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Physical geography of N. America

  • Physical Characteristics of each major N. Amer Region: 

  1. The Great Plains: Lie west of the Mississippi River and East of the Rockies. Covers U.S.’s Colorado, Kansas, Montana, NM, ND, OK, SD, Texas, and WY and parts of Canada and Mexico. Home of the American bison herds historically.

  2. The Mountainous West – Rocky Mountains, Great Basin (covers most of Nevada and over half of Utah, as well as parts of Cali, Idaho, Oregeon, and WY, is a series of watersheds)

  3.  Canadian Shield – northeastern, raised plateaus

  4. Eastern Region – Appalachian Mtns, the coastal plain along Atlantic seaboard, Florida peninsula, eastern portion of Mexico.

Physical geography of N. America

  • Climate Pattern of N. America

  • The only continent with every climate zone

  • Tropical rainforest on the lowlands of Central America. Ice Caps in central Greenland. Subartic and tundra climates in N. Canada and C. Alaska. Desert and semiarid conditions are found in interior regions cut off by high mountains from rain-bearing westerly winds. majority of continent with temperate climates favourable to agriculture and settlement. 

Main geographic features

  • Rivers 

  1. Colorado – Flows from Rocky Mountains Southwest into the Gulf of California. Has formed many canyons through time including Grand Canyon

  2. Columbia – Flows from British Columbia (Southeast Canada) into Washington forming the Border between Washington and Oregon and into the Pacific

  3. Missouri – Flows from Southern Montana into the Rockies southeast through the U.S. ending at the Mississippi River, just north of St. Louis, Missouri. Longest river in the U.S.

  4. Mississippi – Flows from NW Minnesota south the Gulf of Mexico, just below New Orleans. Significant for transportation since it is connected to both the Ohio and Missouri Rivers.

  5. Ohio – Formed by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela in PA, it flows Southwest from PA into the Mississippi. It forms the border between Ohio and WV, OH and Kentucky as well as parts of other states.

  6. Rio Grande – Flows from Colorado Southeast into the Gulf and forms the border between Texas and Mexico. Used for drinking water but becoming polluted.

  7. St. Lawrence – Flows out of Lake Ontario and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 

Main geographic features

  • Lakes 

  1. Huron – West of Ontario, CA and northeast of Michigan, 2nd largest of GL.

  2. Ontario – Northeast of GL, South of Ontario and North of Niagara Peninsula and NY. smallest of Great Lakes.

  3. Michigan – Only one entirely within US. 3rd largest, west of Michigan.

  4. Erie – 4th largest lake, shallowest, smallest by volume – south of Ontario and North of OH, PA, and NY, and east of MI. Named after Erie tribe of Natives.

  5. Superior – Largest lake – South of Ontario and Minnesota, and north of Wisc and Mich. 3rd largest in the world by volume.

Main geographic features

  • Mountain Ranges 

  1. Rocky Mtns – Extend from New Mexico up through the western US an on into the British Columbia (Southwest CA). Contain over 100 individual mtn ranges.

  2. Appalachian Mtns – Extend from Alabama up through the New England states and Canada.

  3. Great Plains – Slope down off the east of the Rockies and extend into the Canadian Shield.

  4. Coastal Plains – South and SE part of U.S. that is characterized by level, flat land with mixed forests.

  5. Sierra Nevada – Eastern California.

Main geographic features

  • Plains 

  1. Great Plains

  2. Atlantic Coastal Plain

  3. Gulf Coastal Plain

  4. Interior Plains

Main geographic features

  • Deserts 

  1. The Great Basin – largest desert in N.America, located in Nevada

  2. Mojave – located in SE California

  3. Chihuahuan Desert – 2nd largest located in SW U.S. and Northern Mexico

  4. Sonoran – desert located in SW US and NW Mexico

Native American Peoples:

  • Inuit Tribe

Inhabitants to Canada, Greenland, Alaska – Language grouped under Eskimo-Aleut language. Cultural – Hunters and gatherers, cultivating foods not possible in arctic but still gather naturally grown foods such as seaweed. Used boats and dog sleds for transportation. Relied heavily on animal hides, driftwood, and bones. European contact caused destruction through disease and social disruption.
Native American Peoples:

  • Anasazi 

Ancient Pueblo People – located on the Four Corners of the SW U.S. Best known for their stone and adobe dwellings built along the cliff walls. Adobe houses molded with mud and dirt. Also known for their pottery with created petroglyphs (stone engravings) and pictograms (drawings on rock walls).
Native American Peoples:

  • Northwest Indians 

located in British Columbia, made of 17 tribes all speaking the Kwakiutl language. 3 classes determined by heredity: nobles, commoners, and slaves. Economy mainly fishing with some hunting and gathering. Wealth determined by how much you had to give away in potlatchs. Studied heavily by Franz Boas.
Native American Peoples:

  • Plains Indian 

Live in Great Plains of North America, fully nomadic and followed bison, while some engaged in agriculture – Cult – survived on hunting and bison part of Buffalo culture, created tipis.
Native American Peoples:

  • Mound Builders 

    1. created various styles of mounds for burial, residential and ceremonial purposes.       

Native American Peoples:

  •  Iroquis

a confederacy of five nations of Indians – based in the NE U.S., primarily NY. Built the empire by incorporating conquered peoples into their confederacy. Main diet from farming though they were hunters, fishers, and gatherers as well. Had representative gov. known as the Grand Council.
Native American Peoples:

  • Cherokee 

SE U.S., largest of the U.S. tribes – Cherokee National government was an adopted government that was a form of the U.S.’s. They faced removal in the Trail of Tears after U.S. settlement.
Native American Peoples:

  • Seminoles 

Originated in FL but now live in both FL and OK, made of Natives and escaped slaves from FL. Economy based on tobacco sales.
European Colonisation:

  • Spain 

Columbus discovery, 250,000 Spaniards to Americas in 1500s, Hernando de Soto searched N. America for a passage to trade Spain’s New World (Mexico/South) gold with China.
European Colonisation:

  • France 

16th century first came looking for a route to the Pacific ocean and wealth. Tried to establish many colonies that failed due to weather, disease, and conflict –Failure Colonies: Cap-Rouge n 1541, Parris Island, Nova Scotia.  Colonies were developed to export fish, sugar, and furs.
European Colonisation:

  • England 

Late 16th cent,  First successful settlement was at Jamestown. Primary cause was to make money. Many people left to escape religious persecution (Puritans) and to freely practice.
Major European Explorers 

  •  John Cabot

Italian navigator sponsored by England to sail to America to find a NW Passage to Asia. Explored the coasts of present-day Labrador and Newfoundland in eastern CA.
Major European Explorers 

  • Coronado

1540 Spanish led exploration to Colorado river region in search of Gold or riches that were rumored to exist.
Major European Explorers

  • Champlain 

French founded in 1608 Quebec as a fur-trading post. 
Major European Explorers

  • La Salle

settled in Canada in 1666 and explored the Miss. River where he claimed the entire Miss Valley for France.
Major European Explorers

  • Columbus

Sailed for Spain 1492 – attempted to get spices and gold from Asia by looking for a passage that he didn’t find. He found Native Americans.
Major European Explorers

  • Cortes

Spanish conquistador who conquered Mexico and the Aztecs for Spain in 1521.
Major European Explorers

  • Magellan

Sailed from Spain around under S. America and was in Philippines, however someone finished his exploration to make his ship the first to sail around the world.
Major European Explorers

  • Cartier

French who looked for NW Passage but instead explored St. Lawrence River in 16th cent.
Major European Explorers

  • Drake

English who sailed around world in 1540
Major European Explorers

  • Ponce de Leon

Spanish sailed on Columbus’ second trip to new world where he founded both Puerto Rico and FL in 1513.
Locations/ Names of Colonies

  • Spain 

  • St. Ausustine - 1565

  • Santa fe - 1609

  • All western US and south into Mexico 

Locations/ Names of Colonies

  • France 

  • Quebec

  • Montreal

  • All Great Lakes/ Canada Region

  • All along Miss. and Missouri River

Locations/ Names of Colonies

  • Great Britain 

  • James Town -1607 by John Smith

  • Plymouth - 1620

  • New England Colonies

  • Middle Colonies

  • Southern colonies

New England colonies

  • Rhode Island

  • Connecticut

  • Massachusetts

  • New Hampshire 

Primarily fishing and farming of wheat and corn. Shipped back and forth between England. Boston is the main port. Quakers and pilgrams believed they had the right to govern themselves.
Southern Colonies

  • Maryland

  • Virginia

  • North/ South Carolina

  • Georgia 

Entirely Agricultural with slaves plantations that grew tobacco, rice, and indigo.
Growth of English Colonies

    1. House of Burgesses - unicameral legislation in colonies where settlers elected 22 burgesses to pass legislation 1619

    2. Virginia becomes royal colony and is protected by King causes huge population increase.

    3. Bacon's Rebellion - 1676 - colonists protest against Royal authority after they are unprotected by Gov. Berkeley after an Indian attack.

    4. Navigation Act – limited shipping to British ships only cutting off their profit from Dutch and causing the Anglo-Dutch War.

House of Burgesses
unicameral legislation in colonies where settlers elected 22 burgesses to pass legislation 1619
Bacon's Rebellion
1676 Colonists protest against Royal authority after they are unprotected by Gov. Berkley after an Indian attack.
Navigation Act
Limited shipping to British ships only. Cutting off their profit from Dutch and causing teh Anglo-Dutch War.
Consequences of early contacts between Native Amer. and Europeans

  • Settlers

Settlers were unprepared and did not plant the right crops/ eat the right food. They encounted starvation and famine despite stealing food from Native Americans.

More than 80% of the settlers  died over 3 years. Mostly from illness such as malaria.
Consequences of early contacts between Native Amer. and Europeans

  • Native Americans

Thousands of Native Americans were killed from either fighting or diesease from the European. This body did not have the immune system to fight it off.
Middle Colonies

  • Delaware

  • Pennsylvania

  • New York

  • New Jersey 

Park Industrial and Part Agricultural, produced wheat and other grains, iron, paper, and textiles. Trade with England was plentiful
French and Indian War
Fought between Great Britain and the French and indians of North America. 

Most battles were in Canada and lasted  from 1754 to 1763
Result of the F&I War
Britain won, but left it in debt. The country relied on the colonies to make them money and get them out of debt. It included a series of unfair acts and taxation. The first one was the Sugar Act.
Albany Congress
Est. 1754 - Reps met from each colony met to discuss what to do about the colonial Wars. This was significant in that they were able to think of the colonies and not  as Nationalists.
Proclamation of 1763
Issued by King George III after the French and Indian War. Closed off the colonist from expanding into the western frontier lands that Britain newly ceased from teh French. Colonist felt that it pinned them to the coast where they could be regulated.
Greenville Acts of 1764
George Greenvil pressured parliament into passing two new taxes on the colonists to raise money.  The Sugar Act and Currency Act.
Sugar Act 
1764 - doubled the cost on molasses for colonists creating a British monopoly on many goods like sugar and molasses, taxing the importation of foreign goods that would reduce foreign trade and hurt the colonial market
Currency Act
1764 - Prevented the colonies from printing their own currency which hurt the trade between colonies and other countries.  Britain also assumed control of the currency system.
Stamp Act
1765 - a Large tax on all printed materials and required colonists to stamp any printed materials. 

  • A "Stamp Act Congress" is formed to protest the act through violence against merchants and stamp sellers until Parliament repeals the act. This is the first time colonists were able to overturn and Act of Parliament.

Townshend Act
1767 - Tax on glass, lead, paint, paper. Issued as a means to establish administrative authority over trade laws. Colonist protested again until Britain repealed all taxes on import except the Tea Act.
The Tea Act
1773 - British crown decided to allow the East India Company to lower price on tea while keeping the tax on tea in order to patch up problems with the colonies and save the EIC. The colonist saw through this plan and decided to boycott the purchase of tea, leaving it to rot in the harbor until some colonist began to throw it overboard in the Boston Tea party.
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