"the great rivers of the New World"
The Amazon River in South America
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Amazon River in South America - Credit: Kmusser
The Mississippi River, USA
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Mississippi River, USA - Credit: Jon Platek

‘The New World’ refers to the Americas and sometimes Australasia; a term dating from the 16th century when European explorers like Columbus first discovered the continents in the Western hemisphere. The name is now no longer used except in a historical context, as it has unpleasant overtones of colonialism. However, in 1840 when the British Empire was powerful, using the term ‘New World’ would not have been regarded as patronising.

The largest rivers of the Americas are the

Amazon – flowing over 4,000 miles through Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia; the world’s second longest and largest river in terms of water flowing (180,000m³/second);

Parana – Uruguay, approximately 2,795 miles long;

Mississippi – USA, approximately 3,870 miles long;

and Rio-Grande – USA, approximately 1,885 miles long.