Chinese people are the various individuals or ethnic groups associated with China through ancestry, nationality, citizenship or other affiliation. Han Chinese, the largest ethnic group in China, at about 92% of the population, are referred to as "Chinese" or "ethnic Chinese" in English, however there are dozens of other related and unrelated ethnic groups in China. A number of ethnic groups within China, as well as people elsewhere with ancestry in the region, may be referred to as Chinese people. Han Chinese people, the largest ethnic group in China, are referred to as "Chinese" or "ethnic Chinese" in English; the ethnic Chinese form a majority or notable minority in other countries, may comprise as much as 19% of the global human population. Other ethnic groups in China include the related Hui people or "Chinese Muslims", the Zhuang, Manchu and Miao, who make up the five largest ethnic minorities in mainland China with populations exceeding 10 million. In addition, the Yi, Tujia and Mongols each number populations between six and nine million.
The People's Republic of China recognizes 56 distinct ethnic groups, many of whom live in the special administrative regions of the country. However, there exists several smaller ethnicities who are "unrecognized" or subsumed as part another ethnic group; the Republic of China recognizes 14 tribes of Taiwanese aborigines, who together with unrecognized tribes comprise about 2% of the country's population. During the Qing dynasty the term "Chinese people" was used by the Qing government to refer to all subjects of the empire, including Han and Mongols. Zhonghua minzu, the "Chinese nation", is a supra-ethnic concept which includes all 56 ethnic groups living in China that are recognized by the government of the People's Republic of China, it includes established ethnic groups who have lived within the borders of China since at least the Qing Dynasty. The term zhonghua minzu was used during the Republic of China from 1911–1949 to refer to a subset of five ethnic groups in China; the term zhongguo renmin, "Chinese people", was the government's preferred term during the life of Mao Zedong.
The Nationality law of the People's Republic of China regulates nationality within the PRC. A person obtains nationality either by birth when at least one parent is of Chinese nationality or by naturalization. All people holding nationality of the People's Republic of China are citizens of the Republic; the Resident Identity Card is the official form of identification for residents of the People's Republic of China. Within the People's Republic of China, a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport or Macao Special Administrative Region passport may be issued to permanent residents of Hong Kong or Macao, respectively; the Nationality law of the Republic of China regulates nationality within the Republic of China. A person obtains nationality either by naturalization. A person with at least one parent, a national of the Republic of China, or born in the ROC to stateless parents qualifies for nationality by birth; the National Identification Card is an identity document issued to people who have household registration in Taiwan.
The Resident Certificate is an identification card issued to residents of the Republic of China who do not hold a National Identification Card. The relationship between Taiwanese nationality and Chinese nationality is disputed. Overseas Chinese refers to people of Chinese ethnicity or national heritage who live outside the People's Republic of China or Taiwan as the result of the continuing diaspora. People with one or more Chinese ancestors may consider themselves overseas Chinese; such people vary in terms of cultural assimilation. In some areas throughout the world ethnic enclaves known as Chinatowns are home to populations of Chinese ancestry. In Southeast Asia, Chinese people call themselves 華人, distinguished from or the citizens of the People's Republic of China or the Republic of China; this is so in the Chinese communities of Southeast Asia. The term Zhongguoren has a more ideological aspect in its use. Chinese Ethnic Minorities The Ranking of Ethnic Chinese Population, Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission, Republic of China, archived from the original on 23 November 2013, retrieved 2008-11-02
Mexico the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States. Covering 2,000,000 square kilometres, the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity, the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Puebla, Tijuana and León. Pre-Columbian Mexico dates to about 8000 BC and is identified as one of five cradles of civilization and was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec and Aztec before first contact with Europeans. In 1521, the Spanish Empire conquered and colonized the territory from its politically powerful base in Mexico-Tenochtitlan, administered as the viceroyalty of New Spain.
Three centuries the territory became a nation state following its recognition in 1821 after the Mexican War of Independence. The post-independence period was tumultuous, characterized by economic inequality and many contrasting political changes; the Mexican–American War led to a territorial cession of the extant northern territories to the United States. The Pastry War, the Franco-Mexican War, a civil war, two empires, the Porfiriato occurred in the 19th century; the Porfiriato was ended by the start of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, which culminated with the promulgation of the 1917 Constitution and the emergence of the country's current political system as a federal, democratic republic. Mexico has the 11th largest by purchasing power parity; the Mexican economy is linked to those of its 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement partners the United States. In 1994, Mexico became the first Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, it is classified as an upper-middle income country by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country by several analysts.
The country is considered both a regional power and a middle power, is identified as an emerging global power. Due to its rich culture and history, Mexico ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world for number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Mexico is an ecologically megadiverse country, ranking fourth in the world for its biodiversity. Mexico receives a huge number of tourists every year: in 2018, it was the sixth most-visited country in the world, with 39 million international arrivals. Mexico is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G8+5, the G20, the Uniting for Consensus group of the UN, the Pacific Alliance trade bloc. Mēxihco is the Nahuatl term for the heartland of the Aztec Empire, namely the Valley of Mexico and surrounding territories, with its people being known as the Mexica, it is believed to be a toponym for the valley which became the primary ethnonym for the Aztec Triple Alliance as a result, although it could have been the other way around.
In the colonial era, back when Mexico was called New Spain this territory became the Intendency of Mexico and after New Spain achieved independence from the Spanish Empire it came to be known as the State of Mexico with the new country being named after its capital: the City of Mexico, which itself was founded in 1524 on top of the ancient Mexica capital of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. Traditionally, the name Tenochtitlan was thought to come from Nahuatl tetl and nōchtli and is thought to mean "Among the prickly pears rocks". However, one attestation in the late 16th-century manuscript known as "the Bancroft dialogues" suggests the second vowel was short, so that the true etymology remains uncertain; the suffix -co is the Nahuatl locative, making the word a place name. Beyond that, the etymology is uncertain, it has been suggested that it is derived from Mextli or Mēxihtli, a secret name for the god of war and patron of the Mexica, Huitzilopochtli, in which case Mēxihco means "place where Huitzilopochtli lives".
Another hypothesis suggests that Mēxihco derives from a portmanteau of the Nahuatl words for "moon" and navel. This meaning might refer to Tenochtitlan's position in the middle of Lake Texcoco; the system of interconnected lakes, of which Texcoco formed the center, had the form of a rabbit, which the Mesoamericans pareidolically associated with the moon rabbit. Still another hypothesis suggests that the word is derived from Mēctli, the name of the goddess of maguey; the name of the city-state was transliterated to Spanish as México with the phonetic value of the letter x in Medieval Spanish, which represented the voiceless postalveolar fricative. This sound, as well as the voiced postalveolar fricative, represented by a j, evolved into a voiceless velar fricative during the 16th century; this led to the use of the variant Méjico in many publications in Spanish, most notably in Spain, whereas in Mexico and most other Spanish–speaking countries, México was the preferred spelling. In recent years, the Real Academia Española, which regulates the Spanish l
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. 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, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, 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, the fourth by population after Asia 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 are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie