How Geography Influences an Area's Economy

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Part 2: Agriculture and Trade

Why do farmers in the American Midwest grow wheat, corn, and soybeans? Because the farmland in their area is more receptive to these crops. You can try to grow these crops in the wet farmland of China and Southeast Asia, but they won't grow very well. Those areas get a lot more rain, which means the ground is a lot more wet than it is in Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska. In China and Southeast Asia, rice is the crop of choice because the farmland there makes it easier to grow rice than to grow wheat.

There are exceptions to this, of course, as with anything. But the basic idea is this: Farmers will grow whatever grows best in their area.

The growth of air travel in the last century meant that just about any city could become a trading center. Formerly, only coastal cities were considered good centers for sending goods overseas because sending those goods on a ship got them there a lot faster than sending them overland. So, this is the exception to this rule: Geography determines whether a settlement is a trade center.

(It can be argued here that all settlements are trade centers. This is true, but we're talking in very general terms here.)

The basic idea still holds true: Geography plays a part in defining the economy of where people live.

First page > Geography Rules > Page 1, 2

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David White