New world

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Map of the New World by Guillaume Delisle (around 1774)

The New World is a historical European name for America, rediscovered by the Spaniards under Christopher Columbus in 1492 . The "New World" was juxtaposed with the previously known Old World , consisting of Europe , Asia and Africa .


Columbus supposedly believed until his death in 1506 that on his journey to the west he had discovered islands and parts of Asia , which at that time was known by the collective term "India". For this reason, the Spanish called America Las Indias until the 18th century (see also Archivo General de Indias ). For the area of Central America and the islands of the Caribbean , the name West Indies was used until the 19th century . However, the conviction of some geographers and explorers , including Amerigo Vespucci in 1500, that a new continent had been discovered, was soon confirmed.

Therefore, the natives are in North America in English as Red Indians and Germans as Indians and the Native Central and South America as Indians called.

Usage today

Today the term is rarely used:

  • in the historical context when speaking of the discovery of America by the Europeans ;
  • in biology , when groups of animals or plants are divided into new-world and old-world organisms according to their occurrence ( biogeography );
  • in the winery , when wines are to be classified according to their production area;
  • in the music - the 9th Symphony by Antonin Dvorak named From the New World ;
  • In the Japanese anime series One Piece , the New World is the second and more dangerous half of the Grand Line (Grand Line = popular sea route of pirates, which consists of two halves). It lies on the other side of the globe separated by a wall-like continent, the Red Line.


  • Hermann Schreiber: The new world - the history of the discovery of America . Casimir Katz Verlag, Gernsbach 2005, ISBN 3-938047-06-2 .
  • José de Acosta : The gold of the condor . Reports from the New World 1590 and atlas on the history of its discovery. Edited and transmitted by Rudolf Kroboth and Peter H. Meurer . Edition Erdmann in K. Thienemanns Verlag, Stuttgart et al. 1991, ISBN 3-522-60750-3 (Original edition: America, Or how one calls it in German Die Neuwe Welt / or West India. By Mr. Josepho De Acosta in seven books / one part in Latin / and partly in Hispanic / Described. Sutorius, Ursel 1605. Based on the copy of the State Library of Prussian Cultural Heritage, Berlin).

Web links

Wiktionary: New World  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations