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The New World is a name used for the Western Hemisphere. It specifically refers to the Americas. It can also refer to certain Atlantic and Pacific islands (like Bermuda) and sometimes Oceania, (Australasia). The name started in the early 16th century, shortly after America was colonized. The people of the European Middle Ages thought the world was only Europe, Asia, and Africa. These continents are called the Old World. The Americas were also referred to as the "fourth part of the world".