The Americas describe the giant vertical land mass and islands that cover the Western Hemisphere between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. As we re-examined our framework, the decision was made to address the Western Hemisphere as North America and South America. Given its geography, politics and economy, Mexico is firmly tied in to North America. From a geopolitical viewpoint, what makes South America stand out as a distinct region is not a common Latin cultural link, but rather that the continent behaves like a large island. Massive oceans and seas surrounding the continent physically separate it at great distances from other regions in the world.
Impact of Colonial Past
South America as we know it today has its origins with the colonization of the region by European settlers – primarily from Spain and Portugal. While colonialism is not unique to South America, the governments and social structures established during the colonial era laid the foundation for the region’s