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Regions of the United States
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Regions of the United States

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  1. Regions of the United States • Based on similarities in: • Environment • History • Culture • Economics

  2. The Northeast Region • Environment • Excellent natural harbors and long coastline encourages trade • Deep rivers (Hudson) allow for easy trade far inland • Narrow coastal areas means very little large-scale farming • Northern edge of Appalachian Mountains separate Coastal and Interior Plains • Humid Continental climate means cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers

  3. The Northeast Region • History • 1620 - Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Mass. • Colonies established by Dutch, then English settlers focused on trade, not farming • 1776-1787 - “Birthplace of America” – location of American Revolution (started in Boston), NYC was first capital, then Philadelphia (Independence Hall) • Called “America’s Gateway” due to large number of immigrant groups throughout history: • Boston – Irish and English • New York (Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty) – from Europe (1800’s), then globally (1900’s to today) • Modern day “Megalopolis” – huge urban area from Boston-NYC-Phil.-Baltimore-Washington D.C., over 50 million people • New York City is the east coast’s busiest port and the nation’s financial and cultural center

  4. The Northeast Region • Culture • Many different ethnic groups have settled in localized areas as they migrated to the area: • Amish – “Pennsylvania Dutch” (1700’s) • Many urban pockets of immigrants: • NYC - Italian, Jewish, more recently to include Asian (Indian, Chinese, Korean) and Hispanic (Puerto Rican, Cuban) groups • Centers of higher education – Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT

  5. The Northeast Region • Economics • Region started with a focus on colonial trade, then technology encouraged industrialization in the 1800’s • Erie Canal (finished in 1825) connected New York City to Lake Erie and the entire Great Lakes system, opening trade • Large rivers (Hudson, Allegheny, Ohio) allow for cheap transportation of heavy cargo, encouraging more industrial growth, especially in western Pennsylvania where coal, and iron are mined and used together to make steel products. • As heavy industry faded in the 1980’s due to oversees factories, the region moved to a service-centered economy, focusing more on financial services like banking, investing and credit cards. • New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia are still major shipping ports

  6. The South Region • Environment • Large Coastal Plains along the Gulf of Mexico makes this region warm and humid almost year-round • Climate dries out west of 100 degrees west longitude (from Texas “Panhandle” west) due to distance from the Gulf and a rise in elevation • Fertile soil throughout the region, excellent for farming • Some land (out west) does not get enough rain, but irrigation (using drilling and sprinklers) allows for productive farming • Mostly Humid Sub-Tropical climate, some Semiarid and Desert in West Texas, small spot of tropical Wet and Dry in south Florida

  7. The South Region • History • 1607 – First permanent settlement in N. Amer. established by the British at Jamestown, Virginia • 1685 – French explorer LaSalle lands in Texas, later discovers mouth of the Mississippi River, establishes “Louisiana” to honor King Louis XIV • 1700’s – large numbers of African slaves are brought to work on plantations farming cotton and tobacco • 1700’s – immigrants from England and Ireland come for farm land • 1861-65 – Civil War fought over “state’s rights” and slavery • 1901 – “Spindletop” (near Beaumont)-first discovery of oil in the South • 1935-39 – long-term drought caused Dust Bowl, many “Oakies” leave bankrupt farms in Oklahoma, move to California (Grapes of Wrath) • 1950’s – invention of refrigerated A/C eases Southern living (pop. inc.) • 1960’s – NASA Command Centers built in Cape Canaveral, Florida and Houston, TX to focus on space exploration • 1960’s – Civil Rights Movement centered in Alabama and Mississippi

  8. The South Region • Culture • Because of it’s location, the South has had a wide variety of cultural influences through time: • English explorers settling along the Atlantic Coast • French traders exploring rivers for possible trade routes • Spanish explorers seeking fortune in Florida and Texas • African slaves forced to labor in the fields of the “Deep South” • Immigrants from Cuba, Central and South America seeking new opportunity • Refugees from Asia escaping political persecution • This variety of different cultures has led to long-running conflict between some groups, and stirred up new conflict between others • It has also led to cultural blending in the realm of music, like Bluegrass, Country, Rock and Roll, Gospel, Jazz, and Rhythm & Blues (R & B) • The high percentage of Christian believers (due to large numbers of English descendants) in the South has earned this region the nickname of being the “Bible Belt”

  9. The South Region • Economics • The economy of the South started with farming due to the rich soil and plentiful sunshine • “King Cotton” of the 1800’s and early 1900’s has started to give way to other crops like rice, wheat, and corn • Cattle (both beef and dairy) is still vital to the economy • Petroleum (oil) industries continue to be a major factor in most coastal state’s economy (especially Texas and Louisiana) • Electronics companies like Texas Instruments and Dell have helped move the South into the 21st century • Wide access to major airline (ATL, DFW, IAH, MEM, MIA) and highway transportation (Interstates 10, 20, 30, 35, 40, 55, 95) hubs has encouraged further industrial, manufacturing, and business/service jobs • West Virginia coal mines continue to ‘fuel’ America’s needs • Tourism and Retirement Living are growing industries

  10. The Midwest Region • Environment • Area is full of large, wide rivers (Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio) and their tributaries • Glaciers of the last Ice Age (about 10,000 years ago) created the large, fertile plains and carved out the Great Lakes, as well as over 10,000 “kettle lakes” in Minnesota • Large, flat natural grassland areas, and large rivers for irrigation make this area “America’s Heartland” for farming • Direct hits from arctic cold fronts and “lake effect snows” means very cold winters. Being in the middle of the continent, far away from the cooling, humid effect of the ocean means very warm (if not HOT) summers. Humid Continental and Semiarid climates.

  11. The Midwest Region • History • Some evidence suggests first exploration by Scandinavian Vikings as early as 1000 AD in far northern areas • Settlement started by the French in the 1700’s to establish fur trading outposts with Native American tribes • American settlement started after the Revolutionary War as soldiers were granted land as payment for their service. Later (1860’s) Land Grants gave 160 acres (free!!) to “any citizen or intended citizen” who worked the land for five years • Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase (1803) started near St. Louis, and followed the Missouri River • Oregon Trail (1840’s) left from the same place and followed a similar path out to Willamette Valley near modern-day Portland • 1840’s-50’s - Cattle drives from Texas ended in Omaha, then cattle were shipped by railroad to slaughter houses in Chicago • Northern end of the “Underground Railroad” (1860’s) was in Ohio • Many cities started and then thrived along trade routes

  12. The Midwest Region • Culture • Due to the settler/explorer groups that came into the region, this area has a strong concept of self-reliance and patriotism • Many immigrants came in search of free land (German, Scandinavian, Irish, Italian, African-American) • Large numbers of African-Americans fled the South in the 1950’s and -60’s to live in Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, bringing their different musical styles such as Jazz and Blues • This would later develop into the “MoTown” sound of the 1960’s (The Supremes, “Smokey” Robinson) • “Rock and Roll” as a music style was first named that in Ohio, coming from a mix of African-American “soul” and farming family “guitar-picking” type music

  13. The Midwest Region • Economics • Regional economics started with farming, and that continues strongly today. This area is called the “Breadbasket” due to many grain crops grown (corn, wheat, sorghum) • Wisconsin -known as “America’s Dairyland” due to the many dairy cows • Region also focuses on raising beef cattle, which leads to large slaughter houses in coastal cities like Chicago and Green Bay • Large river transportation systems and large amounts of natural resources made industrialization and steel-based manufacturing (like cars) grow easily, especially in Great Lakes coastal cities • In 1900, Chicago citizens built a 26-mile canal that connected Lake Michigan to the Chicago River (a tributary of the Mississippi River), making a complete connection from north to south by water. This helped turn Chicago into the financial, transportation, and cultural center of the region.

  14. The West Region • Environment • Widest variety of climates, ranging from: • Tropical Wet and Marine West Coast to Subarctic and Desert • Landforms include: • Rocky Mountains, Cascade Range • Colorado R. and Grand Canyon • Continental Divide • Active and dormant volcanoes • Earthquake faults (San Andreas) • Broad areas of nothing compare to areas of rapid elevation and climate change • Rivers are large, but very spread apart, resulting in limited access for many cities in the desert south (AZ, CA, NM)

  15. The West Region • History • 1804 - Lewis and Clark Expedition reach the Pacific Ocean • 1849 – Gold Rush starts near Sacramento, CA • 1850’s – Oregon Territory opened for settlement • 1853 – Commodore Perry opens US trade with Japan • 1867 – Alaska purchased from Russia for less than $.02 per acre • 1869 – Transcontinental Railroad completed at Promontory Point, UT • 1879 – Colorado Silver Rush begins near Denver • 1896 – Oil discovered in Alaska near Point Barrow (Arctic Ocean coast) • 1897 – Klondike Gold Rush (Canada) brings many to Alaska • 1898 – United States annexes Hawaii • 1941 – Japanese navy attacks Pearl Harbor, HI. US enters World War II • 1960’s – Immigrant wave from Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos,)

  16. The West Region • Culture • The culture of the West is a mix from around the world • Hawaiian influence from East Asia and the Pacific Islander (Polynesian) cultures • Alaskan Inuit (Eskimo) trace their heritage back to early Asia • West Coast people include those from Mexico, Vietnam, Canada, and all over the United States itself • Hollywood – movie production draws people from all over to “make it big” • Earthquake zones running through California, Oregon, and Washington influence “quake-proof” architecture

  17. The West Region • Economics • The economy of the West has always focused on an opportunity to get rich quick: • Gold/Silver/Land Rush • Opening trade with other countries • Getting “discovered” in Hollywood • As the population has grown, so has the strain on natures resources • Limited space for housing has resulted in higher cost of living • The overall economy has a very broad range of opportunities: • Farming, fishing, ranching, mining natural resources, tourism, film making and computer technology • Los Angeles is THE busiest port in the United States, receiving cargo shipped from Asian ports like China and Hong Kong