Anthropogenic Activities:
Historical Settlement,
Population, and Economy
The
Beginning?
European Explorers
Settlement Patterns
• Early Settlements
– Growth and development depended on their situation
– Based on Accessibility: the locational characteristics
that permit a place to be reached by the efforts of
those at other places
AND
– Site: The internal attributes of a place
• Features related to the immediate environment in
which the place is located
– E.g., topography, drainage, and soil composition
Settlement Patterns
• Expansion of Frontier generalizations
– Occurred from east to west
– Migrations generally followed the paths of
least resistance
– Distinct migration patterns
Early Settlement
• Between 2-10
million American
Indians and Inuit
• 4/5 of the natives in
the US
• Natives migrated
westward with
European
Expansion
• Not much
acculturation
Emerging Settlement Patterns
Emerging Settlement Patterns
Portuguese
& African
Settlement
French Settlement
French In America, by Edward Wells, 1700
(John Fiske. 1902. New France and New England. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company.)
Spanish Settlement
Historical Land Grant Boundaries in Texas
Dutch Settlement
Manhattan Island at the time of Dutch
British Settlement
•
•
•
•
•
Jamestown (1607)
Treaty of Paris
Albert Gallatin and “principle of contiguity”
William Penn
Metes and Bounds
Cultural Diffusion
New England
Mid-Atlantic
Pennsylvania
Tidewater Maryland/
Virginia
Frontier Zones by 1810
Hearth Areas (Pre - 1725)
Secondary Areas (1740 - 1775)
Tertiary Areas (1780 - 1820)
Continued Expansion
USPLSS:
Jefferson’s
Legacy to
the West
Immigration
• Total immigrants to US & Canada from Europe & Africa =
~60 million
• Most French came to Canada during the late 1600s
(~15,000)
• First US census in 1790
– 2/3 of the white population had British origins
– 20% had African origins
– Sizable % had German and Dutch heritage
• 1760-1815
– Immigration slowed
– Warfare in Europe restricted travel across the Atlantic
Immigration
• 1815-1914
– Immigration increased continuously
• 1920
– U.S. passed its first law to restrict immigration
• Since 1940s
– Steady increases each decade since
• Current:
– US ~900,000/year; Canada ~180,000/year
Immigration 1820-1980
South/East
Europe
Immigration in
Thousands
10000
Germany
Scandinavia
8000
6000
Latin America
Asia
British
Isles
4000
2000
0
1820
1840
1860
1880
1900
1920
1940
1960
1980
Decade
Push Factors
Pull Factors
1840s: Irish Potato Famine
1850-1920: Overpopulation, War
Economic Opportunity
Political/Religious Freedom
Recent: Overpopulation, War, Oppression
Land Availability
Population Distribution
Population Distribution: Canada
Population Pattern: Religion
Population Patterns: Native Americans
Population Patterns: Hispanic
Population Patterns: Black
Population Patterns: Asian
Economic Sectors
• Primary
– Agriculture (and accompanying technology)
• Secondary
– Manufacturing & Industry
• Tertiary
– Service (e.g., health care, retail)
• Quaternary
– Government, Research, Education
Changing Urban Center
Rise of
Urban
Center
Final Thoughts
• 20th century remarkable for North America
• Global economic and political leadership
• Basic background for Geography of North
America
• 14 different landscapes to explore!!
Discussion Questions
Why did North America prosper, while South America
stagnated?
What impacts did the mobility and freedom of the westward
movement have on the cultural landscapes and values
that characterize and define American and Canadian
cultures today?
Why has the productivity of individual farms increased so
dramatically, while the number of people employed in
agriculture continues to decline?
Related Books
• Conzen, Michael P. 1994. The Making of the American Landscape.
New York and London: Routledge.
– Lots of ideas for learning major parts that shaped US cultural
landscapes.
• Fisher, Ron, ed. 2004. National Geographic Historical Atlas of the
United States. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.
• McIlwraith, Thomas F. and Edward K. Muller, eds. 2001. North
America: The Historical Geography of a Changing Continent,
Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
– Everything from French migration and settlement patterns to landscape
expressions in early North America.
• Sauer, Carl Ortwin. 1971. Sixteenth Century North America: The
Land and People as Seen by Europeans. Berkeley: University of
California Press.
– A classic written by a “Classical” Geographer. What North America was
like before European arrival.
• Zelinsky, Wilbur. 1973. rev. 1992. The Cultural Geography of the
United States. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
– A standard in the regional geographer’s arsenal. Zelinsky writes in a
very down to earth style, and his maps are luscious.
Related Books
• Castells, Manuel. 1996. The Information Age: Economy,
Society, and Culture. Vol. I, The Rise of the Network
Society. Cambridge: Blackwell.
– How nation states—including the US and Canada—are shaping
and reshaping the information age.
• Meyer, David R. 2003. The Roots of Industrialization.
Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
– Industrialization of North America and its various impacts on
landscapes and economy.
• Wheeler, James, Yuko Aoyama, and Barney Warf, eds.
2000. Cities in the Telecommunication Age: The
Fracturing of Geographies. London: Routledge.
– Outlines the cities playing a major role in the information age.
• Zukin, Sharon. 1991. Landscapes of Power: From
Detroit to Disneyland. Berkeley: University of California
Press.
– Probably the most cited source for urban, economic, and cultural
landscapes in North America.
WebSources
• First Nations
http://www.tolatsga.org/Compacts.html
• United States History Overview
http://www.u-s-history.com/
• North America Map Archive
http://www.uoregon.edu/~atlas/america/maps.html
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