در روزگار قدیم آمریکای شمالی به وسیله یک باریکه خشکی به قاره آسیا متصل بود. این باریکه خشک، آلاسکا را از باختر به قاره آسیا وصل میکرد؛ بنابراین در آن روزگار رفت و آمد بین قاره آسیا و قاره آمریکای شمالی میسر بود. نیاکان سرخپوستان قاره آمریکا نیز در آن زمان از همین باریکه از آسیا به قاره آمریکا کوچیده بودند.
قاره آمریکا در نیمکره غربی قرار دارد. طول قارههای آمریکای شمالی و جنوبی از شمال به جنوب تقریباً ۱۴۵۰۰ کیلومتر است. کانال پاناما آنها را به یکدیگر وصل کردهاست. تمام قاره آمریکای شمالی در شمال خط استوا قرار دارد. اما قسمت بزرگی از قاره آمریکای جنوبی در جنوب خط استوا واقع شدهاست. به همین جهت، هنگامی که قاره آمریکای شمالی فصل تابستان را میگذراند در قسمت بزرگی از آمریکای جنوبی فصل زمستان است و به عکس.
بسیاری از مردم تصور میکنند که آمریکای جنوبی، به دنبال آمریکای شمالی است، درست در جنوب قاره قرار دارد؛ ولی چنین نیست، زیرا آمریکای جنوبی نسبت به آمریکای شمالی خیلی بیشتر رو به مشرق پیش رفتهاست. کانال پاناما تقریباً در جهت غربی و شرقی قرار گرفتهاست.
بخش اعظم قاره آمریکا شمالی متعلق به کشور کانادا و ایالات متحده آمریکا و مکزیک است. در جنوب کشور مکزیک، هفت کشور کوچک قرار دارد. گاهی مجموعه خاک این کشورهای کوچک را آمریکای مرکزی مینامند. اما آمریکای مرکزی یک قاره جداگانه نیست، بلکه در واقع قسمتی از قاره آمریکای شمالی است. قاره آمریکای جنوبی ۱۳ کشور دارد.
گاه نام آمریکای لاتین را هم میشنویم. آمریکای لاتین به آن قسمت از دو قاره آمریکای شمالی و جنوبی میگویند که زبان مردم آن اسپانیایی یا پرتغالی است، که هر دو در زبان قدیم لاتین ریشه دارند. آمریکای لاتین شامل کشور مکزیک و کشورهای آمریکای مرکزی و کشورهای آمریکای جنوبی میشود. زبان قسمت عمده مردم کانادا و ایالات متحده آمریکا انگلیسی است.
اقیانوس اطلس قاره آمریکا را از قاره اروپا جدا کردهاست. این اقیانوس چندان پهناور است که تا چند سده ساکنان بر قدیم هیچ تصور نمیکردند که قاره دیگری هم آن سوی اقیانوس وجود داشته باشد. در همین حال اقیانوس بسیار پهناورتری به نام اقیانوس آرام بین قارههای آمریکا و آسیا قرار دارد. پس از آنکه اروپاییان قارههای آمریکا را کشف کردند نام آن را بر جدید نهادند. کشورهایی که در قارههای آمریکا قرار دارند معمولاً نسبت به کشورهای بَرّ قدیم جوانتر هستند.
برخلاف کشورهای آمریکای شمالی، که وضعیت اقتصادیِ خوبی دارند، بیشتر کشورهای آمریکای لاتین (شامل آمریکای جنوبی و مرکزی) اوضاع اقتصادیِ چندان خوبی ندارند. تنها برزیل، آرژانتین، اروگوئه و کلمبیا هستند که اقتصاد نسبتاً بهتری دارند. تقریباً همهٔ کشورهای آمریکای مرکزی (که غالباً جزیرهای هستند) از صنعت توریسم کسب درآمد میکنند.
در سرتاسر قارهٔ آمریکا، فقط دو کشور بولیوی و پاراگوئه هستند که به دریاهای آزاد راه ندارند و فاقد سواحل و بنادر هستند که این دو کشور (خصوصاً بولیوی) فقیرترین کشورهای آمریکایی هستند.
لیف اریکسون، مشهور به لیف خوش شانس، پسر اریک سرخ و یک وایکینگ بود. او در سال ۱۰۰۱ میلادی، هنگامی که گرفتار توفان شده بود و کشتی او از مسیر خود منحرف شد، به سوی گرینلند رفت. او هنگامی که در سرزمینی به نام نیوفاندلند پا گذاشت، نخستین فرد اروپایی (حدود ۵۰۰ سال پیش از کریستف کلمب) بود که به آمریکای شمالی گام نهاده بود. او آن سرزمین را بخاطر انگور فراوان و درختهای بزرگ توت وحشی که در آنجا یافت میشد، وینلند نامید که به معنی سرزمین شراب است. او همچنان در طول خط ساحلی به پیش رفت و سرزمینهای مارکند (سرزمین جنگلی) و هلولند (سرزمین سنگها) را یافت. چنین بر میآید که این دو سرزمین، جزایر لابرادور و بافین بودهاند. در سالهای پسین، وایکینگها و مهاجران دیگری به وینلند آمدند اما برای مدتی طولانی در آنجا نماندند.
در سال ۱۴۹۲ میلادی کریستف کلمب، دریانورداسپانیایی، قارهٔ آمریکا را بهصورت رسمی کشف کرد، اما او تصور میکرد که به سرزمین هند رسیدهاست. به همین دلیل، مردم آن منطقه را «هندی» نامید. اما تقریباً پنج سال بعد از کشف کریستف کلمب، آمریکو وسپوس ایتالیایی به آمریکا سفر کرد و چون کریستف کلمب فرض کرد به هند سفر کرده آمریکو آن قاره را به نام خود ثبت کرد.
ولی بخاطر اینکه کریستف کلمب قاره آمریکا را نخست کشف کرد نام کشور کلمبیا را به نام او نامگذاری کردند.
↑ ۱٫۰۱٫۱۱٫۲۱٫۳۱٫۴۱٫۵موریس پارکر، برتا: فرهنگنامه پارکر، جلد اول. تهران: شرکت سهامی کتابهای جیبی با همکاری مؤسسه انتشارات فرانکلین. ترجمه و تنظیم و نگارش زیر نظر رضا اقصی. چاپ اول ۱۳۴۶. (در مالکیت عمومی به خاطر قدمت). مدخل آمریکا، قارههای.
In modern English, North and South America are generally considered separate continents, and taken together are called America or the Americas in the plural. When conceived as a unitary continent, the form is generally the continent of America in the singular. However, without a clarifying context, singular America in English commonly refers to the United States of America.
Historically, in the English-speaking world, the term America used to refer to a single continent until the 1950s (as in Van Loon's Geography of 1937): According to historians Kären Wigen and Martin W. Lewis,
While it might seem surprising to find North and South America still joined into a single continent in a book published in the United States in 1937, such a notion remained fairly common until World War II. It cannot be coincidental that this idea served American geopolitical designs at the time, which sought both Western Hemispheric domination and disengagement from the "Old World" continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa. By the 1950s, however, virtually all American geographers had come to insist that the visually distinct landmasses of North and South America deserved separate designations.
This shift did not seem to happen in most other cultural spheres on Earth, such as Romance-speaking (including France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Switzerland, and the Romance-speaking countries of Latin America and Africa), Germanic (but excluding English) speaking (including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Icelands, Faroe Islands), Baltic-Slavic languages (including Czech Rep., Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithunia, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria) and in many other spheres, where America is still considered a continent encompassing the North America and South Americasubcontinents, as well as Central America.
The first inhabitants migrated into the Americas from Asia. Habitation sites are known in Alaska and the Yukon from at least 20,000 years ago, with suggested ages of up to 40,000 years.
Beyond that, the specifics of the Paleo-Indian migration to and throughout the Americas, including the dates and routes traveled, are subject to ongoing research and discussion. Widespread habitation of the Americas occurred during the late glacial maximum, from 16,000 to 13,000 years ago.
The traditional theory has been that these early migrants moved into the Beringia land bridge between eastern Siberia and present-day Alaska around 40,000–17,000 years ago, when sea levels were significantly lowered during the Quaternary glaciation. These people are believed to have followed herds of now-extinct pleistocene megafauna along ice-free corridors that stretched between the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets. Another route proposed is that, either on foot or using primitive boats, they migrated down the Pacific coast to South America. Evidence of the latter would since have been covered by a sea level rise of hundreds of meters following the last ice age. Both routes may have been taken, although the genetic evidences suggests a single founding population. The micro-satellite diversity and distributions specific to South American Indigenous people indicates that certain populations have been isolated since the initial colonization of the region.
Many pre-Columbian civilizations established characteristics and hallmarks which included permanent or urban settlements, agriculture, civic and monumental architecture, and complex societal hierarchies. Some of these civilizations had long faded by the time of the first permanent European arrivals (c. late 15th–early 16th centuries), and are known only through archeological investigations. Others were contemporary with this period, and are also known from historical accounts of the time. A few, such as the Maya, had their own written records. However, most Europeans of the time viewed such texts as pagan, and much was destroyed in Christian pyres. Only a few hidden documents remain today, leaving modern historians with glimpses of ancient culture and knowledge.
Although there had been previous trans-oceanic contact, large-scale European colonization of the Americas began with the first voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492. The first Spanish settlement in the Americas was La Isabela in northern Hispaniola. This town was abandoned shortly after in favor of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, founded in 1496, the oldest American city of European foundation. This was the base from which the Spanish monarchy administered its new colonies and their expansion. Santo Domingo was subject to frequent raids by English and French pirates. On the continent, Panama City on the Pacific coast of Central America, founded on August 15, 1519, played an important role, being the base for the Spanish conquest of South America. The spread of new diseases brought by Europeans and Africans killed many of the inhabitants of North America and South America, with a general population crash of Native Americans occurring in the mid-16th century, often well ahead of European contact. European immigrants were often part of state-sponsored attempts to found colonies in the Americas. Migration continued as people moved to the Americas fleeing religious persecution or seeking economic opportunities. Millions of individuals were forcibly transported to the Americas as slaves, prisoners or indentured servants.
Map showing the dates of independence from European powers. Black signifies areas that are dependent territories or parts of countries with a capital outside the Americas.
The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's western hemisphere. The northernmost point of the Americas is Kaffeklubben Island, which is the most northerly point of land on Earth. The southernmost point is the islands of Southern Thule, although they are sometimes considered part of Antarctica. The mainland of the Americas is the world's longest north-to-south landmass. The distance between its two polar extremities, the Boothia Peninsula in northern Canada and Cape Froward in Chilean Patagonia, is roughly 14,000 km (8,700 mi). The mainland's most westerly point is the end of the Seward Peninsula in Alaska; Attu Island, further off the Alaskan coast to the west, is considered the westernmost point of the Americas. Ponta do Seixas in northeastern Brazil forms the easternmost extremity of the mainland, while Nordostrundingen, in Greenland, is the most easterly point of the continental shelf.
South America broke off from the west of the supercontinentGondwana around 135 million years ago, forming its own continent. Around 15 million years ago, the collision of the Caribbean Plate and the Pacific Plate resulted in the emergence of a series of volcanoes along the border that created a number of islands. The gaps in the archipelago of Central America filled in with material eroded off North America and South America, plus new land created by continued volcanism. By three million years ago, the continents of North America and South America were linked by the Isthmus of Panama, thereby forming the single landmass of the Americas. The Great American Interchange resulted in many species being spread across the Americas, such as the cougar, porcupine, opossums, armadillos and hummingbirds.
Southeastern North America is well known for its occurrence of tornadoes and hurricanes, of which the vast majority of tornadoes occur in the United States' Tornado Alley, as well as in the southerly Dixie Alley in the North American late-winter and early spring seasons. Often parts of the Caribbean are exposed to the violent effects of hurricanes. These weather systems are formed by the collision of dry, cool air from Canada and wet, warm air from the Atlantic.
The Colorado River drains much of the Southern Rockies and parts of the Great Basin and Range Province. The river flows approximately 1,450 miles (2,330 km) into the Gulf of California, during which over time it has carved out natural phenomena such as the Grand Canyon and created phenomena such as the Salton Sea. The Columbia is a large river, 1,243 miles (2,000 km) long, in central western North America and is the most powerful river on the West Coast of the Americas. In the far northwest of North America, the Yukon drains much of the Alaskan peninsula and flows 1,980 miles (3,190 km) from parts of Yukon and the Northwest Territory to the Pacific. Draining to the Arctic Ocean of Canada, the Mackenzie River drains waters from the Arctic Great Lakes of Arctic Canada, as opposed to the Saint-Lawrence River that drains the Great Lakes of Southern Canada into the Atlantic Ocean. The Mackenzie River is the largest in Canada and drains 1,805,200 square kilometers (697,000 sq mi).
The largest river basin in South America is that of the Amazon, which has the highest volume flow of any river on Earth. The second largest watershed of South America is that of the Paraná River, which covers about 2.5 million km².
North America and South America began to develop a shared population of flora and fauna around 2.5 million years ago, when continental drift brought the two continents into contact via the Isthmus of Panama. Initially, the exchange of biota was roughly equal, with North American genera migrating into South America in about the same proportions as South American genera migrated into North America. This exchange is known as the Great American Interchange. The exchange became lopsided after roughly a million years, with the total spread of South American genera into North America far more limited in scope than the spread on North American genera into South America.
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets. Urban areas are created and further developed by the process of urbanization and do not include large swaths of rural land, as do metropolitan areas.
Unlike an urban area, a metropolitan area includes not only the urban area, but also satellite cities plus intervening rural land that is socio-economically connected to the urban core city, typically by employment ties through commuting, with the urban core city being the primary labor market.
In accordance with these definitions, the three largest population centers in the Americas are: Mexico City, anchor to the largest metropolitan area in the Americas; New York City, anchor to the largest urban area in the Americas; and São Paulo, the largest city proper in the Americas. All three cities maintain Alpha classification and large scale influence.
Roman Catholicism: Practiced by 69 percent of the Latin American population, 81 percent in Mexico and 61 percent in Brazil whose Roman Catholic population of 123 million is the greatest of any nation's; approximately 24 percent of the United States' population and about 39 percent of Canada's.
Protestantism: Practiced mostly in the United States, where half of the population are Protestant, Canada, with slightly more than a quarter of the population, and Greenland; there is a growing contingent of Evangelical and Pentecostal movements in predominantly Catholic Latin America.
Eastern Orthodoxy: Found mostly in the United States (1 percent) and Canada; this Christian group is growing faster than many other Christian groups in Canada and now represents roughly 3 percent of the Canadian population.
Irreligion: About 12 percent, including atheists and agnostics, as well as those who profess some form of spirituality but do not identify themselves as members of any organized religion.
Islam: Together, Muslims constitute about 1 percent of the North American population and 0.3 percent of all Latin Americans. It is practiced by 3 percent  of Canadians and 0.6 percent of the U.S. population.Argentina has the largest Muslim population in Latin America with up to 600,000 persons, or 1.9 percent of the population.
Judaism (practiced by 2 percent of North Americans—approximately 2.5 percent of the U.S. population and 1.2 percent of Canadians—and 0.23 percent of Latin Americans—Argentina has the largest Jewish population in Latin America with 200,000 members)
The dominant language of Anglo-America is English. French is also official in Canada, where it is the predominant language in Quebec and an official language in New Brunswick along with English. It is also an important language in Louisiana, and in parts of New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. Spanish has kept an ongoing presence in the Southwestern United States, which formed part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, especially in California and New Mexico, where a distinct variety of Spanish spoken since the 17th century has survived. It has more recently become widely spoken in other parts of the United States because of heavy immigration from Latin America. High levels of immigration in general have brought great linguistic diversity to Anglo-America, with over 300 languages known to be spoken in the United States alone, but most languages are spoken only in small enclaves and by relatively small immigrant groups.
The nations of Guyana, Suriname, and Belize are generally considered[by whom?] not to fall into either Anglo-America or Latin America because of their language differences from Latin America, geographic differences from Anglo-America, and cultural and historical differences from both regions; English is the primary language of Guyana and Belize, and Dutch is the primary language of Suriname.
Most of the non-native languages have, to different degrees, evolved differently from the mother country, but are usually still mutually intelligible. Some have combined, however, which has even resulted in completely new languages, such as Papiamento, which is a combination of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch (representing the respective colonizers), native Arawak, various African languages, and, more recently English. The lingua francaPortuñol, a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish, is spoken in the border regions of Brazil and neighboring Spanish-speaking countries. More specifically, Riverense Portuñol is spoken by around 100,000 people in the border regions of Brazil and Uruguay. Because of immigration, there are many communities where other languages are spoken from all parts of the world, especially in the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay—very important destinations for immigrants.
Speakers of English generally refer to the landmasses of North America and South America as the Americas, the Western Hemisphere, or the New World. The adjective American may be used to indicate something pertains to the Americas, but this term is primarily used in English to indicate something pertaining to the United States. Some non-ambiguous alternatives exist, such as the adjective Pan-American, or New Worlder as a demonym for a resident of the closely related New World. Use of America in the hemispherical sense is sometimes retained, or can occur when translated from other languages. For example, the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in Paris maintains a single continental association for "America", represented by one of the five Olympic rings.
American linguist H.L. Mencken said, " The Latin-Americans use Norteamericano in formal writing, but, save in Panama, prefer nicknames in colloquial speech." To avoid "American" one can use constructed terms in their languages derived from "United States" or even "North America". In Canada, its southern neighbor is often referred to as "the United States", "the U.S.A.", or (informally) "the States", while U.S. citizens are generally referred to as "Americans". Most Canadians resent being referred to as "Americans".
In Spanish, América is a single continent composed of the subcontinents of América del Sur and América del Norte, the land bridge of América Central, and the islands of the Antillas. Americano or americana in Spanish refers to a person from América in a similar way that europeo or europea refers to a person from Europa. The terms sudamericano/a, centroamericano/a, antillano/a and norteamericano/a can be used to more specifically refer to the location where a person may live.
Citizens of the United States of America are normally referred to by the term estadounidense (rough literal translation: "United Statesian") instead of americano or americana which is discouraged, and the country's name itself is officially translated as Estados Unidos de América (United States of America), commonly abbreviated as Estados Unidos (EEUU). Also, the term norteamericano (North American) may refer to a citizen of the United States. This term is primarily used to refer to citizens of the United States, and less commonly to those of other North American countries.
In Portuguese, América is a single continent composed of América do Sul (South America), América Central (Central America) and América do Norte (North America). It can be ambiguous, as América can be used to refer to the United States of America, but is avoided in print and formal environments.
In French the word américain may be used for things relating to the Americas; however, similar to English, it is most often used for things relating to the United States, with the term états-unien sometimes used for clarity. Panaméricain may be used as an adjective to refer to the Americas without ambiguity. French speakers may use the noun Amérique to refer to the whole landmass as one continent, or two continents, Amérique du Nord and Amérique du Sud. In French, Amérique is seldom used to refer to the United States, leading to some ambiguity when it is. Similar to English usage, les Amériques or des Amériques is used to refer unambiguously to the Americas.
In Dutch, the word Amerika mostly refers to the United States. Although the United States is equally often referred to as de Verenigde Staten ("the United States") or de VS ("the US"), Amerika relatively rarely refers to the Americas, but it is the only commonly used Dutch word for the Americas. This often leads to ambiguity; and to stress that something concerns the Americas as a whole, Dutch uses a combination, namely Noord- en Zuid-Amerika (North and South America).
Latin America is generally referred to as Latijns Amerika or Midden-Amerika for Central America.
The adjective Amerikaans is most often used for things or people relating to the United States. There are no alternative words to distinguish between things relating to the United States or to the Americas. Dutch uses the local alternative for things relating to elsewhere in the Americas, such as Argentijns for Argentine, etc.
In 2016, five to seven countries in the southern part of the Americas had weakening economies in decline, compared to only three countries in the northern part of the Americas. Haiti has the lowest GDP per capita in the Americas, although its economy was growing slightly as of 2016[update].
^Includes the states of Hawaii and Alaska which are both separated from the US mainland, with Hawaii is distant from the North American landmass in the Pacific Ocean and therefore more commonly associated with the other territories of Oceania while Alaska is located between Canada and Asia (Russia).
^Marjorie Fee and Janice MacAlpine, Oxford Guide to Canadian English Usage (2008) page 36 says "In Canada, American is used almost exclusively in reference to the United States and its citizens." Others, including The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary, The Canadian Oxford Dictionary, The Australian Oxford Dictionary and The Concise Oxford English Dictionary all specify both the Americas and the United States in their definition of "American".
^ ab"America." The Oxford Companion to the English Language (ISBN0-19-214183-X). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 33: "[16c: from the feminine of Americus, the Latinized first name of the explorer Amerigo Vespucci (1454–1512). The name America first appeared on a map in 1507 by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller, referring to the area now called Brazil]. Since the 16c, a name of the western hemisphere, often in the plural Americas and more or less synonymous with the New World. Since the 18c, a name of the United States of America. The second sense is now primary in English: ... However, the term is open to uncertainties: ..."
^"The Continents of the World". nationsonline.org. Retrieved September 2, 2016. Africa, the Americas, Antarctica, Asia, Australia together with Oceania, and Europe are considered to be Continents.
^"Map And Details Of All 7 Continents". worldatlas.com. Retrieved September 2, 2016. In some parts of the world students are taught that there are only six continents, as they combine North America and South America into one continent called the Americas.
^"CENTRAL AMERICA". central-america.org. Retrieved September 18, 2016. Central America is not a continent but a subcontinent since it lies within the continent America.
^"Six or Seven Continents on Earth". Retrieved December 18, 2016. "In Europe and other parts of the world, many students are taught of six continents, where North and South America are combined to form a single continent of America. Thus, these six continents are Africa, America, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, and Europe."
^"Continents". Retrieved December 18, 2016. "six-continent model (used mostly in France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Greece, and Latin America) groups together North America+South America into the single continent America."
^"Introduction". Government of Canada. Parks Canada. 2009. Archived from the original on April 24, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2010. Canada's oldest known home is a cave in Yukon occupied not 12,000 years ago like the U.S. sites, but at least 20,000 years ago
^"Pleistocene Archaeology of the Old Crow Flats". Vuntut National Park of Canada. 2008. Archived from the original on October 22, 2008. Retrieved January 10, 2010. However, despite the lack of this conclusive and widespread evidence, there are suggestions of human occupation in the northern Yukon about 24,000 years ago, and hints of the presence of humans in the Old Crow Basin as far back as about 40,000 years ago.
^Fitzhugh, Drs. William; Goddard, Ives; Ousley, Steve; Owsley, Doug; Stanford, Dennis. "Paleoamerican". Smithsonian Institution Anthropology Outreach Office. Archived from the original on January 5, 2009. Retrieved January 15, 2009.
"Western Hemisphere", Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary (3rd ed.), Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 2001, p. 1294, The part of the Earth comprising North and South America and surrounding waters; longitudes 20°W and 160°E are often considered its boundaries
O'Neal, Mary, ed. (2011). The Chambers Dictionary (12 ed.). London: Chambers Harrap Publishers, Ltd. p. 1780. ISBN978-0-550-10237-9.
The American Heritage College Dictionary (Fourth ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2010. p. 1557. ISBN978-0-618-83595-9. Western Hemisphere The half of the earth comprising North America, Central America, and South America
Stevenson, Angus; Lindberg, Christine A., eds. (2010). New Oxford American Dictionary (Third ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 1963. The Half of the earth that contains the Americas
Webster's New World College Dictionary (Fifth ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014. ISBN978-0-544-16606-6. Western Hemisphere that half of the earth which includes North & South America
^ abDiccionario panhispánico de dudas: Estados Unidos. Real Academia Española. 2005. "debe evitarse el empleo de americano para referirse exclusivamente a los habitantes de los Estados Unidos" ("the use of the term americano referring exclusively to the United States inhabitants must be avoided")