Geography And The Development And Diffusion Of Human Societies

976 words - 4 pages

Themes in U.S. and World History

GKE Task 1 Geography and the Development and Diffusion of Human Societies

A. One significant physical geographic factor that contributed to the development of Mesopotamia was the location of, and access to, the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, as well as their tributaries. Located in a region known as the “Fertile Crescent”, Mesopotamia was able to utilize these rivers for transportation and irrigation of crops. As a result of flooding by the Euphrates, large silt deposits provided rich soil and promoted the cultivation of emmer, barley, beans, olives, grapes and flax. In turn, these harvested crops provided not just food for the farmers but also ...view middle of the document...

Chariots were not utilized as a general conveyance by members of the public and charioteers were viewed as elite forces and valued far more than the common soldier. As wars became common between the different societies, the chariot was adopted and utilized by the military forces. Over time, chariots became common in Europe, the Middle East, India, and China. They are depicted in many drawings of royalty and were symbols of power.
C. Two (2) significant environment and/or geographic factors that contributed to the expansion and/or development of the United States are the Mississippi River Valley and the prolonged drought that created what came to be known as the ‘Dust Bowl”. The value of the Mississippi River was recognized early in America’s history by both James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson felt so strongly about acquiring the New Orleans port and Louisiana area that he was willing to challenge France’s Napoleon for it if necessary. It’s 2,000 miles of navigable waterway, as well as the additional 3,000 navigable miles provided by its tributaries (including the Ohio River), made it the primary means to move goods and people from the interior of the United States to a port with oceanic accessibility. Acquisition of the property adjoining the river was made through purchase, treaty, or conquest. At times, claims were laid by France, Spain, England, as well as Native American tribes. Steamboats began operation on the river in the early 1820’s and a substantial business was established carrying tourists, settlers, and goods. Early in American history, trappers and hunters shipped substantial numbers of furs and hides for further shipment to England and Europe. In later years, the cotton industry moved tons of raw cotton from Memphis and Vicksburg, as well as New Orleans. Without the Mississippi River and its tributaries, only a fraction of these goods, and people, could have been...

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