North America vs USA
North America is one of the two American continents and lies in the Northern Hemisphere. It is flanked by Arctic Ocean in the north, Atlantic Ocean in the east, South America in the south and Pacific Ocean in the west. It is a very large continent being only third in land area after Asia and Africa, with two very large countries (Canada and US) belonging to it. USA is one country that lies in the middle of the continent with an area that extends from east to the west of the continent. Thus, USA divides North America into two parts with Canada above and Mexico below it; other countries being rather insignificant in terms of the area and population. The culture and domination of US is apparent on entire North America, and not many visualize North America without US, suggesting that there are very few differences between the continent and US. However, this is not correct, as there are differences between US and North America that will be highlighted in this article.
It is hard to say if US is a part of the continent, or the continent is shaped because of it, such is the dominance of the country that is the largest economy of the world contributing nearly a fifth of the global GDP. However, the situation was not like this, thousand of years ago as US was inhabited by indigenous people. The population of the local tribes greatly reduced after wars with Europeans and diseases, with whites dominating all affairs including political, cultural and social. With administration coming into the hands of whites, US became a colony of the British Empire and declared independence on July 4 1776 defeating the British forces. The rise in economic and military might made US a super power and the status of the country as a super power was confirmed and reaffirmed after WW1 and then WW2. US is the first nuclear power country with it also being a permanent member of United nations Security Council. The dominance of US is not limited to just North America, and it is a global super power dictating issues in regions, in all parts of the world.
The cultural makeup of North America is more or less monolithic with the exception of Mexico that lies south of US and being considered a Latin American country. However, there is also Greenland which is the largest island of the world. It also includes many Caribbean islands that are culturally closer to Hawaii Islands. And yes, how could one forget Alaska, which is a part of the US and lies in the extreme north west of the continent, being the coldest region of the world.
What is the difference between North America and USA?
• North America is a continent while US is a major country in the continent.
• USA has dominated not just North America but the entire world since the beginning of the last century because of its political and military might, not to speak of its contribution to global GDP (20%).
• Most of the continent has a similar culture except the southern most part which is occupied by Mexico which is a Latin American country.