Geographicaland environmental factors and their civilization effect to the US.
Climate.Climate related issues including basic needs such as food, water,health, and shelter may be threatened by climatic changes. It mayalso threaten key natural resources, affecting water and foodsecurity. Climate change affects economic growth, health indicators,water availability, food production, and the fragile ecosystem, (Sem,2009). Many infectious diseases, especially in the tropics, areborne by vectors e.g. mosquitos which have no control over owntemperature regulation system. Extreme weather conditions, occurringoften, can lead to an intensification of undernourishment andstarvation, (Gross 2002). Increases in temperature and decrease insoil moisture are projected to cause savanna gradually replacetropical forest in eastern Amazonia in Latin America. Changes inprecipitation patterns and the melting of glaciers are estimated tosignificantly affect water availability for human consumption,agriculture, and energy generation. Also in North America, Moderateclimate change in the early decades of the century is projected toincrease aggregate yields of rain-fed agriculture by 5-20%, but withimportant variability among regions.
Location.Geographical locations plays part in access to markets. All the greatempires have been based around trade routes. The US with world’sbiggest ports has contributed to raise of money through tolls andshipping services.
Resourcesnon-renewable resources e.g. oil, gold, diamond etc. get exhaustedwithin some period of time. Renewable e.g. Forests, fish that refreshthemselves under management. Flow resources which are renewableresources that need no management. Examples are wind, tide and solarresources. Much of the South American development have been based onthe Amazon rain forest, natural rubber and timber. Barbier (2002),quoting Wright (1990) suggested that, the abundance of mineralresources, was itself an outgrowth of America’s technologicalprogress, and in turn, American producer and consumer goods wereoften specifically designed for a resource-abundant environment
Landform.It is the form, structure, and character of the surface of the land(Anderson, 2000). They are as a result of the interactions of thevarious natural physical processes within the surface of the earth.Examples of process are erosion, glacial action, earthquakes,volcanic actions, leaching chemicals from rocks and soils amongothers. Landforms are important because they place substantiallimitation on location, intensity, and character of urban development(Anderson, 2000).Many of the North American cities were built inareas where there were good harbors e.g. the cities of Boston, NewYork, and Charleston. The growth of a number of cities in the UnitedStates was greatly accelerated by the construction of Canals whichprovided water transportation. The alignment of these canals had toobserve the local landforms. The canal building era in the US waslater succeeded by the railroad-building era, which started about1830 and lasted into the 20thcentury. Rail strongly influenced urban growth in America. Manycities that had good transportation flourished. The location of raillines, like the canals had to observe the restrictions imposed by thelandforms. In North America we can observe the interaction ofeconomic forces with landforms e.g. Port development often takesplace on level lands adjacent to navigable waterways, Rail lines,freeways, and major streets are located where the terrain does notrequire excessive grades, The slope of the terrain usually identifieswhich land uses are economically and environmentally suitable etc.
Rivers.People use water for drinking, washing, outdoor decorative fountains,pools, lawns, gardens etc. Indigenous peoples in many parts of theworld on the Columbia, Nile, Mekong, and Amazon rivers for examplestill rely on rivers to provide them with food. In America,paddleboats and steamboats became a popular mode of transportation inthe late 1800`s, especially along the Mississippi River. Early inAmerica`s history, rivers were used to transport logs downstream.This was a fast and easy way for loggers to move logs to where theycould be loaded onto trains or ships. In the 19th Century, men rushedto the rivers of California and Alaska to look for gold. Dams areused to hold Back River water for these uses, and aqueducts are builtthat travel hundreds of miles to bring river water to cities likePhoenix and Los Angeles. River water is often used to turn desertinto wet, lush farmland, as in the Central Valley of California.Enjoyment brought about by rivers are, water-skiing and personalwatercraft have joined canoes and sailboats as ways to play on movingwaters.
Theprocess of diffusion
Thetea plant, Camelliasinensis,has its origins in the hills of southern China and Assam in 2737 BCby the Emperor of China. People drank tea due to its herbal effect.By the time of the Western Zhou Dynasty, tea was used as a religiousoffering. During the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), tea plants werequite limited and only royalty and the rich drank tea not only fortheir health but also for the taste. More tea plants were discoveredduring the Tang Dynasty, tea drinking became more common among lowerclasses and the Chinese government supported planting of tea plantsand even the building of tea shops so everyone could enjoy tea.During the Tang Dynasty, tea spread to Japan by Japanese priestsstudying in China. Tea arrived in England during the 17thcentury when King Charles II married a Portuguese princess, Catherineof Braganza. The Queen made tea the drink of royalty and soon teabecame a popular import to Britain via the East India Company. Thoughtea was regularly imported to Britain, the taxes were so high thatsmugglers would get and sell tea illegally for those that could notafford it. In attempts to turn profits during the tea smugglingperiod, the East India Company began exporting the tea to America.The American tea was also taxed heavily and contributed to the causeof the Boston Tea Party.
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