(IGP) IAS Pre: GS - Geography - World Geography General: Middle America

World Geography General
Middle America


Middle America consists of that stretch of land tt extends southward from the southern border of the United States to Colombia in South America. It includes:
(1) Mexico, the largest country in area and population;
(2) The small Central countries; and
3) Numerous islands, large and small in the Caribbean Sea or near it.

Central America:


South-east of Mexico, the North American continent tapers southwards through a narrow isthmus which connects North and South America and embraces seven small countries known collectively as Central America. Five of the countries Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama have sea coast on both the sides— the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean Sea). The other two countries have coasts on the one side only. EL Salvador has coast on the Pacific side and Belize on the Atlantic side. Geographic fragmentation is the major characteristic of Central America.

Caribbean Islands:

The West Indies or Caribbean Islands are hundreds of islands, large and small. They are sometimes referred to as the An Antilles. The Antilles themselves are subdivided into Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles. Many of the islands have become independent countries.

Atlantic Ocean Islands:

Azores (Portugal)

Area : 2248 sq. km.

Population : 2,38,000

The archipelago lies 1,300 km west of Portugal

It is volcanic origin.

It consists of nine main islands in three widely separated groups.

Madeira (Portugal)

Area : 795 sq. km.
Population : 4,37,312

The volcanic archipelago is situated 700 km south-west of the Azores.

It consists of two inhabited islands, Madeira and Porto Santo.

Canaray Islands

Area : 7273 sq. km.

Cape Verde

Area : 4033 sq. km.
Capital : Praia

The Canary island, is a part of Spain, situated to the west of African coast

An important ‘Port of Call’ in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Republic of the Cape Verfe is an archipelago of 15 islands, lying to the west of Africa in the Central Atlantic.

Of volcanic origin, the islands are divided into two groups:
Barlavento (windward) and Sotavento (Ieeward).

Sao Tome and Principle

Area: 964 sq. km.
Capital : Sao Tome

The Republic of Sao Tome and Principle lying to the north of equator in the Gulf of Guinea about 200 km from the African coast.
St. Helena (U.K.) The British colony of St. Helena, situated about 1,900 km of West Africa in the South Atlantic Ocean.

It is volcanic in origin.

Ascension Situated to the north west of St. Helena.

It is of volcanic origin and is almost barren except on Green Mountain.

Tristan da Cunha The Tristan da Cunha group of South Atlantic ocean is situated half way between the Capa Twon (South Africa) and South America.

The largest island of the group is Trista which consists of volcanic cone.

It is the most isolated in the world.

Falkland islands The British colony of Falkland, situated to the east of Argentina coast in the South Atlantic Ocean, is known for petroleum reserves.

It consists of two main islands—East Falkland and West Falkland and also some smaller islands.

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