WORLD REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY
WORLD REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY GEOG 110
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1E ZEJI INTRODUCTION A What Is Geography Questions of where and why are central to geography Geographers study what has contributed to the look feel and customs of a place and how different places are interconnecte Although there are many specialties and subdisciplines geography can be de ned as the study of the earth s surface and human activities that create the distinctive regions ofthe worl Geographers are interested in understanding the world in spatial terms They are interested in variations over space and the explanations for those variations 3E B Reading Maps 4 5a Scale of a map represents the relationship between the distances shown on the map and actual distances on the earth s surface 6 El Reading Maps 7 Longitude and Latitude The lines of longitude and latitude enable us to establish a position on the map relative to other points on the globe via a grid system The Prime Meridian at 0 degrees longitude runs from the North Pole to the South Pole through Greenwich England The longitude line at 180 degrees runs through the Pacific Ocean and is used as the international date line where the calendar day officially begins 8 El C What do geographers do 9EI 10E 11E 12E 13E Most geographers specialize in one or more subdisciplines Cooperation among various subdisciplines enhances our understanding of people and places Besides selecting subdisciplines many geographers specialize in a particular region ofthe world Regional geography is the analysis of the geographical characteristics of a particular place D The Region as a Concept A region is a unit of the earth s surface that contains distinct patterns of physical features or human activities The concept of region is difficult two regions are rarely de ned by the same set of indicators and boundaries between regions are often fuzzy However geographers prefer to use regions because it would be impossible to learn about or discuss the whole world at once Regions are delineated when on the whole differences do not override the similarities 14E 15E 16E 17E 18E 19E 20 E Culture includes all that we use to carry on our lives culture is represented byideas materials and institutions that are passed on to future generations A Culture Groups De ning culture groups is problematic because the concept is imprecise and cultural designations are often applied to a very large group that shares only general characteristics 21 El B Globalization and Culture Change Cultural diversity is fading as trends circle the globe via the manytypes of communication available As globalization continues some degree of cultural homogeneity will occur Connections and interdependencies between distant regions began during European colonialism which changed local economies and landscapes Trade migration technology and the spread of culture have all contributed to the linkages and ows of globalization o because of rapid transportation and the ow of electronic information widely separated places are often closelylinked However ease of communication and travel are reaf rming cultural diversity and multiculturalism 22 El C Cultural Markers Values Cultures establish preserve and pass on knowledge which is grounded on a set of values Ways of knowing and values differ thus a particular behavior may be admired according to one set of values and considered questionable when judged by another set of values Often are embodied in laws 23 El Cultural Markers 24E 25E Religion and Belief Systems Religion embodies value systems and is often reflected in the landscape through religious symbols settlement patterns or religious rivalries Language The diversity oflanguages re ects human diffusion and isolation over time a few languages have come to dominate while others have become extinc In light of increased globalization special efforts may be required to preserve the language diversity that exists oda 26 E 27 E 28 E 29 E 30 El 31 El Cultural Markers Material Culture and Technology Material culture refers to the tangible items that members of a culture group produce or use A group s material culture reflects its technology Each culture group is defined by particular materials and technologies 32 E 33 E 34 El 35 j 36 E 37 E 38 E 39B D Genderlssues Activities assigned to men and women differ among cultures and across time however women are often defined as inferiorto men are frequently relegated to the home and have fewer education and employment opportunities thus they have less access to wealth and power Numerous manifestations of gender inequality exist in societies male children are often desired because they are seen as more productive and intelligent females are more likely to die in infancy women s work is often defined as less important than men s women are compensated less fortheir work and females do not eat as well and have less access to health care 40E 41E 42 E III PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY PERSPECTIVES ON THE EARTH A Landforms The Sculpting of the Earth Plate Tectonics Wegener s theory of the supercontinent Pangaea proposed that all the continents were once joined in a single vast continent As plates rub together they create earthquakes mountain ranges arise from the folding and warping of plates and volcanoes erupt where magma comes to the earth s surface 43 E 44 E 45 E 46 El 47 El Landforms The Sculpting of the Earth Landscape Processes lnternal processes plate tectonics and external processes weathering erosion and deposition create and shape landforms Although their in uence varies among cultures humans o en contribute to external landscape processes through building agriculture and forestry 48 E Climate Temperature and Air Pressure Temperature and air pressure continuously interact producing wind and weather Warm air is associated with low pressure while cool air is associated with high pressure air tends to move from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure creating wind Watertakes longer to heat and cool than land This affects the daily and seasonal movement of air from land to water and from water to land 49 El Climate Precipitation Warm air can hold more moisture than cool air when moist air is pushed up to a higher altitude the lower temperature causes condensation of water vapor forming clouds and precipitation Seasonal movement of warm moistureladen air associated with the equator can sometimes result in catastrophic monsoon rains While frontal precipitation is caused by the interaction of large air masses with different temperatures orographic precipitation is common where warm moist air is pushed from over the ocean up the side of mountains 50 El 51 E 52 El Climate Climate Regions Climate regions are classified based on temperature and precipitation the Keppen system is used in this textbook 53E 54 Cl C The Origins of Agriculture Human Interaction with the Physical Environment The development of agriculture was accompanied by fundamental changes in the organization of society disparities of wealth hierarchies of power formation of cities and reliance on trade The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture was gradual arising from a familiarity with growth cycles and reproductive mechanisms of plants and animals Increasingly scholars think that the heart of agricultural origins was trade 55 El 56 El IVECONOMC ISSUES IN GEOGRAPHY A Workers in the Global Economy Wage workers across the globe are paid startlingly different rates for the same type ofjob but higherpaying jobs are not necessarily associated with a better quality of life The formaleconomy includes activities that take place in of cial channels while goods and services that are not produced in of cially recognized circumstances are part of the informal economy 57 El B What Is the Global Economy Colonization allowed distant lands and peoples to be exploited economically by Europeans this was the beginning ofthe modern global economy The new wealth and access to resources allowed Europeans to mechanize production specialize and mass produce goods Multinational corporations are among the most powerful actors in the global economy yet they are much like the early colonizers as they have the ability to influence the economy and politics ofthe countries in which they operate they operate across borders extract resources from many places and produce products in factories carefully located to take advantage of relatively cheap labor and transportation 58 El C The Debate Over Free Trade and Globalization Free trade is unrestricted exchange of goods services and capital Views over free trade differ Although protections are losing favor to protect a country s trade some impose restrictions tariffs and import quotas or use transport or capital controls Restrictions on trade are now being reduced by the formation of regional trade blocs and the support of global institutions such as the World Trade Organization WTO or the World Bank International Bank for Reconstruction and Development Many fear a race to the bottomquot in wages working conditions and environment quality as countries compete for pro ts and attraction of investors 59 E VDEVELOPMENT AND WELLBEING A GDP Per Capita Gross domestic product GDP per capita total value of goods and services produced in a country divided by the number of people in the country This gure can be a misleading indicator to use in country comparisons the average figure hides the unequal distribution of wealth the purchasing power of currency varies across the globe GDP measures only the formal economy the environment spending on human services gender and education are ignored 60 E 61 E B Measure of Human Wellbeing United Nations Human Development Index HDI is grounded in data on income purchasing power health care and education 62E HDI cannot score the equality of the distribution ofincome or purchasing power United Nations Gender Empowerment Measure GEM scores according to how well a country enables participation by women in political and economic life A high GEM rank does not necessarily mean women are doing well just better than other countries 63 El VI POPULATION PATTERNS 64E A Global Patterns of Population Growth Although it starts out slowly exponential population growth results from populations doubling over ever shorter periods Technological industrial and scienti c revolutions have allowed populations to increase rapidly as humans could more easily exploit land and resources and treat diseases more readily 65 El B Local Variations in Population Density and Growth 66E Population density is not distributed equally For example most people live north of the equator and in most places people tend to live close to water or in lowlands where conditions for agriculture are suitable The physical environment does not fully determine density as resources increasingly can be acquired from far away Economic cultural and social factors must also be examined to explain density Rates of growth vary across the world 67 E C Age and Gender Structures 68E 69E Population pyramids are useful devices for depicting and comparing the structures of age and gender o en revealing subtle age and gender differences within populations The ratio of females to males started to decline around 1900 this is due to a strong preference for males in many cultures resulting in the abortion offemale fetuses female infanticide and poor health care and nutrition for females 70 E D Population Growth Rates and Wealth 71E 72E E Places with slow population growth rates tend to be more affluent than those with fast growth rates Children are often seen as an asset and source oflabor in subsistence agriculture economies however when the situation changes to one in which cash is necessary e ation enhances a person s incomeearning abilities children actually become an economic liability until they reach adulthood thus most people in industrialized societies choose to have fewer children When growth rates in a region slow we say the region has gone through the demographic transition Is the World Overpopulated Experts worry about overpopulation because ofthe effects of overcrowding and poverty deterioration of the environment and quality oflife and the threat to plant and animal specIes The subject of slowing population growth is heavily debated Some feel technology will solve our problems by increasing our access to resources and to many human reproduction is a sensitive religious issue not a matter for public debate 73 E VII HUMANS AND THE ENVIRONMENT A Sustainable Development The aim of sustainable development is to improve standards of living without jeopardizing those of future generations Political ecologists study how power relationships in a society affect how development proceeds whose needs it addresses and how success is measured They examine the way resources are used in relation to development 74 El Sustainable Development Sustainable Agriculture Sustainable agriculture seeks to meet food demands without degrading the environment or natural resources and to address the fact that food is not distributed adequate y Soil degradation caused by overgrazing deforestation and farmland mismanagement is putting the livelihoods of a billion people at risk 75 E1 76 El 77 El 78 El Sustainable Development Sustainability and Urbanization Increasing human populations living in larger and larger urban settings have many difficult realities to live with overcrowding water contamination and disease Changing Patterns of Resource Consumption 0 le move from agricultural work to industrial or service jobs they use more resources a relatively rich global minority about 20 percent now consumes more than 80 percent of the world s resources in any given year 79 El 80 El B Global Warming Greenhouse gases released through the burning of fossil fuels allow heat to be trapped in the earth s atmosphere causing a small but crucial increase in the earth s temperatures Human activities that release greenhouse gases have intensified dramatically at the same time deforestation has removed the trees and plants that would absorb the gases Global warming can cause the melting ofthe polar ice caps and a subsequent rise in sea level shi ing climate zones and more chaotic and severe weather Although industrialized nations have most of the responsibility for present levels of emissions as industrialization and urbanization spread in less developed countries the potential is great for much higher levels of greenhouse gas emi sions 81E 82E 1 El 2 E 3 El 4 El THE GEOGRAPHIC SETTING A Physical Patterns Landforms Of the few at surfaces in this region many are either too dry or cold to be useful to humans thus people are particularly inventive in creating space for agriculture The landforms of East Asia form four steps The Plateau of Tibet A broad expanse of basins plateaus and low mountain ranges that include upper portions ofthe Huang He and Chang Jiang Broad coastal plains and the deltas ofChina39s great rivers with intervening low mountains and hills Continental shelf and numerous islands 5 El 6 El Chinese Landform The Loess Plateau is covered by a fine yellowish windblown soil It drifted into what used to be deep mounmin valleys creating an undulating plateau The North China Plain is the largest and most populous expanse of flat cultivatable land in China The YunnanGuizhou Plateau is characterized by a rough landscape of deeply folded mountains where landforms are unstable Lower parts of the plateau are characterized by karst deposits 7 E 8 El 9 El 10 El 11 j 12 E East Asia Landforms 0 Only 18 percent of Japan can be cultivated because it is so mountainous and is prone to severe earthquakes and disastrous tropical storms 0 Taiwan has a mountainous spine A steep escarpment faces east and a gentler slop faces west where most of the population lives along the coastal plain 0 Lowlying mountains cover nearly 70 percent of Korea There is little level land for settlement and communication is difficult 13 E 14 El Physical Patterns The Dry Interior This region experiences extremes of a continental climate The dry interior is characterized by grasslands deserts scattered forests and large uninhabited areas 15 E 16 E 17 E 18 El Physical Patterns The Monsoon East During the winter monsoons dry frigid arctic air can result in a long bitter winter During the summer warm tropical air from the Paci c Ocean picks up a huge amount of moisture which is deposited as rain Forests in this area vary from coniferous to tropical rain forests however agriculture has destroyed many ecosystems and development threatens remaining natural areas 19 E 20 El B Human Patterns Over Time Eas Asia is a region of ancient civilizations and until the twentieth century China was the source ofwealth culture and technology for the region Not all areas were in uenced equally by China as the Chinese saw Mongolians as alien and uncivilized Korea Japan and Taiwan were isolated enough that they developed distinct cultures allowing them to advance politically economically and militarily 21 El Human Patterns over Time The Beginnings of Chinese Civilization Agricultural societies developed a feudal system nearly 4000 years ago until a new order emerged between 400 and 221 BC that laid the foundations for great Chinese empires The Qin dynasty increased agricultural output because people worked harderto farm land they now owned the salaried bureaucrats who replaced their former masters were more responsible in building and maintaining public works 22E 23E 24E 25E 26C 27 El Human Patterns Over Time Confucianism Beginning 2500 years ago Confucianism which altered social economic and political geography taught that the best organizational model was a hierarchy modeled after the patriarchal family The emperor was seen as the source of all order and civilization Women were con ned to domestic spaces and placed under the authority of others Confucianism served the interests of the political and economic elite which transformed the social order t and the wa resources were used The result was little incentive for agricultural improvemen s industrialization or entrepreneurialism 28E 29 E Human Patterns Over Time European Imperialism in East Asia In the mid1500s colonizers brought a strong interest in commerce and new food crops European in uence increased as foreign merchants lobbied to get access to the huge Chinese market In the mid1800s Qing dynasty leaders tried to ght offthe European incursion during the Opium Wars The Qing dynasty s authority declined and China was defeated The Qing empire collapsed a er attempts at recovering from defeat in the Sino Japanese War 30 E 31 El Human Patterns Over Time China s Turbulent Twentieth Century In the early twentieth century the urban upper and middle class 39 39 39 39 4 39 3 led by Chiang Kaishek The rival Chinese Communist party CCP led by Mao Zedong appealed to rural laborers he KMT and CCP tried to unite against the common ofthe 39 39 39 39 T enemy but when Japan surrendered to the Allied forces at the end ofWorld War II the two parties no longer cooperated The KMT was pushed out by the CCP and many KMT supporters ed to Taiwan where they formed a governmentinexile The CCP assumed control over the economy and brutally occupied Tibet Xizang Mao became a sort of emperor with unquestioned authority 32 E 33 El Human Patterns Over Time China s Turbulent Twentieth Century The communist revolution led to the reallocation of land and wealth public works projects and new opportunities for women However there were enormous human and environmental costs A er Mao s death Deng Xiaoping initiated a series of reforms to liberalize China s economy while maintaining communist political control 34 El Human Patterns Over Time The Transformation of Japan By AD 300 Japan was divided into military clans that established rule over most of what is now Japan Ideas and material culture were imported until about AD 800 when Japan turned inward and established a feudal system with a rigid class structure This isolation was reinforced shoguns imposed a strict social class system and expelled foreigners 35 El Human Patterns Over Time The Transformation of Japan In the mid1800s Japan realized that centuries ofisolation would have to end The Meiji Oligarchs set Japan on a course of modernization industrial development and settlement expansion Japan colonized Korea Taiwan and Manchuria which eventually led to its defeat in World War II and to the loss of its foreign territories Japan rebuilt rapidly a er World War II and eventually became a giant in the global economy 36 E 37 E Human Patterns Over Time Conflict and Transfers of Power in East Asia The Korean Peninsula From 1910 to 1945 Korea was a colony of Japan and a source of cheap minerals and agricultural raw materials Communist North Korea and capitalist South Korea were torn apart by a civil war The war resulted in huge losses of life and devastated infrastructure North Korea closed itself off from the rest of the world while South Korea evolved into a prosperous free market economy 38 El 39 j 40 E Human Patterns Over Time Mongolia Mongolia was colonized by China from 1691 until the early twentieth century Mongolia followed a communist system until the breakup of the Soviet Union and has since attempted to develop a freemarket economy 41 El 42 E 43 E C Population Patterns Most couples in China are limited to one child As a result the birth rate is lower than the world average however the population will continue to grow because so many people are just entering their reproductive years With relatively fewer births the average age of the population will rise fairly quickly This will cause a problem in China that Japan is already facing a very large elderly population Because of rugged dry or cold regions 90 percent of the region s population is clustered on only onesixth of the land People extract a very high level of agricultural production with considerable environmental costs from this land 44 El 45 E 46 El Population Patterns Population and Health Issues HIVAIDS and SARS East Asia is experiencing a potentially explosive HIVAIDS epidemic Reported cases have increased signi cantly recently Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome SARS appeared in southeastern China in 2002 infecting people in 29 countries in 6 months This caused global alarm which some argue is an example of the dark side of globalization 47 E 48 El lCURRENT GEOGRAPHIC ISSUES A Economic and Political Issues After World War II the communist regimes of China Mongolia and North Korea relied on central planning while Japan Taiwan and South Korea established market economies More ecently China and Mongolia have adopted reforms that allow market forces however despite the bene ts this transition has caused hardships for many 49 El Economic and Political Issues The StateAided Market Economv Countries The economies of Japan Korea and Taiwan grew tremendously in the twentieth century Credit for this economic success belongs mostly to Japan which began to develop the model of a governmentguided freemarket economy 50 El Economic and Political Issues The Communist Command Economy After World War II China Mongolia and North Korea abolished private property and the government took control of the economy These sweeping changes proved less successful than was hoped 51 El Economic and Political Issues The Commune System In China the priority was to improve both agricultural and industrial production Land was taken out ofthe hands oflandlords and given to landless farmers Because this proved inef cient farmers were put into cooperatives to share labor and pool resources Full scale communes took over all aspects of life 52E 53C 54 E Economic and Political Issues Focus on Heavy Industry The focus was on heavy industry not consumer goods Funds for industrial development were diverted from the already inefficient agricultural sec Although nearly everyone was guaranteed a job for life these systems led to conformity and lack of innovation and people were not allowed to consume more than the bare necessities 55 E Economic and Political Issues Regional SelfSuf ciency in China Regional selfsuf ciency encouraged each region to develop independently building agricultural and industrial sectors of equal strength to even out the distribution of income This resulted in a waste oftime and resources because funds were used to establish industries in nearly every province regardless of practicality 56 El Economic and Political Issues Globalization and Market Reforms in China In the late 1970s China pursued a more ef cient and marketoriented economy China has become a participant in the global economy as a signi cant producer of manufactured goods and it represents a market of more than 1 billion customers 57 El 58 El Economic and Political Issues The Reforms in Overview Responsibility systems gave managers of stateowned enterprises the right and responsibilityto improve the ef ciency of their operations Managers and entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the different resources and opportunities in different areas of the country 59 El Economic and Political Issues The Persistence of Regional Disparities The Chinese economy has become more productive overall however reform has proceeded slowly Longterm disparities in wealth between China s regions are increasing 60 El 61 El Economic and Political Issues International Trade and Special Economic Zones Special economic zones SEZs and economic and technology development zones ETDZs are central to the new market reforms in China SEZs and ETDZs function as freetrade zones and have brought international investment and industry SEZs and ETDZs are major growth poles as many coastal cities have grown into some of the largest urban areas in the country 62 El 63 El 64 E Economic and Political Issues Life in the Growing Cities Millions of young migrants leave rural villages to work in SEZs Many come intending to send money back home and eventually return home to improve their communities However workers are often paid less and work longer hours than the recruiters promised Concern is growing over the oating population ofjobless or underemployed people who have left rural areas without permission underthe hukou system and are now unaccounted or 65 El Economic and Political Issues China and the World Trade Organization Dramatic economic changes allowed China to be admitted to the World Trade Organization WTO this organization seeks to remove barriers to global trade The inclusion of China in the WTO is highly controversial China has brutally suppressed separatist movements committed human rights abuses and much of its growth is based on environmentally destructive activities and abuses of workers 66 E IICURRENT GEOGRAPHIC ISSUES B Sociocultural Issues Population Policies and the East Asian Famin By 2000 women in Japan Taiwan and South Korea were bearing fewer than 2 children on average In the 1970s in China especially leaders realized that the rapidly rising population was sapping its ability to progress 67 E Sociocultural Issues The OneChild Policy in China The onechild policy created a major challenge in a society that placed great value on the extended family The prospect of having only one child and having it be a daughter can cause great despair Thus Chinese policy makers have been trying to 39 39 39 women 39 39 socia y Incentives are offered to couples who have only one child while those who have additional children are often penalized Population control has been effective the onechild family is now in the majority However the policy has never been popular because it is unevenly enforced 68E 69E 70 El Sociocultural Issues Gender Attitudes and Population Control The number of male children signi cantly exceeds the number of female children This can be because births of girls may have gone unreported girl babies may have died in infancy because of neglect or infanticide or some parents choose to abort female fetuses 71 El Sociocultural Issues Indigenous Minorities Despite the fact that most countries have one dominant ethnic group cultural diversity exists Han connotes a pride in Chinese culture and a sense of superiority over ethnic minorities and outsiders Theoretically the largest minority groups have been granted autonomous status and can manage their own affairs however the Handominated Communist party has not allowed selfgovernment 72 E1 73 El Sociocultural Issues TurkicSpeaking Peoples Many ofthese people such as the Uygurs and Kazakhs remain nomadic The Beijing government has sent hundreds of thousands of Han settlers to dilute the power of minorities and rid them of unacceptable cultural practices and distinctive identities Although assimilation might be the longterm outcome for now there has been a rebirth of Islamic culture among these people 74E 75 El Sociocultural Issues The Tibetans Tibetans are an impoverished ethnic minority in a territory that was divided by the Chinese government The Chinese government also suppressed the Tibetan Buddhist religion The Dalai Lama and thousands of his followers were forced into exile in India Hundreds of thousands of Han were resettled in Tibet where they control the economy and major cities exploit resources and force native Tibetans to adopt Han ways 76 E IICURRENT GEOGRAPHIC ISSUES C Environmental Issues East Asia has a number of environmental concerns resulting from high population density rapid economic development poor resource management and ineffective planning China s record of improving wellbeing is slipping China now has the most severe environmental problems on the planet this could prevent future progress 77 El 78 El Environmental Issues Air Pollution in China Consumption of fossil fuels is increasing with industrialization Coal burning is the primary cause of China s poor air quali y Air pollution is converted into water pollution acid rain is known to adversely affect many species of plants and animals 79 El 80 El Environmental Issues Water in China Too Much Too Little Polluted Flooding mmer monsoons can cause catastrophic floods requiring elaborate ood control systems however flood control failed repeatedly in the late 1990s Flooding is a natural phenomenon but it is exacerbated by human activities 81 E 82 El Environmental Issues Drought Droughts happen every year in China They often cause more suffering and damage than any other natural hazard they are made worse by human activities Water shortages threaten food security and economic growth As China s population urbanization and water consumption grow water demand will increase China needs to nd new sources of water or find ways to conserve 83 El Environmental Issues Water Pollution A significant percent of the population does not have safe drinking water or access to sanitation Onehalf ofthe groundwater supplying Chinese cities is contaminated 84 El Environmental Issues 39 39 39 Problems Elsewhere in East Asia 39 39 39 anu air 39 39 39 39 ind lriali alinn North Korea has suffered from ooding as a result of deforestation Crop failures related to environmental mismanagement have caused thousands to die Mongolians have always had to cope with arid conditions In the late 1990s thousands of acres offorests were lost to res 85 El Environmental Issues 39 39 Problems Elsewhere in East Asia Air pollution is a problem in cities in Japan Taiwan and South Korea High population densities and rising lifestyle expectations make it dif cult to improve environmental quality Taiwan s extreme population density and high rate ofindustrialization have exacerbated pollution and related environmental problems Japan is located along the Paci c Ring of Fire causing it to experience volcanoes earthquakes and tsunamis 86E 87 El lCURRENT GEOGRAPHIC ISSUES D Measures of Human WellBeing More than most other regions human wellbeing varies widely from country to country Regional disparity of wealth is enormous However this disparity is somewhat misleading socialist governments in North Korea Mongolia and China have attempted to provide basic necessities for their citizens Assessing progress toward gender equality is difficult because patterns are irregular where gures are available China has made gigantic strides since the 1970s in reducing infant mortality and increasing life expectancy 88E 1 El 2 E 3 El 4 El 5 El 6 El 7 E THE GEOGRAPHIC SETTING A Physical Patterns Landforms Highlands Manylandforms in this region have been shaped by tectonic forces Molten rock may come to the surface and erupt as volcanoes many islands in this region are volcanic in origin 8 El 9 El 10 E 11 E 12 El Physical Patterns Lowlands A huge wedge of lowlands stretches from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean The Amazon Basin is the largest feature in the South American Lowlands The interior reaches of the Amazon Basin is home to some of the last relatively undisturbed Native Americans 13 E 14 E 15 E 16 El Physical Patterns Climate Tremendous changes in altitude the great northsouth distance spanned by the landmass and global wind and ocean currents cause a wide range in temperatures and precipitation 17 El 18 El Physical Patterns TemperatureAltitude Zones Tierra caliente hot tropical rain forests thrive up to 3000 feet Tierra templada temperate yearround spring like climate 30006500 feet Tierra fria cool midlatitude crops population centers 650012000 feet Tierra helada frozen some cultivation snow and glaciers above 12000 feet 19 E 20 El 21 j 22 E 23 El Physical Patterns Precipitation Precipitation is in uenced bythe interaction of global wind patterns ocean currents and topography The Peru Current and the rain shadow caused by the central Andes in Chile and Peru have created possibly the world s driest desert the Atacama 24 El Physical Patterns El Ni o El Ni o brings warm water and rain to the west coast of South America nutrientpoor warm water replaces the nutrientrich cold water of the Peru Current El Ni o also brings unpredictable weatherto much ofthe United States Mexico the Amazon and Caribbean 25 E 26 E B Human Patterns over Time The Peoplinq of Middle and South America By the late 1400s people had altered the landscape by modifying drainage for irrigation constructing raised fields terracing hillsides paving walkways constructing cities and raising up huge earthen ceremonial structures A system of shifting cultivation was also perfected The trauma of conquest and subsequent European dominance have obliterated many of these accomplishments The Aztecs had some technologies and a highly organized social structure The lnca Empire was one of the most ef ciently managed in the history of the world 27E 28E 29 E 30 E 31 E 32 E 33 El Human Patterns over Time The Conquest The European conquest was one of 39 quot lives as a consequence of introduced diseases and slavery and ending millions of The Caribbean was the rst region contacted by Europeans Mexico was the rst part ofthe mainland to be conquered by Europeans The conquest ofthe Incas in South America and the smallpox epidemic resulted in the Viceroyalty of Peru nnle were killed and mum 39 ne 39 cultures were 39 39 however he Amazon Basin was left alone for several centuries because it was dif cult to extract resources 34 E 35 E 36 El Human Patterns Over Time A Global 39 39 of Crops and Animals Global exchange and diffusion facilitated other cultures in adopting food from the Americas plants and animals that were exchanged changed diets globally 37 j 38 E 39 E 40 El Human Patterns Over Time The Legacy of Underdevelopment 40 r r39 r yeta quot quot 39 39 39 1 3939 corruption he effects of colonialism 39 39 quot 39 entrepreneurs 39 quot Colonizers managed all aspects of production transport and trade which resulted in a huge underground economy institutionalized dishonesty and resentment ofthe Spanish authorities In the 39 wars on 39 r 39 however the revolutionaries evolved into a new elite that monopolized economic opportunity 41 E C Population Patterns The major migration trend is rural to urban and the population continues to climb because of high birth rates 42 E 43 El Population Patterns Population Numbers and Distributions Population Distribution Population is unequally distributed in Middle and South America and there is no relationship between population and physical landforms Population Growth The population is growing quickly causing great concern for people are already suffering from a low standard of living However some countries are beginning to experience demographic transition as people are using contraception more often and growth rates are falling 44 El 45 El Population Patterns Migration and Urbanization As a result of migration urban areas become crowded Immigrants are exposed to values and ways of life that contrast with their traditional cultures Cities are often not prepared and infrastructure cannot keep pace with the in ow of people Primate cities o en draw most of the migrants concentrating wealth and power in one place while distant rural areas are ignored 46 E 47 El 48 El Population Patterns Migration and Urbanization Because most migrants cannot afford to buy or lease land they often squat on nearby land They organize themselves to pressure for social services these communities are dif cult to dislodge Female urban migrants o en earn low wages and poorly treated male urban migrants are often underemployed and forced to take lowskill jobs or work in the informal economy In rural areas those that already have the advantages of education creativity and initiative are the ones who are leaving resulting in brain drainquot 49 E 50 E 51 El ICURRENT GEOGRAPHIC ISSUES A Economic and Political Issues The greatest challenge facing leaders in this region is a widening gap between the rich and the poor Many unresolved and dif cult challenges exist it has been argued that globalization is reducing the importance of income disparity in the region 52 El 53 El Economic and Political Issues Phases of Economic Development Globalization and Income Disparity The three major economic phases have all been characterized by various levels of external influence and have helped entrench wide income disparities The Early Extractive Phase The Import Substitution Industrialization Phase The Current Structural Adjustment Phase 54 El Phases of Economic Development The Early Extractive Phase Based on colonial mercantilist policies where resources owed out of the country with little bene t to the vast majority of the population Laborers were bound to the land on haciendas which used only a fraction of their potential agricultural land Plantations were more ef cient because of better locational connections capital investments climate and labor to specialize in one crop Livestock ranches were originally found in drier areas but are now moving into cleared rainforest lands 55 El Phases of Economic Development The Import Substitution Industrialization Phase A strategy of this phase was to do away with the extractive systems and achieve selfsuf ciency The government funded import substitution factories produced goods that used to be imported high tariffs were placed on competing imports Import substitution industrialization was not very successful most economies remained highly dependent on the export of raw ma erials 56 El Phases of Economic Development The Dethrisis Prices for raw materials besides oil decreased in the 1970s thus exports could no longer support the region s economy Efforts made to modernize and industrialize based on millions of dollars in loans from international banks did not succeed Loans were dif cult to repay 57 El Phases of Economic Development The Current Structural Adjustment Phase Structural adjustment programs SAPs are designed to free up money for loan repayment by promoting freemarket policies through the expansion of industries that produce goods for export Governments were required to reduce government programs remove tariffs and sell stateowned industries 58 j 59 E Phases of Economic Development Outcomes of SAPs Economic growth was experienced in extractive industries Some countries are attempting to move beyond extractive industries by establishing freetrade zones including maquiladoras SAPs have encouraged greater ef ciency high rates of economic growth and increased exports in some countries However little regard is given for working conditions or the environment most exports are still raw materials social services programs were cut and income disparity has increase 60 E 61 El Economic and Political Issues The Informal Economy Causes Canceled subsidies for housing food health care and industries reduced governmentjobs recession underemployment and losses in real wages led people to pursue informal economic options Positive effects Workers pay no taxes but can support theirfamilies improvement of urban life by making goods more affordable conservation of resources and an incubator of new businesses and support ofa vibrant highly organized system that is highly rational and strategizing Negative effects Workers pay bribes instead of taxes no protection of health and safety 62 E Economic and Political Issues Reqional Trade and Trade quot Alternatives to SAPtype policies are emerging to reduce tariffs and encourage trade among neighboring countri es Regional freetrade associations and trade agreements eg Mercosur NAFTA and FTAA are used to fuel economic growth The record of regional freetrade agreements is mixed as the benefits are not spread evenly geographically or across society yet they seem likely to help economies achieve more economic independence 63 j 64 E 65 E 66B Economic and Political Issues Global Free Trade Issues as Seen from Middle and South America Recently countries in the region have taken a stand against free trade talks as they want to stop the hypocrisy of the G8 as G8 countries are promoting free trade while practicing protectionist policies themselves 67 E Economic and Political Issues Agriculture and Contested Sgace Atthe Personal Scale Governments have encouraged largescale absenteeowned exportoriented agriculture in order to pay off large government debts Smaller farmers are o en squeezed out This has sparked resistance among rural farmers in a number of places where subsistence agriculture competes with commercial plantation agriculture 68 j 69 E 70 C Is Democracy Rising 0 After a long history of dictatorships all countries in the region except Cuba have democratically elected governments however in much of the region democracy is still fragile 0 Central America Costa Rica s democratic traditions stretch back to the 1800s 0 The Central Andes Protests by working people brought down Ecuador s government in 1997 and Peru s government in 2000 71 El 72 El Economic and Political Issues Corruption Corruption and serious scandals are widespread undermining democratic institutions The drug trade is a major factor contributing to this corruption The effort to stop the production of drugs in Middle and South America has led to the largest US military presence in the region in history 73 E 74 E 75 El Economic and Political Issues Foreign Involvement in the Region s Politics Even though the intent is to enhance democracy outside intervention has o en compromised it the most active power in the region is the United States Can Internet Technology Further Democracy Democracy is strongest where people are educated healthy and economically secure The process of deepening democracy goes hand in hand with creating more socially and economically equal societies The use ofthe Internet can also enhance democratic participation thus access and training are crucial 76E 77 El CURRENT GEOGRAPHIC ISSUES B Sociocultural Issues Cultural Diversity This region is one of the most culturally complex on earth Mestizos are now the majority in Mexico Central America and much of South America In urban areas contact between people is accelerating the rate of acculturation and assimilation 78 El Sociocultural Issues Race and the Social of Skin Color S 39 color is more descriptive than race however family wealth education and occupation are more signi cant than race 79 El Sociocultural Issues The Family and Gender Role Some effects of an extended family are that individuals subvert their interests to those of the family and community Families frequently live together in domestic compounds Marianismo The Argin Mary is held up as the model for women putting a priority on chastity and service to the family A woman39s power increases as her skills and sacri ces are recognized and enshrined in family lore Machismo bases manliness on the ability to father children be attractive to women be engaging in social situations and be master of the household 80 El Sociocultural Issues Children in Poverty Many children are homeless in the region Parents are overburdened and may push them out of the home to become economically active A er migrating to cities many women end up single mothers away from their extended families or have little security with their mate this can result in neglected malnourished and unruly children 81 El 82 E SOCIocultural Issues Religion in Contemporary Life Historically religion encouraged working people to accept their low status obedience to authority and postponement of rewards until heaven religion also reinforced class differences This chan ed 39 baptisms weddings and funerals Liberation theology saw poverty as a problem of society not the individual Perpetuating inequality was seen as a sin Social conomic reform was promoted as liberation from evil Recently Evangelical Protestantism has begun to appeal to the poor The idea ofthe personal quotgospel ofsuccessquot may be an important impetus to he emergence ofa middle class 83E 84E 85 El CURRENT GEOGRAPHIC ISSUES C Environmental Issues Human settlement has had consequences on the environment for thousands of years but todays impacts are particularly severe as population is growing at the same time consumption of resources is growing 86 E 87 El Amazon deforestation 0 Forests are cleared for cattle ranching growing cash crops hardwood lumber fuel wood oil and gas extraction and human developments 0 However environmental regulations are being developed and reforestation is more widespread than previously thought Deforesmtion in the Amazon may have global implications as it contributes to global warming through the greenhouse effect 88E 89E 90E 91E 92 E 93 E 94 E 95 E 96 El Environmental Issues Thequot 39 andquot 39F 39 Governments argued that development was seen as a necessity while environmental regulations were an unaffordable uxu Countries are starting to embrace development while attempting to mitigate the negative environmental and social effects 97 El llCURRENT GEOGRAPHIC ISSUES D Measures of Human WellBeing GDP per capita masks the very wide disparity of wealth in the region and ignores aspects of wellbeing other than income Some HDI rankings are higher partly because education is somewhat more available across gender and class nonetheless investment in education is not suf cient and health care is poor GEM is higher in some countries because their governments support education and equal opportunity for women 98 E Measures of Human WellBeing A Rising Threat to Human WellBeing HIVAIDS is taking a serious toll throughout Middle and South America and is expected to negatively affect measures of human wellbeing 99 E 100 E
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