North America is made up of 3 countries: Canada, the United States and Mexico. The United States and Canada are major world powers.
North America is located in the far north of the Americas and is composed of only three countries: the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as territories of European domains, such as Greenland (belonging to the Kingdom of Denmark, with representation in parliament) and Bermuda (British dependency). The first two countries are the only ones on the American continent that are included in the group of the most politically and economically important countries, especially the United States, which has the status of the greatest world power; Mexico, on the other hand, is a developing country, that is, an emerging country.
A determining factor in the current condition of the countries mentioned is the historical factor. Like all nations in the Americas, the United States and Canada were also colonized by Europeans, however, the way they were developed was different, because while the center and south of the Americas were colonies of exploitation, the nations in question lived a population process. North America is also known as Anglo-Saxon America (English-speaking) or developed America.
Natural aspects of North America:
North America is bathed in the north by the Arctic glacial ocean; to the west, by the Pacific Ocean; and to the east, by the Atlantic Ocean.
As for the relief, North America basically presents three types, as it happens in a large part of the entire American continent.
• Western portion: it houses a series of mountain ranges, many of which are active volcanoes and, therefore, there is a great occurrence of earthquakes. Among the many mountains present, the main ones are: Chains of the Coast, Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains.
• Eastern portion: corresponds to regions where plateaus and mountains of ancient geological age are found and which have undergone several long erosive processes. The main plateaus are: Labrador (Canada) and Monte Apalache (United States).
• Central portion: this region is home to extensive areas composed of plains, also encompassing rivers and lakes. The best known are: the lake plains (Canada), the Mississippi (United States) and the Great Lakes plain.
North America’s hydrography is quite diverse. In Canadian territory, lakes predominate, there are at least 150,000 lakes, much of which are of glacial origin.
The largest concentration of lakes in North America is located between the borders of the United States and Canada. The largest and most important lakes are: Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario, the first has 84 thousand km 2 .
As for rivers, in Canada what stands out is the São Lourenço River, because it serves as a waterway between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. In the United States, the most important in terms of navigation capacity is the Mississippi River, others are Colorado and Columbia, both used in irrigation and electricity generation.
North American climate and vegetation
Due to the territorial dimension, in North America different types of vegetative and climatic composition are developed. The main ones are:
Tundra: type of vegetation that develops from the thaw. It consists of lichens, mosses, herbs and shrubs of short stature, due to the cold climate with long and severe winters.
Temperate Forest: this type of vegetation occurs in regions where the temperate climate predominates. It is characterized by having well-defined seasons with cold winters and hot summers, temperate forests are composed of deciduous trees and mosses, and there are cedars, oaks and pines.
Steppe and Prairie: occurs in areas that have a semi-arid climate, with high temperatures and long periods of drought. Due to this adversity, the vegetative composition is very restricted with the presence of grasses and the absence of trees.
Desert vegetation: it grows in desert regions in the southern United States, on the border with Mexico, and also in the Colorado River region. The climate is desert, so it is dry all year round.
Savanna: it occurs in places where there is an incidence of regular rains during the year and temperatures always below 10ºC in the autumn and winter seasons.
Mountain vegetation: due to the altitude, the temperature tends to fall, thus presenting a climate similar to the cold climate; as for vegetation cover, there are few forms present.
Absence of vegetation: occurs in regions of North America that have very cold temperatures, that is, polar. This climatic adversity does not allow the development of any form of vegetation.
North American Human Rights
In many ways, the United States has been a pioneering country for human rights since its founding and often describes itself as having fought for human rights and freedoms in other countries as well. Critics believe that the United States has used human rights as a reason to wage war in other parts of the world and gain more power and resources. The image of the United States as a forerunner for human rights is further complicated by the fact that it has not ratified a number of crucial UN conventions.
Discrimination on the grounds of gender, color, religion or political opinion is prohibited in the United States. However, the fact that different people and groups are treated differently is a major problem that violates human rights.
Black men are sentenced to prison six times more often than white men. Black men are also over-represented in the country’s prisons as well as among the death row in the United States. African Americans are more exposed than other groups to public harassment, violence and other forms of discrimination. Police brutality and several notable deaths in connection with police interventions have led to strong protests, including the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The fact that the country practices the death penalty in a majority of the states has been criticized by a number of human rights organizations. In the US, 43 people were executed in 2012 and 39 people in 2013. The corresponding figure in 2016 was 20 people. Texas is the state that carries out the most death penalty; 7 people were executed there in 2016.
The United States is not an equal country. Women are discriminated against by lower wages and are underrepresented in politics. Legislation exists against domestic violence, but physical and sexual violence against women exists. Abortion is a legal right in the United States, but it is highly contentious. In many states, the right to abortion is practically severely restricted. There is a strong abortion resistance movement in the country. Prostitution is prohibited in most states. Trafficking is a widespread problem.
Since 2015, it is legal to marry a person of the same sex. Violence due to gender or sexual orientation was banned the same year and since 2016 it has been allowed for transsexuals to serve in the US military. The national legislation regarding the rights of LGBTQ persons is complicated by the fact that in several states there are discriminatory laws which, among other things, means that LGBTQ persons can be denied goods and services with regard to religious beliefs.
Many religions are represented in the country and religious freedom prevails. The right to express oneself freely and the right to practice one’s religion are complicated by the increased surveillance of the country’s citizens that has taken place since the September 11 attacks. Particularly vulnerable are Muslim associations and groups that are subject to discriminatory and unfair investigations and prosecutions.
The United Nations Human Rights Committee has called on the United States to ensure that its surveillance activities respect the right to privacy under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, regardless of nationality. Concerns have also been expressed about the lack of transparency in US laws and court rulings that control surveillance.
Under the Patriot Act of 2002, which came after the September 11 attacks, suspected terrorists can be held without trial for an indefinite period. Despite repeated criticism from human rights organizations, the United States has caught prisoners on the Guantánamo base. The state has monitored data and telecommunications traffic via the US intelligence service NSA, which was revealed in connection with the Edward Snowden deal in 2013.
Income differences are greater in the United States than in other comparable countries. The average rich American is getting richer at the same time as the number of poor is increasing. Nearly 43 million people in the country are poor (13.5 percent in 2015). Of these, one third are children. Poverty differs between different groups. White Americans are generally better off than African Americans and people of Latin American descent.
The country’s social safety net is weak for people who lose housing or work. In 2015, approximately 560,000 Americans were homeless.
Freedom of speech is strongly protected by the constitution and censorship does not occur. The concentration of ownership in American media has increased and in recent years the news reporting has become more and more politicized. In 2017, the United States ranked 43 out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index.
Are you planning to attend a North America college? Then, you have come to the right place! We have carefully reviewed each of 4-year colleges and universities in the continent of North America and the following are the top 39 public and private programs listed by rank scores. The following colleges and universities in United States, Canada, Mexico, and other countries in North America (refer to Countryaah.com for a full list of North American nations) have been many times ranked by education experts based on their academic excellence and employment statistics. Please note that all universities were reviewed yearly based on their academic reputations, research ability and graduate performance.
Note: The following universities are from Canada only. For top universities in the United States, please visit Top Universities in U.S.A..
#1. University of Toronto – Canada Toronto, Ontario
#2. University of British Columbia – Canada Vancouver, British Columbia
#3. McGill University – Canada Montréal, Québec
#4. McMaster University – Canada Hamilton, Ontario
#5. University of Alberta – Canada Edmonton, Alberta
#5. University of Montreal – Canada Montréal, Québec
#7. University of Calgary – Canada Calgary, Alberta
#8. University of Ottawa – Canada Ottawa, Ontario
#9. University of Waterloo – Canada Waterloo, Ontario
#10. University of Victoria – Canada Victoria, British Columbia
#11. Western University – Canada London, Ontario
#12. Simon Fraser University – Canada Burnaby, British Columbia
#13. Laval University – Canada Québec City, Québec
#14. Dalhousie University – Canada Halifax, Nova Scotia
#15. Queen’s University – Canada Kingston, Ontario
#16. University of Manitoba – Canada Winnipeg, Manitoba
#17. York University – Canada Toronto, Ontario
#18. University of Guelph – Canada Guelph, Ontario
#19. Carleton University – Canada Ottowa, ON
#20. University of Saskatchewan – Canada Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
#21. Université du Québec à Montréal – Canada Montréal, Québec
#22. Memorial University of Newfoundland – Canada St. John’s, NL
#23. Concordia University – Canada Montréal, Québec
#24. University of Sherbrooke – Canada Sherbrooke, Québec
#25. Ryerson University – Canada Toronto, Ontario
#26. University of New Brunswick – Canada Fredericton, NB
#27. University of Windsor – Canada Windsor, ON
#28. University of Regina – Canada Regina, SK
#29. University of Ontario Institute Technology – Canada Oshawa, ON
#30. Brock University – Canada St. Catharines, ON
#31. Lakehead University – Canada Thunder Bay
#32. Wilfrid Laurier University – Canada Waterloo, Ontario
#33. Ecole de Technologie Superieure – Canada Montreal
#34. Laurentian University – Canada Sudbury, ON
#35. Trent University – Canada Peterborough, Ontario
#36. University of Lethbridge – Canada Lethbridge, AB
#37. Krembil Reseach Institute – Canada Toronto, Ontario
#38. Royal Military College – Canada Kingston, Ontario
#39. University of Prince Edward Island – Canada Charlottetown, PE
Should you be interested in slangs or acronyms about North America, you can follow AbbreviationFinder to see associations, fund, government or NGOs containing the location of North America.