Intro: U.S. Geography

Aim: How have geographic factors influenced the
history of the United States?
Do Now: Can you label each of the following geographic features on a blank
1. Atlantic Ocean
2. Pacific Ocean
3. Gulf of Mexico
4. Mississippi River
5. The Great Lakes
6. Appalachian Mountains
7. Rocky Mountains
8. Great Plains
Do Now: Can you label each of the following important
locations on a blank map?
1. New York
2. Washington D.C.
3. Chicago
4. Los Angles
5. Louisiana Purchase
6. New Orleans
7. Canada
8. Mexico
9. The Caribbean
10.Proclamation Line of 1763
Key Vocabulary
• Neutrality
– the quality or state of not supporting either side in an argument, fight, war, etc
• Isolationism
– the belief that a country should not be involved with other countries : a policy of not
making political agreements or working with other countries
• Precedent
– a similar action or event that happened at an earlier time : something done or said that
can be used as an example or rule to be followed in the future
• Commerce
– the exchange or buying and selling of commodities on a large scale involving
transportation from place to place
• Manufacturing
– the process of making products especially with machines in factories
• French & Indian War
– the American phase of a worldwide nine-years’ war (1754–63) fought between France
and Great Britain
• Climate
– the usual weather conditions in a particular place or region
• Topography
– the features (such as mountains and rivers) in an area of land
Atlantic and Pacific
• Two large
oceans on
each coast
to pursue a
foreign policy
of neutrality
much of the
18th, 19th, and
20th centuries.
Foreign Policy
• President George
Washington set
the precedent
for an
foreign policy
but it became a
challenge for
later presidents
to follow this
Influence of
Geography: Colonial
• America’s
original 13
developed near
the coast line
where rivers and
natural harbors
contributed to
the development
of commerce.
Appalachian Mountains
• Served as the
boundary for
British colonial
prior to the
Line of 1763
• Border
established along
the Appalachian
Mountains by
Great Britain
after the French
& Indian War
• Purpose was to
avoid conflicts
colonists and
New England Colonies
• Influenced by good harbors, abundant forests, rocky soil, and
a short growing season.
• Geographic factors influenced the economy of New England
by promoting the growth of trade and manufacturing.
Southern Colonies
• The climate and topography of the southeastern U.S. had a
major impact on the history of the U.S. before 1860 because
the region provided agricultural products that were processed
in the North and in Europe.
Southern Colonies
• Slavery became more widespread in the South than
in the North because geographic factors (fertile land
and long growing seasons) contributed to the
growth of the southern plantation system.
Great Plains
• The relatively flat, grassy region of the U.S. between the Mississippi River
and the Rocky Mountains is known as the Great Plains.
• The states with the largest percentage of land used for agriculture are
located in areas with relatively flat terrain.
• Known for producing grain crops (aka food).
Louisiana Purchase:
U.S. purchases territory from France which doubles the
size of the nation.
• Secured control of the Mississippi River.
• Since the late 1700s, the Mississippi River has been a vital
waterway because it provided farmers and merchants an outlet to
the Gulf of Mexico in order to transport farm goods to markets.
• A geographic and economic motivation for the Louisiana
Purchase in 1803 was the desire to control the Port of New
• Farmers in the Ohio River valley gained the greatest economic
benefit from the Louisiana Purchase