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The word AmericA is derived from the given name of AmerigoVespucci? (1454-1512). He was an italian merchant and explorer-navigator who took part in early voyages to the New World (1499-1500, 1501-02).

America has two primary meanings:

(1) TheAmericas?: the two continents located between the PacificOcean? and the AtlanticOcean?. See NorthAmerica?, CentralAmerica? (often referred to as such, but strictly speaking a part of NorthAmerica?), and SouthAmerica?.

(2) The United States of America. See UnitedStates.

In the UnitedStates and other countries, America usually refers to the UnitedStates (as in the song "America the Beautiful") rather than to TheAmericas?. In many of the rest of the countries of TheAmericas?, America often refers to TheAmericas?.

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Last edited February 11, 2001 7:06 am by WojPob (diff)