Loading...

GEOG101: World Regional Geography

Unit 4: North America   The realm of North America extends from the polar regions of the Arctic in northern Canada and Alaska, all the way south through Mexico and the countries of Central America.  Geographers usually study the continent by dividing it into two separate realms, based on differences in physical and cultural geography.  In North America, the United States and Canada share similar physical characteristics, as well as a similar history of colonialism.  These two countries make up more than 13 percent of the world’s total landmass.  North America is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, and the Pacific Ocean on the west.  To the north is the Arctic Ocean. 

North America is highly urbanized with approximately 80 percent of the population living in cities.  Most of North America’s diverse population consists of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from other world regions.  The United States is the world’s largest economy, and it is fair to say that both Canada and the United States enjoy high standards of living.

Unit 4 begins with an exploration of the physical characteristics of the North American realm, paying particular attention to its physiographic regions.  Next, you will explore the influence of European colonialism in the region.  Then, this unit takes a close look at geographic boundaries and immigration patterns, urban growth, economic development, globalization of the “American Dream,” shifts in demographics, and the distribution of the dominant religious affiliations in the United States. The latter portion of the unit explores the physical and cultural characteristics of Canada.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 11.75 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 4.1: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2: 2.75 hours

☐    Subunit 4.3: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 4.4: 3.5 hours

☐    Subunit 4.5: 1.5 hours

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Define the physiographic regions of North America. - Explain the two dominant climate patterns in North America. - Name and discuss the three European countries that significantly influenced the development of North America, which regions they dominated, and the long-term impact of their actions. - Examine the population distribution of the United States and Canada, using a thematic map of population density. - Explain the origin of the geographic boundaries of the United States. - Identify migration patterns of the United States during the period of westward settlement. - Examine urban growth patterns of the United States and its connection to new forms of transportation. - Describe the economic patterns that aided the United States in becoming the world’s largest economy. - Discuss the globalization of the “American Dream.” - Define “cultural melting pot” and the “American Dream,” and explain the significance of each. - Describe the current demographic profile of the United States. - Explain the two most significant occurrences that led to the spatial distribution of African Americans in the United States. - Explain the regional distribution of religious affiliations in the United States. - Identify the most densely populated regions of Canada. - Discuss the primary reasons why there are English-speaking and French-speaking regions in Canada. - Identify cultural differences between French-speaking and English-speaking populations in Canada. - Describe the ethnic diversity of Canada and the regions in which different ethnic groups predominately reside. - Explain how Canadian and American economies are connected. - Discuss patterns of population growth and decline in various regions of the United States and Canada. - Identify which regions of the United States and Canada have significant populations of minority groups and explain why this distribution exists. - Examine the environmental consequences of rapid population growth in the Mountain West region of the United States. - Explain how North America’s physical geography contributes to economic activity.

4.1 Introducing the Realm   - Activity: Sheppard Software’s “Geography Games: The United States” Link: Sheppard Software’s “Geography Games: The United States” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click on the link above to be taken to a website where you can test your geographic map skills.  Once at the website, click on the “United States” icon.  Next, underneath the “Landscape” column, click on the “Play!” button for the “Tutorial.”  When you feel comfortable with your regional knowledge of the United States, go back to the United States game choices, and underneath the “Landscape - Beginner” column, click on the “Play!” button.  Your goal is to score at least a 70%.  Good luck!
 
Once you have successfully completed the Landscape quiz, go back to the United States game choices and complete the tutorials for the “Lakes” and then the “Rivers.”  When you feel comfortable, go back to the United States game choices and play both the “Lakes” game and the “Rivers” game.  Your goal is to score at least a 70% for both games.  Good luck!
 
Completing this activity should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 4: North America:” “Section 4.1: Introducing the Realm” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 4: North America:” “Section 4.1: Introducing the Realm” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Section 4.1 in its entirety.  Before you begin the reading, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Answer these questions and keep them in mind as you read the text and complete your study of this resource.  This reading covers the topics outlined in sub-subunits 4.1.1 and 4.1.2.
     
    This reading provides an introduction to the physical, cultural, and economic characteristics of North America.  The reading also discusses how three European countries significantly influenced the development of North America.  Finally, the reading explores the population distribution of both the United States and Canada.
     
    Reading and answering the associated Discussion and Study Questions should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

4.1.1 European Realms in North America   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.1.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “European Realms in North America.”   

4.1.2 Population Distribution in North America   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.1.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Population Distribution in North America.”

4.2 United States: Early Development and Globalization   - Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 4: North America:” “Section 4.2: United States: Early Development and Globalization” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 4: North America:” “Section 4.2: United States: Early Development and Globalization” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Section 4.2 in its entirety.  At the end of this section you will find a series of Discussion and Study Questions.  Before you begin the reading and lecture assignments for this subunit, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Then, answer these questions and keep these questions in mind as you read through the text and watch the lectures in this subunit.  This reading covers the topics outline for sub-subunits 4.2.1 through 4.2.6.
 
This reading provides an introduction to the physical, cultural, and economic characteristics of the United States.  In particular, the reading examines the origin of the geographic boundaries of the United States, its historical migration patterns, urbanization, and the development of a transportation infrastructure.  In addition, the reading explores the concept of the “American Dream” and its subsequent globalization.
 
Reading and answering the associated Discussion and Study Questions should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

4.2.1 Early Development Patterns   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Early Development Patterns.”

4.2.1.1 The Georgraphic Boundaries of the United States   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, study Figures 4.4 and 4.5

4.2.1.2 Manifest Destiny   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text in the box titled “Manifest Destiny.”

4.2.1.3 The Great Migration   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.3.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “The Great Migration” below “The African American Population” heading.

4.2.2 Westward Settlement Patterns and European Immigration   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Westward Settlement Patterns and European Immigration.”

  • Lecture: YouTube: The Constant Geographer’s “North America – Historical Geography” Link: YouTube: The Constant Geographer’s “North America – Historical Geography” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and view the short lecture for a brief introduction to the concepts of migration, immigration, emigration, diffusion, and distance, especially how they relate to the patterns of settlement across North America.
     
    Viewing this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2.2.1 Culture Hearths   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “culture hearths.”

4.2.2.2 New England   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the discussions about “New England” under the heading, “Westward Settlement Patterns and European Immigration.”

4.2.2.3 The Mid-Atlantic   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the discussions of the Mid-Atlantic below the heading, “Westward Settlement Patterns and European Immigration.”

4.2.2.4 The South   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the discussions of the South below the heading, “Westward Settlement Patterns and European Immigration.”

4.2.3 Industrial Development and Urbanization   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Industrial Development and Urbanization.”

  • Lecture: YouTube: The Constant Geographer’s “North America – Economic Geography – Important Terms” Link: YouTube: The Constant Geographer’s “North America – Economic Geography – Important Terms” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and view the short lecture for a brief introduction to the four important terms common to labor, industrial location, and manufacturing.
     
    Viewing this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: YouTube: The Constant Geographer’s “North America – Economic Geography – Issues Regarding the Manufacturing Sector” Link: YouTube: The Constant Geographer’s “North America – Economic Geography – Issues Regarding the Manufacturing Sector” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and view the short lecture for a brief discussion of the four major concerns of U.S. manufacturing.
     
    Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: YouTube: The Constant Geographer’s “U.S. State versus County GDP” Link: YouTube: The Constant Geographer’s “U.S. State versus County GDP” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and view the short lecture for an interesting analysis of how U.S. states compare with the GPD of countries around the world.
     
    Viewing this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2.3.1 Industrial Revolution   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “Industrial Revolution.”

4.2.3.2 Manufacturing Belt   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “Manufacturing Belt.” Study Figure 4.7.

4.2.4 Economic Changes   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Economic Changes.”

  • Lecture: YouTube: The Constant Geographer’s “North America – Economic Geography – Components of the Spatial Economy” Link: YouTube: The Constant Geographer’s “North America – Economic Geography – Components of the Spatial Economy” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and view the short lecture for discussion of the four major components of the spatial economy: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary.
     
    Viewing this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2.4.1 Primary Economic Sector   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “Primary economic sector.”

4.2.4.2 Secondary Economic Sector   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “Secondary economic sector.”

4.2.4.3 Tertiary Economic Sector   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “Tertiary economic sector.”

4.2.4.4 Quaternary Economic Sector   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “Quaternary economic sector.”

4.2.4.5 The Von Thunen Model   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “The Von Thunen Model” below the “Economic Changes” heading.

4.2.5 Migration Patterns   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, Migration Patterns.”

4.2.6 Americanism and Globalization   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Americanism and Globalization.”

4.2.6.1 Exporting the Concept of the “American Dream”   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “American Dream” below the “Americanism and Globalization” heading.

4.2.6.2 The Domination of the World's Communications Networks   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the third paragraph below the heading, “Americanism and Globalization.”

4.2.6.3 Corporate Colonialism   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.  In particular, focus on the fourth paragraph below the heading, “Americanism and Globalization.”

4.3 United States: Population and Religion   - Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 4: North America:” “Section 4.3: United States: Population and Religion” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 4: North America:” “Section 4.3: United States: Population and Religion” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Section 4.3 in its entirety.  Before you begin the reading and lecture assignments for this subunit, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Then, answer these questions and keep these questions in mind as you read through the text and watch the lectures.  This reading covers the topics outlined in sub-subunits 4.3.1 and 4.3.2.
 
This reading provides an in-depth analysis of the current demographic profile of the United States, including the reasons behind the regional distribution of religious affiliations in the country.  In addition, the reading explores the concepts of “cultural melting pot” and the “American Dream.”
 
Reading and answering the associated Discussion and Study Questions should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

4.3.1 The American “Melting Pot”   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The American ‘Melting Pot.’”

4.3.1.1 The US Hispanic Population   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The US Hispanic Population.”

4.3.1.2 The African American Population   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The African American Population.”

4.3.2 Geography of Religion in the United States   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Geography of Religion in the United States.”

4.4 Canada   - Activity: Sheppard Software’s “Geography Games: Canada” Link: Sheppard Software’s “Geography Games: Canada” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click on the link above to be taken to a website where you can test your geographic map skills.  Once at the website, click on the “Canada” icon.  Next, underneath the “Landscape” column, click on the “Play!” button for the “Georegions L - Tutorial.”  When you feel comfortable with your regional knowledge of Canada, go back to the Canada game choices, and underneath the “Landscape” column, click on the “Play!” button for the “Georegions G - Game.”  Your goal is to score at least a 70%.  Good luck!
 
Once you have successfully completed the Landscape quiz, go back to the Canada game choices and complete the tutorial for the “Provinces.”  When you feel comfortable with your knowledge of the Canadian provinces, go back to the Canada game choices and play both the “Level 1 - Beginner” and “Provinces” games.  Your goal is to score at least a 70% for both games.  Good luck!
 
This activity should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 4: North America:” “Section 4.4: Canada” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 4: North America:” “Section 4.4: Canada” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Section 4.4 in its entirety.  Before you begin the reading and lectures for this subunit, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Then, answer these questions and keep these questions in mind as you read through the text.  This reading covers the topics outlined in sub-subunits 4.4.1 through 4.4.5.
     
    This reading provides an introduction to the physical, cultural, and economic characteristics of Canada, including an analysis of why there are English and French speaking regions in Canada.  In addition, the reading explores how the Canadian and American economies are connected.
     
    Reading and answering the associated Discussion and Study Questions should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

4.4.1 Canadian Provinces and Territories   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.4.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Canadian Provinces and Territories.”

4.4.2 Physical Geography of Canada   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.4.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Physical Geography of Canada.”

  • Web Media: National Geographic’s “Forests and Jungles: Canadian Rain Forest” Link: National Geographic’s “Forests and Jungles: Canadian Rain Forest” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and watch the short video on how environmentalists in Canada are working to preserve the world’s only temperate rain forest.
     
    Viewing this video (several times as needed) and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.4.3 British versus French Canada   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.4.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “British versus French Canada.”

4.4.4 Ethnic Groups in Canada   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.4.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Other Ethnic Groups in Canada.”

  • Lecture: iTunes U: Binghamton University: “Ethnic Fragmentation in Canada” Link: iTunes U: Binghamton University: “Ethnic Fragmentation in Canada” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, locate the lecture titled “Ethnic Fragmentation in Canada,” and select “View in iTunes” to launch the video.  Watch the entire lecture for an introductory discussion as to why ethnic groups across Canada have settled in different locations.
     
    Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.4.5 The Canadian Economy   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.4.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The Canadian Economy.”

4.5 Regions of the United States and Canada   - Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 4: North America:” “Section 4.5: Regions of the United States and Canada” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 4: North America:” “Section 4.5: Regions of the United States and Canada” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Section 4.5 in its entirety as well as the end of chapter material in Section 4.6.  At the end of Section 4.5, you will find a series of Discussion and Study Questions.  Before you begin the reading, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Then, answer these questions and keep these questions in mind as you read through the text and watch the lectures.  This reading covers the topics outlined in sub-subunits 4.5.1 through 4.5.9.
 
This reading provides an introduction to the physical, cultural, and economic characteristics of various regions of the United States and Canada.  The reading includes a discussion of which regions in the United States and Canada have significant populations of minority groups and explains why this distribution exists.  In addition, the reading explores how North America’s physical geography contributes to its economic activity.
 
Reading and answering the associated Discussion and Study Questions should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

4.5.1 The Northeastern Core   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The Northeastern Core.”

4.5.2 New England and the Canadian Maritimes   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “New England and the Canadian Maritimes.”

4.5.3 French Canada   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “French Canada.”

4.5.4 The American South   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The American South.”

4.5.5 The Midwest and Great Plains   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The Midwest and Great Plains.”

4.5.6 The American Southwest   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The American Southwest.”

4.5.7 The Mountain West   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The Mountain West.”

4.5.8 The Pacific Coast   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The Pacific Coast.”

4.5.9 The North   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The North.”

4.5.9.1 The Upper Great Lakes Region   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.5.  In particular, focus on the discussions of the upper Great Lakes region below “The North” heading.

4.5.9.2 The Canadian Shield, Alaska, and the Arctic Circle   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.5.  In particular, focus on the discussions of the Canadian Shield, Alaska, and the Arctic Circle below “The North” heading.

4.5.9.2 The Canadian Shield, Alaska, and the Arctic Circle   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.5.  In particular, focus on the discussions of the Canadian Shield, Alaska, and the Arctic Circle below “The North” heading.

4.5.9.2 The Canadian Shield, Alaska, and the Arctic Circle   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.5.  In particular, focus on the discussions of the Canadian Shield, Alaska, and the Arctic Circle below “The North” heading.