Excerpt from Encyclopaedia Britannica, or a Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature, Vol. 2: Enlarged and Improved
A M E America. Lagly the region of the earth which feels the mofi fer vent heat, and is expofed to the unmitigated ardour of the torrid zone. But this fame wind, which brings fuch an acceﬂion of warmth to the countries lying between the river of Senegal and Caﬂraria, traverfes the Atlan tic ocean before it reaches the American lhore._ It is ccoledin its pallage over this val't body of' water and is felt as a refre'fh'ing gale along the coaﬂs of Brahl and Guiana, endering thofe countries, though amongft the warmeﬂ in America, temperate, when compared with thofe which lie oppofite to them in Africa. As this wind advances in its courfe acrofs America, it meets with immenfe plains covered with impenetrable forefis; or occupied by large rivers, marr'hes, and fiagnating wa ters, where it can recover no confiderable degree of heat. At length it arrives at the Andes, which run from north to fouth through the whole continent. In paﬂing over their elevated and frozen fummits, it is lo thoroughly cooled, that the'greater part of the countries b'eyond them hardly feel the ardour to which they fcom expofed by their fituation. In the other provinces of America, from Terra Firma wel'tward to the Mexican empire, the heat of the climate is tempered, in fome places, by the elevation of the land above the fee in others, by their extraordinary humidity; and in all, by the enormous mountains fcattered over this traet. The iﬂands of A merica in the torrid zone are either fmall or mountain ous, and are fanned alternately by refrefhing fea and land breezes. The caufes of the extraordinary cold towards the fouthern limits of America, and in the feas beyond it, cannot be afcertained in a manner equally fatisfying. It was long fuppofed, that a wall continent, difiinguilh ed by the name of Term Azgﬂra/ir Ineognzia, lay be tween 'the fouthern extremity of America and the ant arcticpole. The fame principles which account for the extraordinary degree of cold in the northern regions of Ame'rica, were employed in order to explain that'which is felt at Cape Horn and the adjacent countries. The immenfe extent 'of the fouthern continent, and the ri vers which it poured into the ocean, were mentioned and admitted by philolbphe'rs as caufes full'icient to occalion the unufual fenfation of cold, and the liill more uncom mon appearances of frozen fees in that region of the globe. But the. Imaginary continent to which fuch in fluence was afcr'ibed having been fearched for in vain, and the fpace which' it was fuppofed to occupy having been found to beian open new ccnjeelures mull be formed with refpecl-to the caufes of a. Temperature of climate, fo extremely dillerent from that which we ex perience in countries removed at the fame diltance from the oppolite pole.
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