North and South America constitute what is known as the "New World." They are really one continent connected by the Isthmus of Panama, but are usually considered as two. The New World was first discovered to modern civilization in 985 by the Scandinavians, but little heed was given their reports by the world, and a silence of half a millenium followed, without a record, until Columbus landed on the West Indies in 1492. Five years later Cabot discovered Newfoundland, and the next year, 1498, the two Cabots (John and Sebastian) explored the Atlantic coast for a considerable distance. In 1499 Amerigo Vespucci voyaged on the tracks of Columbus, and, returning to Spain, wrote an account of his discoveries. After his name the new world was called America.

In 1512 Ponce de Leon, the Spanish governor of Porto Rico, discovered Florida. The next year Balboa marched over the narrow land of Central America and discovered the Pacific Ocean. Eight years later, 1521, Cortez invaded and conquered Mexico. In 1534 the French under Cartier explored the St. Lawrence as far as Quebec and Montreal, and ten years later the Spaniards under De Soto marched for months through the forests of the territory now covered by the Southern States and discovered the Mississippi River.

Thus, less than four hundred years ago, the Continent of America, now the most progressive and prosperous, and with the most hopeful prospects, generally speaking, of all the continents of the earth, was just beginning to be known to the world.

.Though the present city, St. Augustine, Florida, was founded in 1565, it amounted to nothing more than a trading-post for a long time. The first real settlement was attempted at Roanoke Island in 1585, but failed. The next was at Jamestown, Va., in 1607, and in 1614 the Dutch started a permanent settlement at New Amsterdam (now New York). Six years later, 1620, the Puritans landed at Plymouth Rock. In 1527 the Swedes and Finns settled along the Delaware; 1636 Roger Williams settled in Rhode Island ; 1665 the Clarendon Colony was planted in North Carolina; 1670 the Carteret Colony founded Old Charleston, S. C. ; and in 1682 William Penn's Colony settled in Pennsylvania.

At the beginning of the year 1700 all these colonies had a combined population of less than, half a million people. In the whole New World, North and South America, there were less than one and one-half million people of Caucasian blood in an area of nearly sixteen million square miles. In the year 1900 this territory contained approximately 135,000,000 souls, over 100,-000,000 of them being of the white man's race.

The history of any independent government in America is scarcely more than a century old. Spain, France and England owned the New World one hundred and twenty-five years ago. In 1781 the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, followed by the treaty of peace in 1783, sealed the Declaration of Independence of 1776. The Constitution of the United States of America was adopted in 1787, ratified by eleven States in 1788 and followed shortly by two others. In 1789 George Washington was made the first President of the first republic of America, which has since become the governmental light of the world. At present all of North America south of the Dominion of Canada, all of Central America (except British Honduras and Balize), and all of South America (except the small space covered by English, Dutch and French Guiana), are under republican form of government, modeled after that of the United States. There are twenty republics on the American continent, as follows:

Area Sq. Miles

Popula-tion

Capital City

North America

The United States...................

3,602,990

76,295,220

Washington

Mexico .................................

667,310

12,619,949

City of Mexico

Central America and west indies

46,774

1,535,632

New Gautemala

Gautemala.................................

42,658

420,000

Tegucigalpa

Honduras.................................

7,222

800,500

San Salvador

Salvador...................................

51,660

420,000

Nicaragua

Nicaragua................................

19,985

309,683

San Jose

Costa Rica...............................

41,655

1,600,000

Havana

Cuba........................................

46,744

1,211,625

Port au Prince

Hayti.......................................

20,596

600,000

San Domingo

San Domingo..........................

South America

Brazil.......................................

3,219,000

18,000,000

Rio Janeiro

Venezuela...............................

566,159

2,444,816

Caracas

U.S.of Columbia.....................

331,420

4,600,000

Bogota

Ecuador...................................

144,000

1,300,000

Quito

Peru.........................................

405,010

3,000,000

Lima

Bolivia.....................................

472,000

2,500,000

Lapaz

Chili.....................................

256,860

3,110,085

Santiago

Argentine Republic.................

1,095,013

4,044,911

Buenos Ayres

Paraguay..................................

145,000

600,000

Asuncion

Uruyguay................................

72,112

840,725

Montevideo