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As a class fill in this reviewer. This is what will be used to make the MCQs and FRQs in your May 18th final exam. You should put

definitions, examples, explanations and hyperlinks to info in the ‘evidence’ column for each piece of ‘essential knowledge’.

I. Geography: Its Nature and Perspectives AP Human Geography emphasizes the importance of geography as a field of inquiry and introduces students to the concept of spatial organization. Knowing the location of places, people, and events is a gateway to understanding complex environmental relationships and interconnections among places and across landscapes.

Geographic concepts emphasized throughout the course are location, space, place, scale of analysis, pattern, regionalization, and globalization. These concepts are basic to understanding spatial interaction and spatial behavior, the dynamics of human population growth and migration, patterns of culture, political control of territory, areas of agriculture production, the changing location of industry and economic development strategies, and evolving human settlement patterns, particularly urbanization. Students learn how to use and interpret maps and spatial data, apply mathematical formulas, and interpret models in order to better understand the world from a spatial perspective.

The course enables students to consider the regional organization of various phenomena and encourages geographic analysis in order to understand processes in a changing world. For example, geographic perspectives on the impact of human activities on the environment, from local to global scales, include effects on land, water, atmosphere, population, biodiversity, and climate. These human ecological examples are

inherent throughout the course, especially in topics dealing with population growth, agricultural and industrial practices, and rapid urbanization.

A significant outcome of the course is developing students’ awareness of geographic methods and the relevance of geospatial technologies to

a variety of situations (e.g., everyday life, planning and public policy, professional decision making, problem solving at scales from local to global).


Essential Knowledge

Evidence/ Explanation/ Links



Zeki / Kody


At its core, geography is the study of where things are located on Earth, and the reasons for that. There are two main questions that human geographers ask themselves: Where are people and activities found on Earth? Why are they there? The first, and most important tool for geographers, is a map. Two-dimensional representations of either the entire Earth’s surface or a portion of it, maps are scale models of the world. Through cartography (the art of mapmaking), maps are both

information provides context for understanding spatial


relationships and human– environment interaction.

reference and communication tools. In fact, it was Eratosthenes, a Greek cartographer who first coined the term geography as he made one of his maps.



Folk culture - indigenous tribes adapt to the natural environment and geographical conditions present

Distribution of languages - how geography impacts how languages spread


Ex. The isolation of Iceland from the rest of Europe has resulted in its language remaining fairly constant over the centuries.

Site and situation factors: where companies position factories and where manufacturing hubs form

Von Thünen’s land-use model

Distance Decay Model: how space and distance separate people and cultures

Razel /

2)Geographical concepts include location, place, scale, space, pattern, nature and society, networks, flows, regionalization, and globalization.

Geographical concepts include the following:


Location - The position of something on the Earth’s surface

Place - A specific point on Earth with human and physical characteristics that distinguish it from other points.

Scale - The relationship between the size of an object or distance between objects on a map and the actual object or distance on Earth's surface.

Space - The physical gap or distance between objects.

Networks - Things that link people and objects together.


Regionalization - The organization of earth's surface into distinct areas that are viewed different from other ares

Globalization - The expansion of economic, political, and cultural processes to the point that they become global in scale and impact. The processes of globalization transcend state boundaries and have out comes that vary across places and scales.

More notes here(Razel)



3)Landscape analysis (e.g., field observations, photographic interpretations) provides a context for

-Von Thunen’s land use model provides a context for why various types of agriculture are where they are in relation to the city. -Globalization making something worldwide and results in similarities around the globe. -Space time compression - the reduction in time it takes something to reach another place the interactions with places/people farther are becoming easier and more frequent because of advanced transportation and communications.

Robyn/ Happy understanding the location of people, places, regions, and events; human–environment relationships; and



understanding the location of people, places, regions, and events; human–environment relationships; and interconnections between and among places and regions.

4)People apply


to interpret and





migration; cultural




political organization




, food

and processes;

production, and rural land use;



economic development;

and cities and urban land use.

-Distance decay, the interaction between father regions/places will decrease the closer a place is the more interconnected they are -Environmental determinism a view that the natural environment has a controlling influence on human culture.


a view that the natural environment has a controlling influence on human culture. - (also known

(also known as the gravity model)

a. Distance Decay Model: ​ interaction decreases. ​ as the distance between two places increases,


Distance Decay Model:

interaction decreases.

as the distance between two places increases, their

This model relative to the “space” between places helps explain

such as the huge wave of migrants from Northern Africa to Europe, which are in close proximity to each other.

migration patterns



Von Thunen’s Land-Use Model

b. Von Thunen’s Land-Use Model   - Helps explain ​ agricultural land-use: ​ land closest to
b. Von Thunen’s Land-Use Model   - Helps explain ​ agricultural land-use: ​ land closest to


Helps explain

agricultural land-use:

land closest to the city practice market gardening and dairying, to prevent spoilage

of these highly perishable goods; while land farther from the city practice extensive farming, since these cereal grains can travel long distances to markets without spoiling.

Definition of space:The physical gap or interval between two objects

● Spatial concepts can be used to figure out what percent of people in a population are immigrants that have migrated to that place.

● The physical characteristics of a culture could be changed and transformed because of the beliefs, values, and taboos of the culture.

● Spatial concepts can be used to gain understanding on the political organization of space, by showing the relationship between how the government set up boundaries and us. (ex. gerrymandering)

● The climate of the region can affect the amount of food produced. The type of food produced can depend on its relative location to the market (von thunen)


5)Maps are used to represent and identify spatial patterns and processes at different scales.

Map:A map is a diagrammatic representation of an area of land or sea, which shows physical features, roads, cities etc.


There are different types of projections - Mercator and Robinson. There are also different types of maps, which allow people to learn and extract different types of knowledge. Maps can be used as a :

● Reference tool: Helps us find the shortest route between two places, or find new places in relation to known places. Maps in an atlas or road maps are quite effective.


● As a communication tool: Portrays the distribution of human activities or physical features.

Spatial patterns: The placement or arrangements of objects on earth are useful information for geographers. They analyze the density and concentration of those objects to understand why things are where they are. Some of these spatial patterns could include migratory patterns. Maps can be used to analyze and represent the common migratory patterns from one place to another. It can also be used to map out the processes of diffusion at small or large scales.

Maps consist of many different parts, but one of the most important elements of a map is the scale. The scale of a map is the ratio of a distance on the map to the corresponding distance on the ground. Scale allows for maps to be made of smaller areas as well as huge distances while still being accurate and concise. Some examples of differently scaled maps can be seen below.

Small Scale Map:

being accurate and concise. Some examples of differently scaled maps can be seen below. Small Scale

Medium Scale Map:


Large Scale Map:

    Large Scale Map: Sofia 6) ​ Types of maps include reference maps (e.g., physical


6)Types of maps include reference maps (e.g., physical and political maps) and thematic


Types of Maps


maps (e.g., choropleth, dot, graduated symbol, isoline, cartogram). All map projections (e.g., Mercator, polar) inevitably distort spatial relationships (e.g., shape, area, distance, direction).


Reference Maps


Thematic Maps

Physical maps are used to locate and identify the physical features (physical geography) of the earth’s surface, such as mountains and rivers. Physical maps are often labelled with colors such as green, brown and blue to distinguish wet land, dry land, and bodies of water, respectively. Political

Choropleth maps use varying shading, coloring, or the placing of symbols to distinguish average values within a certain region. Different colors may be used, but, the darker the shading/coloring in a given region, the greater the average/density of a certain thing.


Dot maps use dot symbols to show the presence of a feature or phenomenon in a given region. These type of maps can better show the spatial distribution of features as well as where they are clustered and dispersed. Graduated Symbol

Graduated Symbol maps are a class of maps that use the visual variable of size to represent differences in the magnitude of a phenomenon or feature. For example, a map may use the symbol of a person and vary it’s sie to represent counts of people in an area.


Political maps are used to distinguish the boundaries between states/territories, as well as to locate other key man-made infrastructure, such as bridges, and highways. These types of maps typically have brighter colors to distinguish states.

Isoline maps use lines to link different places that share a common value. For example, lines may be used to encircle an area with a similar elevation, which is called a contour. Cartogram

A cartogram is a map in which some thematic mapping variable is substituted for land area and distance. In cartograms, the size, shape and distance of areas are distorted in order to convey the information.

Map Distortions


● When the shape of an area is distorted, it appears more elongated or squat than in reality.




Jenny/Jae Won 7) ​ Mathematical formulas and graphs are used to analyze rates of natural increase

7)Mathematical formulas and graphs are used to analyze rates of natural increase in population, population doubling time, rank-size rule for cities,


When the distance of an area is distorted, the distance between two points may increase or decrease.

Relative Size (Area)


When the relative size/area is distorted, one area may appear larger than another ona map but is in reality smaller.

When the direction of an area from one place to another is distorted.


Map Projections


A rectangular map wherein the shape and direction are distorted very little. On the other hand, the relative size (area) of the poles is severely distorted.

An equal-area, composite map projection with equal-area property, making it useful for presenting spatial distribution of phenomena. Despite this, the several interruptions serve as a disadvantage towards the Goode Homolosine projection.

A projection primarily created to show the Arctic and Antarctic circles. Although it does a great job of showing the two circles in detail, it is limited to 10 to 15 degrees from both poles.

Is best used when displaying information across oceans. However, by allocating space to the oceans, the land areas are much smaller than on interrupted maps of the same size.

Natural increase rate can be calculated by: Crude birth rate - Crude death rate. It is negative when the number of deaths is greater than the number of births. Doubling time can be calculated by using the rule of 70. In order to do this, you divide 70 by the growth rate. For example, if a country’s net population growth was 1%, it would take the country 70/1 = 70 years to double its population. The rank size rule for cities states that settlements in an area are ranked based on their population size. Distance decay is when the interaction between two people declines as the distance between them increases.


and distance-decay functions.

Natural Increase Rate


- The percentage by which a population grows in a year



Doubling time


Amount of time expected to take for the population to be doubled

Rank-size rule


n th largest city will have 1/n of the population of the largest city in the country

Distance decay

- A function that represents the way that some entity or its influence decays with distance from its geographical location.

- The farther the regions are, the lower the interaction is


8)Geographers use models as generalizations to think systematically about topics such as land use (e.g., vonThünen model, Latin American city model), industrial location (e.g., Weber model), and the distribution of settlements (e.g., Christaller’s central place theory).



Land use: Von Thunen’s model explains land use in relation to a major city, including where things are grown, sold and how the land is distributed between crops

land use in relation to a major city, including where things are grown, sold and how

- Industrialization: The Weber model shows the correct place to place and industry with minimized costs and maximize profits by balancing the locations of extraction the raw materials and location of the market

of extraction the raw materials and location of the market - Distribution of Settlements: Christaller’s central

- Distribution of Settlements: Christaller’s central place theory explains why settlements are the locations, size and number there are, and that settlements primary function is to service what is around them

- Trisha/ Natalie 9) ​ Geographical issues include problems related to human– environmental interactions (e.g.,




9)Geographical issues include problems related to human– environmental interactions (e.g., sustainable agriculture); conflict and cooperation among countries (e.g., European Union); and planning and public-policy decision making (e.g., pronatalist policies).

Environmental Interactions - sustainable agriculture

Sustainable agriculture include agricultural practices that preserve and enhance environmental quality. Some of these practices include sensitive land management, limited use of chums, and better integration of crops and livestock.

Conflict and cooperation among countries conflicts within countries can depend on the type of state. Elongated states tend to have a harder time communicating from both ends which can result in conflict. However, some conflicts can result in countries coming together to resolve the conflict. An example of this can be the European Union, which came to be after the second world war whose objective is to hold peace and unity to the countries of Europe.

Pronatalist/anti natalist Policies Planning and policies are helpful because they prevent an area from getting too overpopulated, when a country gets too overpopulated, the country might not be able to provide enough resources for the whole population. By implementing these policies, the country can save money for the long term.

Define sustainable agriculture:


Agricultural practices that preserve and enhance environmental quality

What are the principal practices that distinguish farmers practicing sustainable agriculturefrom those operating conventionally?

- Sensitive land management

- Limited use of chums

- Better integration of crops and livestock

In what ways are animals treated differently in sustainable agriculture? And, how is this a benefit?

- Correct number of livestock


- Distribution of livestock based on landscape and forage sources

- Farmers move animals to reduce overusing areas and overgrazing

- Animal confinement


- Not confining live stock

- Expensive waste management facilities are not needed

- Management of extreme weather


- Herd size can be reduced during periods of drought

- Buffer negative impacts of low rainfall periods by consuming crops

- Flexible feeding and marketing


- Cushions farmers against trade and price fluctuations

- Feed costs can be minimized by monitoring animal conditions and performance

When was the European Union (EU)formed?


The EU was formed in 1958, after WW2

By what states?


There were six original members: France, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany).

For what purpose?


This was created to “heal” Europe after World War II.


Briefly explain the Eurozone Crisis.


The eurozone crisis arose due to the the fact that 23 European countries gave up their powerful currencies and switched to a uniformed currencies, the Euro. A global recession began in 2008. Economically weak countries were forced to implement policies that would increase tax and decrease services.

Pronatalist vs. Anti-Natalist Policies


Pronatalism is the encouragement of child birth (usually in a certain country). It promotes motherhood and childbirth in a positive manner for social reasons and also for the nation as a whole. Anti-natalismassigns a negative view to birth.


10)Patterns and processes at different scales reveal variations in and different interpretations of data (e.g., age–sex pyramids, population density).

Patterns and process reveal many interpretations of data, as you can see with the age-sex pyramid it could determine various amounts of information. It can tell us about how population changes over time or tell us about the birth rate, death rate, and life expectancy of a country. For example you could tell the country’s characteristics based on the age-sex pyramid. As for the population density it can help us understand a country’s population in relation to the space or something of the country.

Types of maps include reference maps (Physical and political maps) and thematic maps (choropleth, dot, isoline, cartogram)



Each of these maps are interpreted differently, Examples:

Choropleth map- color progression to represent information on each region of the map

Dot map- uses dots to represent the prevalence of a feature All map projections (like

Dot map- uses dots to represent the prevalence of a feature

Dot map- uses dots to represent the prevalence of a feature All map projections (like mercator

All map projections (like mercator and polar) distort spatial relationships (space, area, distance, direction), so different ones will be chosen depending on the information given, to guarantee the least significant effect on data.

Example: If maintaining size is vital to a specific map, then a Mercator map should not be chosen, as it distorts shape

Adi/ Saiya

11)Regions are defined on the basis of one or more unifying characteristics (e.g., corn belt) or on patterns of activity (e.g., hinterlands of ports).

Regions are characterized by a unifying characteristic in order to be able to distinguish one region from another so they can be betterly grouped. An example would be the corn belt in the United States, a region that since the 19th century has specialized in the production of the corn crop. It is a formal region because people within the corn belt often share many similar characteristics such as language, religion, nationality and the other physical properties of the land.


Regions are defined by both physical and human characteristics Example: Corn Belt



- Region in the Midwest of the United States

- Dominated the corn production since the 1850’s

- Thus giving it the name “Corn Belt”

Giving regions these names can help in distinguishing them from other parts of a state and helps in telling us what they are known for (Corn Belt is in the Midwest and produces a lot of corn)


12)Types of regions include formal, functional, and perceptual.

Formal Region


Also called:Uniform Region Definition:An area where everyone shares one or more distinctive characteristics (common language, economic activity, or environmental property) Examples: The Philippines, Alaska, etc.


Functional Region


Also called:Nodal Region Definition: An area organized around a node or focal point (node is determined by transportation/communication systems) Examples: Department store, newspaper circulation, etc.

Perceptual Region


Also called:Vernacular Region Definition: An informal area that people believe exists as part of their cultural identity Examples: The South (North America), the Middle East, etc.


13)World regions are defined for this course by the maps in the course curriculum section of the AP Human Geography Course Description.

The BIG Picture Zoomed In

by the maps in the course curriculum section of the AP Human Geography Course Description. The
by the maps in the course curriculum section of the AP Human Geography Course Description. The

As geography is to do with the ways in which patterns on Earth’s surface reflect and influence physical and human processes, our earth’s surface is key to understanding this course. As maps and geographic information systems are fundamental to understand, and learning to use and think about them is critical to geographical literacy. This outcome is achieved when students learn to use maps to pose and solve problems, and when they learn to think critically about what is revealed and what is hidden in different maps and GIS applications. These maps define regions by a factor that is either shared or not shared in varying patterns.


14)World regions may overlap (e.g., Southeast Asia and Asia) and often have transitional boundaries (e.g., North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa).

There are many different regions that separate different areas:


Functional region (nodal region)

Formal region (uniform region)

Vernacular region


functional region, also known as a nodal region, is an area organized around a node or focal point All functional regions

dominate at a central focus or node and diminishes in importance outward.



formal region, which can also be called a uniform region, is defined as an area within which everyone shares in common

one or more distinctive characteristic.

A vernacular region, or a perceptual region, is an area that people believe exists as

A vernacular region, or a perceptual region, is an area that people believe exists as part of their cultural identity. A useful way to identify a vernacular region is through a mental map, which is an internal representation of a portion of Earth’s surface.


15)Regional thinking is applied at local, national, and global scales. Regionalism refers to a group’s perceived identification with a particular region at any scale (e.g., Quebec).

Region = in human geography, it is an area of land encompassing human settlements with particular physical, social, cultural, economic, political, and functional characteristics.

Regionalism= the expression of a common sense of identity and purpose combined with the creation and implementation of institutions that express a particular identity and shape collective action within a geographical region.

- It can also be a linguistic feature which is peculiar to a particular region and not part of the standard language of a country.



among places include exchanges of natural resources, agricultural commodities, finished products, services,

Internationally, the scale of our world has become increasingly smaller, in a process called globalization. It has become much easier to interact with people, places, or things not close to our vicinity, and due to this, the financial fortunes of nations have become increasingly intertwined. This economic globalization has been primarily pushed by so-called transnational corporation, which are companies which sell products and operate factories in many countries, not just where their headquarters are located. Through the import and export of products, as well as the movement of people, relocation diffusionhas also become more common, with ideas moving with people from their birth nations to their adopted homelands.


people, information, money, and pollutants.



Remote Sensing: The acquisition of data about Earth’s surface from a satellite orbiting Earth or from other long-distance methods.


technologies include geographic information systems (GIS), satellite navigation systems (e.g., global positioning system), remote sensing, and online mapping and visualization.



Record pixel images


Record radiation in a specific area


To observe the changing distribution of features (agriculture, drought, sprawl, etc.)

Global Positioning System (GPS): Satellite-based system for determining the absolute location of places or geographic features.




Used primarily for navigation


Detects positioning of vehicles on land


Provides instructions on how to reach a specific destination


Can be used to track vehicles in case of an emergency

Geographic Information System (GIS): A collection of computer hardware and software that permits spatial data to be collected, recorded, stored, retrieved, manipulated, analyzed, and displayed to the user. Examples of types of data in single layer:

- Boundaries of countries

- Bodies of water


- Roads

- Name of places

Mashup: In relation to geography and the GIS, mashup is used to overlay information from one source on top of one mapping service. For example, it can show certain shops or restaurants within a certain distance. This allows users to easily find precise information about places like restaurants or find information about airplanes flying in the sky.

Zeki/ Pahal

18)Geospatial data (e.g., census data, satellite imagery) is used at all scales for personal (e.g., navigation), business (e.g., marketing), and governmental (e.g., environmental planning) purposes.

Maps are used as a reference tool and as a communications tool.

Geospatial Data: Personal

● GPS devices direct people from their current to their desired locations

● GPS devices enable individuals to contribute to the production of accurate digital maps

Travellers can enter information about streets, buildings and bodies of water so that the digital maps can be created and improved Geospatial Data: Business

GPS systems allow the client/service delivery industry to become much more effective and organizes


Companies can track their employees and public transportation/transportation of raw materials and manufactured goods (whether it be via air, land, water) can become much more efficient Geospatial Data: Governmental

● Governments can use layerings of data (such as mashups) to create maps connecting their population with any characteristic or common feature they desire

○ For example, the US government can determine what places their African American, Asian American or Latin American citizens cluster

○ Governments can use GIS for environmental planning

○ GIS can provide governments visuals on things such as natural disasters or viruses such as Zika in reference to their country/population

Geographic Information System - allows geographers to capture, store, and present spatial data

Census - multiple layers of data on age, race, ethnicity, income, etc.

Clustering - 1858 map of distribution of cholera in London

Choropleth Maps

Map of cholera spread in London Pew Research Center: Choropleth Map of distribution of Hispanics
Map of cholera spread in London
Pew Research Center: Choropleth Map of distribution of Hispanics
19)​Data may be
gathered in the field by
organizations (e.g.,
Data Collection through:
Organizations -

census data) or by individuals (e.g.,

Census- a survey of a whole population. For example, the US census happens every 10 years, and the information

interviews, surveys, photography, informal observations).

gathered from it is used in activities such as city planning. Censuses can be very expensive and time-consuming, if the population is large.

Individual - Observation- Making direct observations of simplistic phenomena can be a very quick and effective way of collecting data with minimal intrusion. Establishing the right mechanism for making the observation is all you need. Questionnaires- Questionnaires are stand-alone instruments of data collection that will be administered to the sample subjects either through mail, phone or online. They have long been one of the most popular data collection techniques. Interviews- Conducting interviews can help one overcome most of the shortfalls of the previous two data collection techniques that we have discussed here by allowing you to build a deeper understanding of the thinking behind the respondents’ answers. Focus Group Sessions-Focus Group Sessions take the interactive benefits of an interview to the next level by bringing a carefully chosen group together for a moderated discussion on the subject of the survey. Document review- Review of historical documents to obtain usually unknown facts


20)Quantitative and qualitative geographic data are used in economic, environmental, political, and social decision making.

-Population the number of people in a certain place can affect numerous decision in various fields -eg population pyramid, number of people in the workforce -Census can affect marketing and a multitude of other decisions - The quality of Soil/Weather determines what crops/livestock to raise/grow -Climate/Latitude, What can grow and what can’t. Can affect business decisions.



Quantitative data involves statistics and hard data. It usually tells you a number or a quantity. Qualitative data involves description, characteristics and often times opinion.


Quantitative data:

○ The population of a country is a statistical piece of information. It can determine many things relating to various factors. It can determine the strength of a country’s workforce (economic), the amount of pressure being put on resources (environmental), and the amount of people who can run for office (political), and how many people can vote in every state/have a voice in who gets elected into office.

○ Demographic statistics such as life expectancy, life and death rate, and natural increase rate can help determine what state a country is at in the development spectrum - it can indicate if a country is financially and politically stable, have a sound governmental system etc. These pieces of information can help countries


decide where they are at in the spectrum of development. If they are relatively low ( low light expectancy and high birth and death rate), this will lead to certain types of decision making which has to do with ways to improve their rate of development. This could include promoting education, empowering women, negotiating strategic political decisions, and reforming systems of food and aid distribution etc.

○ Immigration and emigration data and net migration is also helpful in decision making. If more people are leaving the country than coming, governments must try and reformulate decisions they take on various fields. This could mean improving social security, access to food/education/healthcare etc.

○ The literacy rate, teacher to pupil ratio and the number of high school graduates, are some other examples of

quantitative information, that can indicate factors in many different fields. With these pieces of information, the government can decide if school systems need to be enhanced, more teachers need to be trained, and facilities need to be improved.

Qualitative data:

○ The quality or type of soil found in a certain location can affect what is grown there, and ultimately if the hungry population can be fed sustainably. In lands that are too dry, cold, wet or mountainous, will probably have poor soil quality. This regions will not be able to necessarily grow their own crops and feed their population. In order to feed their population, farmers need to locate to fertile lands. Fertile lands are where the quality of the soil is adequate to grow crops. This way, they can feed their population.

○ The quality of weather (Climate) is also crucial for agriculture and a comfortable life in general. If a country is super prone to natural disasters, or faces extreme temperatures, one’s quality of life may be affected.

○ Overall quality of life in a country - healthcare, education, food, water - is one of the main factors that goes into making social, political and economic decisions.

II.Population and Migration Understanding the ways in which human population is organized geographically helps students make sense of cultural patterns, political organization of space, food production issues, economic development concerns, natural resource use and decisions, and urban systems. Therefore, many of the concepts and theories encountered in this part of the course connect with other course units. Additionally, course themes of location, space, place, scale of analysis, and pattern can be emphasized when studying basic population issues such as crude birth rate, crude death rate, total fertility rate, infant mortality rate, doubling time, and natural increase.

Explanations of why the population is growing or declining in some places are based on patterns and trends in fertility, mortality, and migration. For example, when learning about the relevance of place context and government policies, students may analyze fertility rates and age–sex structures (shown in population pyramids) in various countries. Analyses of refugee flows, immigration, and internal migration help students understand the connections between population phenomena and other topics. For example, environmental degradation and natural hazards may prompt population redistribution at various scales, which in turn creates new pressures on the environment, culture, and political institutions. This part of the course also enhances students’ critical understanding of population trends across space and over time as they consider models of population growth and decline, including Malthusian theory, the demographic transition, and the epidemiological (mortality) transition model. Students can then evaluate the role, strengths, and weaknesses of major population policies, which attempt to either promote or restrict population growth.


Essential Knowledge

Evidence/ Explanation/ Links



1)Factors that explain patterns of population distribution vary according to the scale of analysis (i.e., local to global).

Such factors vary depending on scale because different places have different conditions and circumstances, and thus differences can be magnified even between neighbouring counties.

● Concentration of wealth and jobs

○ Population distribution varies within countries: urban areas have very dense concentrations of people, along with much wealth and employment.


○ It also varies within counties in the same city: some neighbourhoods may have more office space and less housing, while others may be more suburban and have huge swaths of middle- and upper-class housing.

● Retirement communities

○ In the United States, many of the elderly reside in southern states (Florida) because of the warmer climate and the lower cost of living.

○ Often, the best places for retirement are shifting to developing countries, especially those in the


tropics, because of the warmer climate and the lower cost of living. Thailand and Malaysia are two of the best locations because of their low cost of living and some of the best healthcare systems in Asia.

● Environmental factors

On a global scale, populations are distributed disproportionately towards subtropical and tropical climates; fewer people are found the farther away one travels from the equator.


○ It differs between countries: in the Middle East huge countries are mostly desert and few live there, but the vast majority are concentrated near bodies of water. In Egypt, 80% of the population live on the banks of the Nile, and the place is fast becoming congested.

○ The Siberian territories of Russia are vast and expansive, but 80% of the population choose to live west of the Ural Mountains, where temperatures are warmer and water sources are more plentiful.

Razel/ Jae Won

2)Physical factors (e.g., climate, land forms, water bodies) and human factors (e.g., cultural, economic, historical, political) influence the distribution of population.

Physical factors influence population distribution because people tend to live in climates that are suitable for life. People are mostly living in temperate climates, near water bodies to easily gain access to water and fertile land that is suitable for agriculture. Population distribution is also affected by human factors. A group of people that share a cultural belief about something are most likely living together and away from groups of people that share different cultural beliefs.

Physical factors that affect population distribution include:


altitude and latitude

High altitudein general imposes an ultimate physiological limit upon human existence due to reduced atmospheric pressure and low oxygen content

However, in low latitudeareas, which are otherwise hot and less favourable, high altitude provides suitable conditions for human habitation.


Among the other aspects of relief features which affect human habitation are general topography, slope and aspect.


Climate affects population distribution both directly as well as indirectly through its effects on soil, vegetation and agriculturethat have direct bearings on the pattern of population distribution.


The quality of soils exerts an undeniable influence on the distribution of world population. The fertile alluvial and deltaic soils can support dense populations.


In association with climatic conditions, varying soil types give rise to variety of vegetation cover on the earth surface.

Keitaro / Daniel Robyn 3) ​ Population distribution and density influence political, economic, and social

Keitaro / Daniel


Keitaro / Daniel Robyn 3) ​ Population distribution and density influence political, economic, and social processes

3)Population distribution and density influence political, economic, and social processes (e.g., redistricting, provision of services such as medical care).


and density impact the



environment and natural


(e.g., carrying


Water and location of mineral and energy resources.

-Gerry Mandering takes place in the US. It is the redistricting of boundaries so that one party has an unfair advantage against the other. Though this practice is now illegal due to the violations to the rules of of compactness and equality of size of constituents. For more information

-Brain drain when skilled people move to places around the globe in search for higher pay jobs. The country loses skilled workers to help their own economy.


-More aging people in one location means more medical care would be given to that Population.

Population distribution and density influence political, economic and social processes because this affects the labor sides of a country. Which whether the population distribution is well for a developed country, then the political, economic and social processes will develop better because there are more people focused on working compared to the ratio of people not. Having more people working for the country improves all processes and is key to developing as a country. Redistricting is one example of how population distribution and density influences the political process of selecting a leader. Redistricting is the process by which new congressional and state legislative district boundaries are drawn. A major area of government activity in most countries is the provision of medical care. The population distribution will also have a major effect on whether the country allow medical care to be free or not, because the population number would vary on country. -Redistricting can have numerous impacts, it essentially cherry picks voters. To sway elections redistricting allows the political party in control to win elections in that region. In addition it has the opportunity to dilute minority voters among a multitude of regions, spreading out the opposing voters. It creates an unfair advantage to opposing voters and thus has been illegal since

Population:number of people inhabiting a region, country, or place

Larger Populations = Higher Strain on Resources

a. Bangladesh: Water Scarcity

- 8th most populous country -

- Very high population density -

​166,368,149 ​1,278


persons per sq km



The rapid rural-to-urban migration to the capital, Dhaka, has caused high population densities. Consequently, groundwater is being extracted faster than it is replenished, which has resulted in water scarcity.

Gregory /

5)Population distribution and density affect the need for infrastructure (e.g., housing) and urban services (e.g., sanitation)

The population distribution and density affect the need for infrastructure as well as urban services. With more of the population in a certain area the need for infrastructure is greater for example, more houses will be needed in a certain area rather than someone else. This is due to the fact that there is just more people. With regards to sanitation, if the population was more dense it would be much worse. This would be because more people carry diseases and it could possibly spread amongst the population making the health even worse.


Sofia / Saiya

6)Age, sex, and ethnicity are elements of population composition that may be mapped and graphed at various scales.

With regards to age and sex, the population pyramid is often used to evaluate the elements of population composition. With thispopulation pyramid, we can infer that there may be a military training center or an all-male college in the area as there is a high population of men in the age range of 20 - 24 years of age.

When looking at ethnicity of population composition, maps (especially choropleth) are most effective in displaying the data. Thischoropleth map displays the distribution and concentration of African-Americans throughout the US. The variation in color and outline of each district within states makes it more accurate in displaying the full picture of the population composition. However, if a larger scale graph was used, it would give greater insight into the population composition of cities and the distribution of the population of ethnicities within them.



There can be multiple ethnicities within the confines of one country - this being called a multiethnic state. An example this would be the United States as there are several ethnicities. This could be both a centrifugal and centripetal force as the diversity may be appealing to some and to others, some ethnicities may feel the need to appear stronger than the others, causing conflict within the country. As for sex (gender), there are several issues that come along such as the GII (gender inequality index) which is a measure of the gender inequality in a country. Countries that have higher GII’s are usually LDC’s and this means that the reproductive health, empowerment and labor market participation is very low. Finally, for age, in Stage 4 countries older people are often retired, the income coming from people middle aged. The life expectancy in LDCs are significantly lower that those of MDC’s, the difference being 15-20 years in some cases.


7)Population pyramids are used to project population

Population pyramid


growth and decline and to predict markets for goods and services.

- A model used in population geography that describes the ages and number of males and females within a given population

- Also called age sex distribution


Shapes of population pyramids

- Expanding

- Usually found in developing countries

- Growth of population expected

- Stationary

- Usually found in developed countries

- ZPG expected

- Contracting

- Usually found in developed countries

- Decline in population expected

James / Sonali

8)Demographic factors that determine population growth and decline are fertility, mortality, and migration.

- When looking at the demographics of a country, there are a multitude of things that go into creating it, as well as affecting the growth and decline of the population

- Fertility: How many people are born per 1000 people

- Mortality: How many people die per 1000 people

- Migration: This includes how many people immigrate into the country, as well as accounting for all the people that emigrate out of the country.


- All of these things factor into the growth and decline of the population, as well as push and pull factors


9)Rates of natural increase and population-doubling times are used to explain population growth and decline.

-In the rate of natural increase we can distinguish patterns of growth by looking at the increases or decreases of birth and death rates. High death rates and low birth rates will result to the natural increase rate decreasing. While the opposite would lead to the natural increase rate increasing. -The rate of natural increase can be related to the time it takes for a population to double if the current growth rate remains constant- that is, the doubling time. For example, it would take 70 years for a population with a rate of increase of 1% to double.


10)Social, cultural, political, and economic factors


influence fertility, mortality, and migration rates.

Social: Many social factors affect fertility rates in a region. Notable ones include religion, education, and the status of women:

Status of women:

The status of women differs in each country. Often in less developed countries where there is a significant inequality between men and women, women have more children, as they are less likely to pursue jobs, and are often viewed as child-bearers/caretakers. Education:

inferior reproductive health knowledge=higher fertility rate Cultural:

in many Asian countries, marriage and reproduction are a religious duty In addition, many Christians do not support family planning (birth-control, condoms, abortion etc.) and are therefore more likely to have children Political:

Certain countries have anti-natalist or pro-natalist policies or population control laws (China’s One-Child Policy) Egs: India is anti-natalist; campaigns encouraging smaller families, financial incentive (5000 rupees policy) Egs: Japan is pro-natalist; free daycare, family counseling Economic:


HICs have better reproductive health education and better distribution of birth control opposed to LICs



Less finances directed towards healthcare=higher mortality rate and lower lifespan Political:

Political conflicts not only cause economic instability (less finances for healthcare), but often the violence associated with them also leads to many deaths.

Migration Rates:

Political:Immigration laws/quotas can prevent migrants from entering a country/make it more difficult Social:

More ethnic diversity can make a specific country more welcoming for immigrants (pull factor)

While a nation-state (Japan) can prevent migrants, due to possible discrimination Cultural:


Religion can decrease the number of migrants, due to cultural prejudices against other people of religious minorities. Economic:

If a country is seeking a larger workforce, migration rates will be higher, as they will ultimately benefit the economy.

Adi / Kody

11)The demographic transition model may be used to explain population

- The DTM shows the change in birth rate and death rate as a country develops which will then show the natural increase and population change of country over time.

- Example: A country such as Nigeria is in Stage 2 of the DTM because of it’s high birth rate and fast growing population.

- ----

change over time and space.

The Demographic Transition Model is divided into four main stages, as well as a potential fifth one, as displayed here:

stages, as well as a potential fifth one, as displayed here: In ​ Stage 1 ​

In Stage 1, both birth and death rates are high - leading to a relatively neutral natural increase rate, as the high number of births is balanced out by the high number of deaths. While common in the eras before large-scale


industrialization became common, societies in the stage 1 DTM are now near-exclusively isolated communities which still lead the lives of hunter-gatherers.

Stage 2, however, is where many newly developing countries lie, such as Cape Verde. This was spurred by the diffusion of medical technology from MDCs to perhaps their former colonies or simply less prosperous nations, and so it is a time in which the high birth rateremains a constant, but the death rate falls quite a bitas well. Due to this, the natural increase rate is highestfor countries in stage 2 of the DTM. As such, major population booms are not uncommon.

It can be said that Stage 3 is akin to the midpoint of many countries’ development - nations like Chile, perhaps, are not as well-established as industrial economies like Germany or Japan, but have had a more established economy than states such as Liberia or Mongolia. SImply put, both the birth and death rate declineduring stage 3, although it is a gradual process. Due to this, the natural increase ratealso slows noticeably, although some growth in the population is still usually seen. It is at this stage in which women usually begin to enter the workforce in greater droves, lowering overall fertility rates but usually leading to a decrease in the disparity between men and women in both career and educational attainment.

Stage 4 is where you will find states like Japan and Germany - countries that have aging populations, and tend to incentivize migration to their countries, in order to counteract the still-decreasing fertility and overall natural increase rate. Healthcare tends to be quite good in these states, which results in a larger proportion of elderly people in the population than is usually seen in an “average” nation. By this point, the natural increase ratemay signal zero to little growth, almost becoming a near-straight line.

In the potential stage 5, though, the natural increase rate may actually become negative, with chronic diseases afflicting many of the elderly, resulting in a potential population decrease.


12)Malthusian theory is used to analyze population change and its consequences.

Malthusian Theory:The world's rate of population increase (exponential/geometric) is far outrunning the development of food supplies (linear).

Thomas Malthus also believed that preventative and positive checks help control the population. Preventative checks:

Thomas Malthus also believed that preventative and positive checks help control the population. Preventative checks:Voluntary actions to prevent population growth such as moral restraint, which is waiting until you are older to have a family so you’re sure you can support them. Positive checks:Things that shorten the average lifespan, such as disease, warfare, famine, and poor living and working environments.


The Malthusian theory, formulated by Thomas Malthus, states that population growth will eventually exceed food production due to the fact that human population growth is exponential while food production growth is arithmetic. The theory insinuates that the population will eventually starve.

Asia / Pahal

13)The epidemiologic transition explains causes of changing death rates.

Asia / Pahal 13) ​ The epidemiologic transition explains causes of changing death rates.

1. Where mortality is high and fluctuating, allowing for a sustained population growth. Shown to have famine, infectious diseases, etc.

2. Where mortality progressively declines. Population growth is sustained and begins to be exponential.

3. Mortality continues to decline and eventually approaches stability at a relatively low level. Progressive Degenerative diseases/man made diseases

4. Declining Mortality Reemergence of disease


Each stage of the Demographic Transition Model has a corresponding stage of the Epidemiological Transition Model which explains causes of the changing death rates that the DTM highlights.

Stage 1: Pestilence and Famine a) Low life expectancy; between 20-40 years b) Black Plague

Stage 1: Pestilence and Famine

a) Low life expectancy; between 20-40 years

b) Black Plague was prominent

c) High death rates

Stage 2: Receding Pandemics

a) Population beings to rise exponentially

b) Increase of average life expectancy

c) Diseases center in Industrial places where people crowd together

Stage 3: Degenerative Diseases

a) Decline in infectious diseases and widespread use of vaccinations

b) Major health issues such as Cancer and Heart Attacks

Stage 4: Delayed Degenerative Diseases

a) Death rates are affected by man-made diseases, individual behaviours and destructive lifestyles

b) Most of the population is elderly with few children

c) Most developed countries are in this stage of the DTM and ETM

Lila/ Happy

14)Types of population policies include those that promote or restrict population growth (e.g., pronatalist, antinatalist).

A natalist policy is a scheme or law that a government may adopt in order to control their population. This is usually carried out by incentives - money or material goods that are given to families if they have below or above a certain number of children. Countries with pronatalist laws encourage higher birth rates, while countries with anti natalist policies encourages families to have fewer children. Some famous examples of pronatalist or anti natalist policies include of:

Singapore (Pronatalist) - Money is given to new mothers, career leave introduced for fathers, financial benefits were given to encourage female graduates.

Japan (Pronatalist) - 8 weeks paid leave from work, shorter working hours, economic incentives, child allowances, larger families can get discounts from certain shops More time off to have a child

India (Anti natalist) - Family planning program which focuses on contraceptives, abortion was legalized, camps for surgeries that prevented reproduction, sterilized citizens provided the money equivalent to the average monthly income.

China (Anti natalist) - Laws to limit the number of birth improved housing and free education/medical care, free birth control and family planning advice, apply for marriage certificates



● Promotes human reproduction

● For example, France- In 1939, the French passed the "Code de la famille", a complex piece of pro natalist legislation.

● Offering cash incentives to mothers who stayed at home to care for children.

● Subsidising holidays.

● Banning the sale of contraceptives (repealed in 1967).


● Disapproves of population growth

● For example, China has a famous one-child policy rule, this policy allows families to only have one child


15)Changing social values and access to education, employment, health care, and contraception have reduced fertility rates in most parts of the world.

How the following aspects have reduced fertility rates globally:

● Social Values

○ People nowadays (especially in developed countries) opt to have a small family. Family planning is now ubiquitous also, especially in developing countries.

○ Gender roles: The world nowadays is beginning to detach from the from the notion that women are supposed to take care of the family and raise children while men are the ones who work.


● Access to Education

Women empowerment increases along with better access to education and they begin to focus on acquiring jobs and standing up for their reproductive rights.

● Employment

As the majority of the work force of a number of countries around the world leave the primary sector (which involves physical work) and enter the secondary (manufacturing and processing) and tertiary

sector (information), women, along with this, are increasingly being seen to be equally qualified as men to work and to be able to improve their social and professional standing.

● Contraception

The use of contraception is now more widespread and is currently being introduced even to people at their early age so as to reduce their risks of unwanted and unintended child birth.

Nicole /

16)Changing social, economic, and political roles for women have influenced the patterns of fertility, mortality, and migration.

- The UN includes reproductive health as a contributor to GII because in countries where effective control of reproduction is universal, women have fewer children, and maternal and child health are improved. Women in developing regions are more likely than women in developed regions to die in childbirth and to give birth as teenagers.

- As women receive better jobs, they are less likely to give birth to a lot of children in comparison to those who have low-paying jobs.


Gabriella/ Jae

17)Population aging is influenced by birth and death rates and life expectancy.

A country’s aging population is highly dependent on the country’s life expectancy. If a country’s life expectancy is low, that indicates the average person in the country will die at an early age. Death rates also affect the aging population of a country because it is not possible for a country to have a high life expectancy with high death rates. Birth rates on the other hand influence the aging population in a positive way, because it contributes more people to the country, which may then improve the economic status and make the life expectancy longer.


Life expectancy: measures the average number of years a newborn infant can expect to live at current mortality levels.

Crude birth rate (CBR): the total number of live births in a year for every 1,000 people alive in the society.


Infant mortality rate: the annual number of deaths of infants under one year of age, compared with total live births.

Crude death rate (CDR):the total number of deaths in a year for every 1,00 people alive in the society.

Different countries are have different aging populations due to their development and position on the demographic transition model.

and position on the demographic transition model. - As the crude birth rate and the crude


As the crude birth rate and the crude death rate decreases, the population will increase, therefore, resulting in a higher life expectancy. This increase age of life expectancy is due to reasons including accessibility to resources, access to medicines when sick, physical environment, etc.

The aging population can also be looked at using a population pyramid. The base can provide information about the crude birth rate, while the data towards the top of the pyramid will can tell us about the life expectancy and crude death rate.



For example, in Ethiopia, there is a high crude birth rate and a high crude death rate. By analyzing this model, it can also be seen that the life expectancy is to the age of 80-84. With this model, we can also infer about the future of the country and make predictions about it’s population development.

Zeki / Daniel

18)An aging population has social (e.g., retirement), economic (e.g., dependency ratio), and political (e.g., voting patterns) implications.

An aging population has social, economic and political implications such as retirement, dependency ratio and voting patterns. Retirement is the action or fact of leaving one's job and ceasing to work. An aging population is more popular and has people living to older ages which requires them to ‘retire’ from their job after a while, which relates to the dependency ratio. But, retirement causes the country to lose workers which input development into the country. The dependency ratio is a measure showing the number of dependents, aged zero to 14 and over the age of 65, to the total population, aged 15 to 64. The dependency ratio takes the same effect as the retirement as this is more relevant as countries develop. The political implication that takes place is voting patterns for the elderly.



An aging population and the welfare state


○ Retiring workers place immense pressures on pensions and health systems.

○ They place huge strain on the shrinking base of taxpayers and younger people who have to pay for these services.


Governments have difficulty trying to pay for these services due to more dependents, and deficits in social security and healthcare may spiral out of control.

● An aging population and the economy

○ More elderly dependents increases the dependency ratio and reduces the number of productive people, curtailing GDP growth.

○ Taxes may go up in order to sustain the ever-increasing number of elderly dependents.

○ Demand for certain items may change: in Japan sales of adult diapers have exceeded that of baby diapers.

● An aging population and the electorate

○ Elderly dependents have a much higher voice than the workforce paying for their services because of their higher number.

○ Elderly dependents generally have more traditional and more conservative values, shifting the country’s political standing to the right.

○ An aging population is more resistant to change than a more dynamic and fluid young population. This may prevent necessary reforms from taking place.


19)Push and pull factors can be cultural (e.g., religious freedom), demographic (e.g., unbalanced sex ratios, overpopulation), economic (e.g., jobs), environmental (e.g., natural disasters), or political (e.g., persecution).

Lack of Jobs/Poverty: Economic factors provide the main motivation behind migration. In fact, according to the International Labour Organization, approximately half of the total population of current international migrants, or about 100 million migrant workers, have left home to find better job and lifestyle opportunities for their families abroad

Civil Strife/War/Political and Religious Persecution: Some migrants are impelled to cross national borders by war or persecution at home. These immigrants may be considered refugees or asylum seekers in receiving countries. The 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees defined the qualifications for such migrants and bound signatory countries not to return these newcomers to places where they could be persecuted.According to the text put forth by the Convention, a refugee is “someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion”


Environmental Problems: Environmental problems and natural disasters often cause the loss of money, homes, and jobs. In the middle of the 19th century, for example, Ireland experienced a famine never before seen in the country’s history.

economic migration - moving to find work or follow a particular career path

➔ social migration - moving somewhere for a better quality of life or to be
➔ social migration - moving somewhere for a better quality of life or to be closer to family or friends
➔ political migration - moving to escape political persecution or war
➔ environmental causes of migration include natural disasters such as flooding
Ravenstein's Laws of Migration:
1. Most migrants move only a short distance.
2. There is a process of absorption, whereby people immediately surrounding a rapidly growing town move
into it and the gaps they leave are filled by migrants from more distant areas, and so on until the attractive
force [pull factors] is spent.

3. There is a process of dispersion, which is the inverse of absorption.

4. Each migration flow produces a compensating counter-flow.

5. Long-distance migrants go to one of the great centers of commerce and industry.

6. Natives of towns are less migratory than those from rural areas.

7. Females are more migratory than males.

8. Economic factors are the main cause of migration.


20)Push factors are often negative (e.g., poor economic conditions, warfare), while pull factors are often perceived as positive (e.g., a better quality of life, economic opportunities).

-<<Push Factors are generally negative, forcing people to move away from their country. -Examples would be Poor economic conditions(negative lack of money), Warfare(negative lack of safety)

The people want to get out of their situation for a variety of reasons and leave to another place hoping for a better life and these are sometimes forced to move because of the these factors.

<<<Pull factors are most likely that not positive resulting to a better quality of life. - Examples would be economic opportunities(More jobs and more pay), safety and peace (no sense of danger)


The person is not forced to move, however, it is their decision hoping for a better life.

Robyn Gregory / Maanya 21) include those involving ​ Forced migrations refugees, internally displaced


Gregory /


Robyn Gregory / Maanya 21) include those involving ​ Forced migrations refugees, internally displaced


include those involving

Forced migrations

refugees, internally

displaced persons, and

asylum seekers


22)Voluntary migrations may be transnational,

Most of these major migration flows are pull factors, people who want more economic opportunities

Most of these major migration flows are pull

factors, people who want more economic opportunities The essential question is why people want to leave their country, and why people want to go to another country.

Refugees:People who are forced to migrate from their home country and cannot return for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political opinion

Asylum Seekers: Someone who has migrated to another country in the hope of being recognized as a refugee.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs): someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country's borders

Refugees, asylum seekers, and IDPs all fled their homes because of push factors such as war, bloodshed, and persecution. They migrate to other countries in order to reach safety, where there are also better economic opportunities.

Voluntary migration:where the migrant has a choice whether or not to migrate.


internal, chain, step, and rural to urban.

Migration:​​Permanent or relatively permanent relocation of an individual or group or group to a new,usually distant, place of residence and employment

Transnational Migration: Migrants who set up homes and/or work in more than one nation-state. Internal Migration: Permanent movement within a particular country. Chain Migration: Migration of people to a specific location because relatives or members of the same nationality previously migrated there. Step migration:Migration to a distant destination that occurs in stages, for example, from farm to nearby village and later to a town and city. Rural --> Urban Migration: Permanent movement from suburbs and rural area to the urban city area.

Any of these migration patterns can be linked to voluntary migration because even if each choice has its on push and pull factors, they are not being FORCED to migrate and still have the choice not to.


23)Patterns of voluntary and forced migration may be affected by distance and physical features.

Voluntary Migration- A migration undertaken by choice in response to perceived opportunity Forced Migration- A migration that is forced, in which the migrant has no choice but to move

One example of a way in which physical features and distance can affect patterns of voluntary migration would be if



migrant in India hears about great opportunities in China and attempts to migrate there. The Himalayas would be

physical feature which would affect the patterns of migration, as the Himalayas would be life threatening to cross. Therefore, not many people would migrate between India and China as the physical features cause migration to be too dangerous.



24)Major historical migrations include forced migration of Africans to the Americas, immigration waves to the U.S., and emigration from Europe and Asia to colonies abroad.

Forced migration of Africans to the Americas

- Slavery (forced labor)



Political push factor

- 12M African forced to move to Americas

- Settled in southern US


Immigration waves to the U.S.


Ireland and Germany


During 1840s and 1850s

Annual immigration jumped from 20,000 to 200,000.

75%of US immigrants came from Ireland and Germany

Civil War (Ireland and Germany)

During 1870s


Emigration from Ireland and Germany resumed due to US Civil War


During 1880s


Immigration increased to 500,000 per year

Swedes, Norwegians, Germans, and Irish migrate to US

Southern and Eastern Europe

From 1905 to 1914

Immigration reached 1 million

of immigrants came from Southern and Eastern Europe


Italy, Russia, and Austria-Hungary

World War II and Great Depression

During1930s and 1940s

Asia and Latin America


Since 1950s

¾of recent US immigrants came from Asia and Latin America

Emigration from Europe and Asia to colonies abroad. - Europe was the source of most

Emigration from Europe and Asia to colonies abroad.

- Europe was the source of most of the world’s emigrants, particularly during the nineteenth century. First, the emigration of Europeans contributed to the diffusion of technologies, spawned by Industrial Revolution. This allowed most of the European countries into stage 2 of demographic transition due to the fact the application of advanced technology caused rapid decline of Crude Birth Rate. Also, as they migrated to countries in other continents, their culture was diffused throughout the world. They spread Christianity, which is now one of the biggest religion in the world. Also, European art, music, literature, philosophy, and ethics were spread during this time.

James / Sunny

25)Governments institute policies to encourage or restrict migration.

Encourage: In 1986, the U.S. government passed an act that gave visas to many latin american workers that had previously entered the country illegally.

Restrict: Passing quotas as to how many people can immigrate and emigrate from each country per year.


26)Migration has consequences (e.g., remittances; spread of languages, religions, innovations, diseases) for areas that generate or receive migrants.

There are many effects migration can have on countries that either receive many migrates, or create ones.

One prominent consequence is the rise in remittances, money that overseas migrant workers send back to their families back in their home countries in order to help provide for them. One example of a state that has a large amount of remittances is the Philippines,with many Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) working as perhaps domestic helpers, nurses, or a variety of other jobs abroad, as they often get better wages than they would working in their home country.


Another consequence or effect is a general uptick in relocation diffusion, as migrants bring from their home country a whole bevy of dishes, languages, religious practices, and other traditions to their new nation, which often get diffused over there. This effect tends to also increase exponentially over time, as chain migration means that many of their own relatives will probably at least attempt to migrate to that new place. Examples of this diffusion are things like Little Italies or Chinatowns, ethnic communities in which migrants set up shop, offering their own local cuisine.

Additionally, relocation diffusion has played a great part in the growth of Spanish speakers in the U.S., which has seen increasing numbers of Mexican and other Central and South American immigrants.

However, this relocation diffusion also includes diseases as well. When British colonists migrated to America, they ended up causing a Smallpox epidemic in the Native American population, as smallpox was not a common disease on the North American peninsula, and so their bodies had not evolved to become resistant to it.

III.Cultural Patterns and Processes Understanding the components and regional variations of cultural patterns and processes is critical to human geography. Students begin with the concepts of culture and cultural traits and learn how geographers assess the spatial and place dimensions of cultural groups as defined by language, religion, ethnicity, and gender, in the present as well as the past. The course explores cultural interaction at various scales, along with the adaptations, changes, and conflicts that may result. The geographies of language, religion, ethnicity, and gender are studied to identify

and analyze patterns and processes of cultural differences. Students learn to distinguish between languages and dialects, ethnic religions and universalizing religions, and folk and popular cultures, as well as between ethnic political movements. These distinctions help students understand the forces that affect the geographic patterns of each cultural characteristic.

Another important emphasis of the course is the way culture shapes relationships between humans and the environment. Students learn how culture is expressed in landscapes and how land use, in turn, represents cultural identity. Built environments enable the geographer to interpret cultural values, tastes, symbolism, and beliefs. For instance, when analyzing Amish communities in the Western Hemisphere, it is important to understand how their unique values and practices (e.g., lack of power lines to buildings and the use of pre industrial forms of transportation) influence the cultural landscape.



Evidence/ Explanation/ Links




1) Culture is comprised of the shared practices, technologies, attitudes, and behaviors transmitted by a society.

Culture is the act of caring about or for something. It is comprised of the unique shared practices, technologies, attitudes, and behaviors transmitted by a group of people. Every society has their own unique culture, though certain practices, attitudes, technologies, and behaviors may overlap with that of another society due to diffusion.

Adi/ Pahal

2)Cultural traits are individual elements of culture and include such things as food preferences, architecture, and land use.

- Different cultures have different food preferences (meat vs no meat, certain products not being consumed)

- Architecture can differ from culture to culture depending on their history behind each piece of infrastructure

- Land is used differently in different cultures in order to preserve a certain aspect of it and protect it.


Folk Food Customs


● Soil, Climate, terrain, vegetation and other characteristics of environment must be considered when making food decisions

● Terroir: The effects on a food item from the environment of origin

● Istanbul, Turkey, is home to the Bostans Gardens; a natural, major producing food industry that the entire country is dependent on

● People are also dependent on the environment to dictate their food choice


Rice is mass-produced in Asia due to the mild, moist vegetation


● Food Taboos are prominent in every culture, and are foods that people do not eat for a variety of reasons


Popular Food Customs


● Popular food customs differ between countries

Coke is typically preferred in the Western Hemisphere, however Quebec, Canada prefers Pepsi because it’s advertising relates it to unique Canadian-French culture

● Popular food customs also differ between states (especially in USA)


Certain portions of the country have different fast food, beverage and snack opinions in comparison to others

Folk Housing/Architecture


● Folk housing originates through isolation from other cultures


○ Folk housing vary significantly, even with places that are close


○ Pitched roofs are important in wet and snowy climates while windows take advantage of the sun’s light and heat

○ Types of materials depend of the availability in the environment


○ Even the slightest environmental change can greatly affect the folk housing, as shown in most of China

● Most folk housing derives from religious customs and therefore has allocated sacred spacing and direction

Housing in Java, Indonesia always have south facing front doors (South Sea)


● US Folk Housing in the 17-1800s used wood to build houses, barns, fences

● Geographer Fred Kniffen identifies three major hearths of folk housing in the US


○ Middle Atlantic: Two full stories in height; carries westward and southwestward

○ Lower Chesapeake: one story, steep roof; spread along the Southeast Coasts

○ New England: Box shaped; found throughout Great Lakes



Language and Religion:


use maps and the spatial perspective to analyze and assess language, religion, ethnicity, and gender.

use maps and the spatial perspective to analyze and assess language, religion, ethnicity, and gender.
use maps and the spatial perspective to analyze and assess language, religion, ethnicity, and gender.
use maps and the spatial perspective to analyze and assess language, religion, ethnicity, and gender.
use maps and the spatial perspective to analyze and assess language, religion, ethnicity, and gender.


    Ethnicity: Gender:   Asia 4) ​ Communication Improvements in modern technology have helped the
    Ethnicity: Gender:   Asia 4) ​ Communication Improvements in modern technology have helped the
    Ethnicity: Gender:   Asia 4) ​ Communication Improvements in modern technology have helped the





Improvements in modern technology have helped the spread of both popular and folk culture. Better communication allows for more rapid diffusion of ideas. The internet has allowed for ideas to be very accessible, they can share and receive them.

technologies (e.g.,

Lila the Internet) are reshaping and accelerating interactions among people and places and changing cultural


the Internet) are reshaping and accelerating interactions among people and places and changing cultural practices (e.g., use of English, loss of indigenous languages).


patterns of language, religion, and ethnicity contribute to a sense of place, enhance place making, and shape the global cultural landscape.

People in other countries are able to communicate via communication technology. This makes distance relative. Because of this spread of tech English has become a more common language to communicate. However, this has caused some damage to indigenous languages as younger generation have an inclination to English so they can fit in and/or go to school.

What do regional patternsof

language ​, ​religion ,​

Sense of place

Enhance place making

Shape the global cultural landscape

and ​ ethnicity​ contribute to?
and ​
contribute to?

Two locations have similar cultural beliefs, objects, and institutions because people bring along their culture, such as their language, religion, and ethnicity, when they migrate. Differences emerge when two groups have limited interaction.

Language is a system of communication through speech, a collection of sounds that a group of people understands to have

the same meaning. A dialect is a regional variation of a language distinguished by distinctive vocabulary, spelling, and




The distribution of a language is a measure of the fate of a cultural group. Language also displays the two competing


geographic trends of globalization and local diversity.


English has diffused around the the world and has become the principal language of communication as well as


interaction globally.


At the same time, local languages and endangered by the global dominance of English are being protected and




One of the most fundamental needs in a global society is a common language for communication. Increasingly in the

modern world, the language of international communication is English. The dominance of English as an international language has facilitated the diffusion of popular culture and science and the growth of international trade. Expansion

diffusion has occurred in two ways with English:


English is changing though diffusion of new vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation.


English words are fusing with other languages.


In some countries, multiple languages coexist, with varying degrees of success. Difficulties can arise at the boundary

between two languages. Some examples include of


Belgium (Flemings & Walloons)


Switzerland (German, French, Italian)


Nigeria (527 distinct languages)


Thousands of languages are extinct languages that were once in use - even in the recent past - but are no longer spoken


or read in daily activities by anyone in the world. Some of these endangered languages are being preserved. Nonetheless,

linguists expect that hundreds of languages will become extinct during the twenty-first century and that only about 300


languages are clearly safe from extinction.


Only a few religions can claim the adherence of large numbers of people. Each of these faiths has a distinctive distribution

across Earth's Surface. Geographers distinguish two types of religions:


Universalizing religions - Attempt to be global, to appeal to all people, wherever thay may live in the world, nuot just


to those of one culture or location.


Ethnic religions - Appeal primarily to one group of people living in one place.


The three universalizing religions with the largest numbers of adherents are Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism.




Has more than 2 billion adherents, more than any other world religion.


Predominant religion in North America, South America, Europe,and Australia, and countries with Christian


majority exist in Africa and Asia as well.


Many different branches of christianity, such as Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Baptist, etc.




Has around 1.5 billion adherents.


Predominant religion of the Middle East from North Africa to Central Asia. Half of the world’s muslims live in


four countries outside the Middle East - Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.


Only 2 main branches of Islam, the Sunni and Shiite.




Third of the world’s major universalizing religions.


Predominant religion of East Asia and parts of Southeast Asia.


Three main branches of buddhism are Mahayana, Theravada, and Vajrayana.


Other Universalizing Religions


Sikhism and Baha’i (23 million Sikhs and 7 million Baha’is)

In contrast to universalizing religions, which often spread from one culture to another, ethnic religions
In contrast to universalizing religions, which often spread from one culture to another, ethnic religions tend to remain within
the culture where they originated.
Third-largest religion, with 900 million adherents
90 percent of Hindus are concentrated in India, and the remainder can be found in India’s neighbors,
Bangladesh and Nepal.
Chinese Traditional (Combination of Buddhism with other traditional Chinese practices - syncretic)
Several hundred million people are categorized into primal-indigenous religions.
Majority reside in Southeast Asia or South Pacific islands.
Little are known about them, as religious rituals are passed through word of mouth.
Most North koreans are classified in the Juchte category.
Widely regarded as a government ideology of philosophy rather than religion.
African Tradition
Approximately 100 million Africans follow traditional ethnic religions.
African animist religions are based on monotheistic concepts.
Roughly ⅖ of the world’s 14 million jews live in the US
Other ⅖ of the world’s 14 million jews live in the Israel
Druce 6) ​ Language patterns and distributions can be represented on maps, charts, and language


Druce 6) ​ Language patterns and distributions can be represented on maps, charts, and language trees.


patterns and distributions can be represented on maps, charts, and language trees.

Ethnicity is identity with a group of people who share the cultural traditions of a particular homeland or hearth. The


clustering of ethnicities within countries can be explained by migration. Migration can be divided into international (voluntary

or forced) and internal migration (interregional and intraregional).


Some primary examples of international migration of ethnicities:

Forced migration from Africa

Voluntary migration from Latin America and Asia

Confusion between ethnicity and nationality can lead to conflicts which can be very violent. It

Confusion between ethnicity and nationality can lead to conflicts which can be very violent. It can even lead to ethnic

cleansing and genocides.

and nationality can lead to conflicts which can be very violent. It can even lead to

Language Chart

● The chart below shows the percentage of people who speak a language from each major family

Language Chart ● The chart below shows the percentage of people who speak a language from

Language Tree

Language Tree ● Language families form the trunk of the trees ● Individual families are displayed

● Language families form the trunk of the trees

● Individual families are displayed as leaves

● Some trunks divide into several branches, which represent language branches

● The branches representing Germanic, Balto Slavic, and Indo-Iranian divide a second time to language groups

Language Maps

A linguistic map is a thematic map which shows the geographic distribution of the speakers of a language, or isoglosses of a dialect continuum of the same language. Example:





Nicole 7) ​ Religious

patterns and distributions can be represented on maps and charts.

    Gabriella 8) ​ Ethnicity and Ethnic neighborhoods: gender reflect - different ethnicities are


8)Ethnicity and

Ethnic neighborhoods:

gender reflect


different ethnicities are clustered in their areas (mentioned below), due to push and pull factors. One of these push factors could be racism, while a pull factor could be due to resources (like the sugarcane plantation in California)

cultural attitudes

that shape the use of space (e.g., women in the workforce, ethnic neighborhoods).

Hispanics: Southwest, African Americans in the Southeast, and Asian Americans in the West. African Americans: African Americans are highly clustered in urban areas, especially in inner-city neighborhoods. Mostly in Southeast of the US Asian Americans: Asian Americans are mostly clustered in the west of US, specifically California and Hawaii

The GII (Gender Inequality Index) takes 3 main areas into account, empowerment, reproductive health and labor.

- In terms of empowerment, the number of women holding seats in the national legislature would definitely have an effect on the general attitude that would shape the use of the space. Different genders in legislature would challenge ideas, therefore causing these different attitudes in the space.



religion, ethnicity and gender are essential to understanding landscapes symbolic of cultural identity (e.g., signs,

architecture, sacred sites).

On language:

In 1928, President Kemal Ataturk of Turkeychanged Turkish script from Arabic letters to Roman lettersin the hope that the culture of Turkey would be updated and modernised to conform to its European neighbours, with whom trade and communications would dominate Turkey’s economy even up to this day.

Slavic languages are very similarto the point of speakers of one of the languages understanding the other. Czech and Slovak were attempted to be used together when Czechoslovakia existed during the Cold War, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, differences opened up between the two languageswith the aim of each individual country creating its own cultural identity.

Serbo-Croatianis also a language that has been divided into Bosnian, Croatian and Serbianin their respective countries, even though the language remains the same.

English, the lingua franca of the world, rose to that position because many former colonies, particularly those in the expansive Commonwealth, retained and expanded the use of English so that they could develop economicallyby trading with their former colonizer the United Kingdom. While the United States did not directly govern countries, their immense political and economic influence meant that even non-English speaking countries taught English so that they could develop relations with the United States.

Singapore, a Commonwealth country, is a multiracial country too and recognizes four official languages: English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil.

country, is a multiracial country too and recognizes four official languages: English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil.

On religion:

The pervasive reach of Christianity has greatly influenced the cultural landscape all over the world. In

predominantly Catholic countries, small towns, or parishes, each have their own church with similar designs: arches, crosses, images of Jesus and Mary, etc. Medieval Europe also had its share: grand churches everywhere from Spain to England were heavily invested into, and in those days were by far the grandest and most expensive buildings in the country, demonstrating the importance of Christianity to people then.

In addition, law and order were heavily influenced by Christian beliefsthen, and some principles and moral values still stick today, demonstrating how, in spite of the “separation of church and state,” such separation is not total and complete even today. For instance, gay relationships are still criminalised in 72 countries, and only two dozen countries allow it.

Schools then were 100% religious schools: the few schools that were available then were set up by various orders of priests, and while they were tightly controlled to a tiny elite, were instrumental in paving the way for universal secular education.

Islamhas also been a religion that has influenced and shaped the cultural fabric of many countries all over the world. Islamic art has become commonplacenot just in Muslim-majority countries, but also in many other Western countries. Depictions of abstract and inanimate objects, along with geometric patterns and Islamic calligraphy, have become staple. For instance, Islamic chess sets depict abstract and non-representational pieces that more accurately represent their use in the chess game rather than their depictions in real life because it is forbidden in Islam to create objects/statues/idols.

Islamic architecturehas also been characterised by wide central courtyards, minarets and towers, domes, geometric patterns and decorative art, and also a wide emphasis on the interior rather than the exterior. Famous places like the Dome of the Rock and Hagia Sophiahave become ingrained into the cultural landscapes of their cities.

Islamic education, while having gained a bad reputation today because of terrorism and its exclusivity to men, went through a golden age in the Middle Ages, while the rest of Europe was struggling. Advances were made in medicine, science, technology and society. There was even the Baghdad House of Wisdomto cater to intellectuals and scholars from all over the Muslim world.


On ethnicity:

Many conflicts arise because of ethnic differences that have been accentuated by separatist and/or nationalist movements. For instance, one of the most famous but also shocking genocides committed in recent history was that in Rwanda in 1994 between the opposing Hutus and Tutsis, despite each group having fairly small ethnic differences between them. Another lesser-known genocide, one of the first recorded in modern history, is the Armenian Genocide during the First World War, in which the Ottoman Turks slaughtered 1.5 million Armenians living within the bounds of the declining Ottoman Empire, but part of the struggle also took place along religious lines, the Turks being Muslim and the Armenians being Christian.

Many nation-states today retain their distinct cultural identity because of one ethnicity dominating the countryand becoming part of its cultural identity. Icelandfor example, is an example of a nation-state whose culture has been shaped almost exclusively by its people, who have remained fairly homogeneous because of Iceland’s isolation from Europe.

On gender:

In many ancient societies, women were given significant power. The ancient societies of Egypt, Greece and Rome each had their own manifestations of female goddesses, and statues of them were placed in their honour, e.g. Aphrodite and Artemis. They also had their share of powerful female leaders, the most famous of which was Cleopatra, whose famous relationship with Marc Antony has been dramatised in popular culture (Shakespeare).

Patriarchy, where men hold dominant power over women, has been commonplace in multiple religions and cultures, such as Islam and Christianity. The lack of female leaders over history has shaped the landscape to a point where women were denied voting until recently.

Today, many feminist movements seek to liberate women from institutions they see as oppressive, such as the church, patriarchy, etc. and it is yet to be seen as to how the landscape will further change in the future.


10)Types of

Hierarchical diffusion Occurs when the diffusion innovation or concept spreads from a place or person of power or high susceptibility to another in a leveled pattern

diffusion include





Stimulus diffusion


stimulus) and

Occurs when the innovative idea diffuses from its hearth outward, but the original idea is changed by the new adopters


Contagious diffusion Occurs when numerous places or people near the point of origin become adopters (or infected, in the case of a disease)

Relocation diffusion Involves the actual movement of the original adopters from their point of origin, or hearth, to a new place




families, languages, dialects, world religions, ethnic cultures, and gender roles diffuse from cultural hearths, resulting in interactions between local and global forces that lead to new forms of cultural expression (e.g., lingua franca).

-English as the Lingua Franca (The diffusion of English) English is the universal language Due to the America’s dominance in the world in addition to the British Empire’s dominance in the past Now it is the common language,needed to join the global economy.

addition to the British Empire’s dominance in the past Now it is the common language,needed to

-There are numerous dialects of English IE . RP in britain and several places in US have their own dialects as the english language diffused to the US. In addition to spelling and pronunciation.


-Also creolized languages Which are Language that results from the mixing of the colonizer’s language with the indigenous language of the people being dominated.






imperialism, and


helped to

shape patterns and practices of

(e.g.,12) ​ Colonialism, imperialism, and trade ​ helped to shape patterns and practices of language, religion).




assimilation, and multiculturalism are shaped by the diffusion of culture.

14)Ethnic religions (e.g., Hinduism, Judaism) are generally found near the hearth or spread through relocation diffusion.

​​effort by one country to establish settlements and to impose its political, economic and cultural principles on

such territory


- The

: control of a territory already occupied

Roman Empire,

which lasted between 27 BC to 5th century AD, has made significant influences upon countries

spanning the Mediterranean, particularly in their language Roman soldiers taught locals how to speak “Vulgar Latin,

which became the basis of many Indo-European languages such as English, Spanish, and French.

- The

British Empire

is known for being the largest, most extensive empire between the 17th and 20th centuries. Among

its colonies was the U.S., whose inhabitants inherited the English language. As a result of America’s worldwide dominance, English has become the most acknowledged lingua franca used to communicate between different nations.

Trade Patterns

- Arab traders to Indonesia in the 13th century is an example of relocation diffusion, as the Islamic religion reached Southeast Asia, including 225 million Muslim Indonesians currently.

- Acculturation is to adopt traits from the more dominant culture into your own.

- It usually occurs when one society is controlled, either politically, economically, socially, or all of these, by another society. And the people are forced to adapt their cultural experiences in order to survive in this new social climate.

- Assimilation is to adopt from the more dominant culture into your own and completely lose your former culture traits.

- Multiculturalism is to be able to more freely within different culture groups.

Hinduismis most concentrated in India and Nepal (it’s hearth), with smaller groups in the UK, US and Southeast Asia. Hinduism was spread through relocation diffusion, especially during the period in which India was a colony of the British, which provided the opportunity for many Indians to receive education and settle in the UK.

Judaismis most concentrated in Israel (it’s hearth), however, still has large populations in the US and some parts of Europe. Judaism was spread through relocation diffusion most prevalently leading up to and during the Second World War due to anti semitic laws and restrictions in some countries, most notably Germany.



Ethnic religions

religions (e.g., Christianity, Islam, Buddhism) are spread through expansion and relocation diffusion.

- A religion with a relatively concentrated spatial distribution whose principles are likely to be based on the physical characteristics of the particular location in which its adherents are concentrated

- Generally found near the hearth

- Spread through relocation diffusion

- Closely related to culture and ethnic heritage, and physical geography

- E.g.) Hinduism, Judaism

Universalizing religions


- A religion that attempts to appeal to all people, not just those living in a particular location

- Found throughout the world

- Spread through expansion and relocation diffusion



- E.g.) Christianity, Islam, Buddhism

James /




landscapes are amalgamations of physical features, agricultural and industrial practices, religious and linguistic characteristics, and other expressions of culture (e.g., architecture).

The cultural landscape is the product of human and environmental interactions. It differs among places around the world, where agricultural, religious, industrial, and linguistic preferences are different, resulting in different interactions with the physical features of a place.

Natalie / Pahal

17)Folk culture origins are usually anonymous and

● Culture originates at a hearth, or a center of innovation

● Folk Culture has anonymous hearths, originating from anonymous sources at unknown dates through unidentified originators; may also have multiple hearths, originating independently in isolated locations


rooted in tradition and are often found in rural or isolated indigenous communities.

Chinese legend says that folk music was created in 2697 BC and the first song was transmitted orally (same method as now)

■ Songs and meaning changed from generation to generation

■ Songs were typically based on events in daily life (nature)

Lauren / Happy

18)Popular culture origins are often urban, changeable, and influenced by media.

● The culture traits found in large, urban populations are heterogeneous (different from each other)- popular culture varies little from place to place but changes quickly.

● In urban areas there is a larger access to media/technology

● Popular culture usually spreads through hierarchical diffusion


● In the US the nodes would be Hollywood, and Madison Avenue in NYC

Diffuses rapidly because of modern communication and transportation

IV.Political Organization of Space Students learn about the nature and significance of the political organization of territory at different scales. Political patterns reflect ideas of territoriality —how Earth’s surface should be organized — which in turn affect a wide range of exercises of power over space and boundaries. Two major themes are the political geography of the modern state and relationships between countries. Students are introduced to the different forces that shaped the evolution of the contemporary world map. These forces include the rise of nation-states, especially in Europe; the influence of colonialism and imperialism; the rise of supranational organizations; and the devolution of states.

Students learn about the basic structure of the political map, including the inconsistencies between maps of political boundaries and maps of ethnic, cultural, economic, and environmental patterns. Additionally, students analyze forces that are changing the roles of individual countries in the modern world, such as ethnic separatism, terrorism, economic globalization, and social and environmental problems that cross international boundaries (e.g., climate change and acid rain). This part of the course also focuses on subnational and supranational political units. For example, at the scale above the state level, attention is directed to regional alliances, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

At the scale below the state level, students learn about the ways in which electoral districts, municipalities, indigenous areas, provinces, and autonomous lands affect political, social, and economic processes.


Essential Knowledge

Evidence/ Explanation/ Links



1)Independent states are the primary building blocks of the world political map.

A stateis an area organized into a political unit and ruled by an established government that has control over its internal and foreign affairs. A state with sovereigntyis one in which it’s rights to independence are recognized and are able to keep one’s internal control to oneself.

Independent states may ally or cooperate with other states in any manner of ways, including economically, militarily, and politically. The UN, one of the largest examples of an international organization which tries to aid cooperation in all three ways, is primarily comprised of all independent states.


2)Types of political entities include nations, states, nation-states, stateless nations, multinational states, multistate nations, and autonomous regions.

● Nations: A group of people who share the same ethnic background

● States: A land that is organized into an organized political unit recognized by all other countries that has a government in control of its foreign and internal affairs.

● A nation-state: A state in which all of the inhabitants share a common trait such as language, ethnicity, etc.

● Stateless nations: A nation without a state. (ex. The Kurds)

● Multinational states: A state composed of multiple nations.


● Multistate nations: Nations that encompass more than one state (ex. Korea)

● Autonomous regions: A region that has control over its internal affairs, but another state controls its external affairs (ex. Hong Kong)


3)The concept of the modern nation-state began in Europe.

● A nation state is a state whose territory corresponds to that occupied by a certain ethnicity (practicing the same/similar religion, language, culture, etc)

● By early 1900s, Europe was mostly nation-states

After WW1, the Versailles Peace Conference redrew the European map according to language

● No live example of a perfect nation state in today’s world

Some multinational states have peacefully coexisting cultures while others have one, typically more numerous culture try to dominate


● Denmark maybe considered a nation state because nearly all Danes live in Denmark and speak Danish, but

they control both Greenland and the Faeroe Islands where there are few native Danish people, not allowing them to be considered a nation-state

● Slovenia is the most stable of all former Yugoslav members because it is closest to being a nation state

Boundary changes after WW2 has caused slight interchange of Italian and Slovenian populations


4)Colonialism and imperialism led to the spread

● A prominent example of this is the Scramble for Africa. The European colonists arbitrarily arranged the African borders during the colonial era, and that is how it has been up till now. They aren’t the most effective boundaries as different religions, ethnicities and linguistic groups are put together, causing there to be more conflict.

of nationalism and influenced contemporary political


● The Belgians considered the Tutsis in Rwanda to be more European looking, and therefore more superior to the Hutus. The Tutsis looked down upon and illtreated the Hutus during that time. The Hutus lived in constant fear of them. However, when the Belgians left, the Hutus become more united together. Their fierce nationalism and ethnocentrism enabled them to lash out against the Tutsis. They even caused the massive Rwandan genocide. This fierce nationalism and separation did not enforce political boundaries however. The boundaries were drawn by the colonizers, and they did not separate the two ethnic groups.

● Colonialism also pushes the country being colonized to rise up and showcase their nationalism. For example, when Britain was ruling over India, they eventually rose up with their own independence movements. When a country is constantly being oppressed, they are often driven to come together and express their nationalism and unity. This can often be done with the help of a freedom fighter or leader. Mahatma Gandhi for example lead the independence and freedom fight movement in India.

● The turmoil between Hindus and Muslims, which was aggravated under British rule, forced both religious groups to showcase their nationalism. In efforts to showcase their pride and importance, they constantly got into battles with one another. The British therefore decided to split India and Pakistan into two countries - one majority Hindus and one majority Muslims. This has influenced contemporary boundaries.


5)Independence movements and democratization have shaped the political map

At the end of World War 2, Yugoslavia was broken up into 6 republics such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Montenegro depending on their ethnic and historical factors. After the war, imperial powers such as Britain did not have the capacity to sustain its power and hold over countries. For example, when the British left India, that led the state to independence and the separation of India and Pakistan.

since the end of World War


The separation was also done by the British because the two nations were distinguished by their religion. Countries


like Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar also gained their independence. Other imperial powers like the Dutch and French were unable to control their Asian and African colonies.


6)Political power is expressed geographically as control over people, land, and resources (e.g., heartland, rimland, and organic theories).



7)Territoriality is the connection of people, their culture, and their economic systems to the land.




country's or more local community's sense of property and attachment toward its territory (determination to keep


strongly defended) and their connection to the culture, and economic systems to the land



Personal space

Areas that are claimed as our own physiological territory Owned Space




Territory that has been purchased as your own

Political Territoriality


- States have sovereignty in state where they have the right to govern their own state without outside interference

- The United Nations have made laws to not interfere with a state’s sovereignty (something that the League of Nations failed to outline - one of the reasons for its failure)


8)Boundaries are defined,

Boundary: A vertical plane that cuts through the rocks below and the airspace above, dividing one state territory from another

delimited, demarcated, and administered.

Defined:Treaties establish the specific limits of a state's territorial extent Delimited: The borders are drawn onto a map


Demarcated: The states may choose to place physical reminders along a border such as towers, checkpoints, and walls Administered: Ensure that the boundary is maintained and determine how people and goods will cross it


9)International boundaries establish the limits of sovereignty and can be the source of disputes.

IBRU - International Boundaries Research Unit are linked to this. International boundaries, both on land and at sea, are often a major source of stress between states, and discussion relating to the peaceful resolution of boundary and territorial disputes is particularly encouraged.These International Boundaries split countries by one specific factor whether it be ethnicity, race, culture, language and other factors.

The IBRU works with:


● technical aspects of boundary delimitation (the drawing of boundaries, particularly of electoral precincts, states,

counties or other municipalities. In the context of elections, it can be called redistribution and is used to prevent

unbalance of population across districts.)

● the management of transboundary resources (Distribution of resources from unclaimed land)

● aspects of individual boundary disputes

● the law of the sea and claims to maritime jurisdiction

● 'soft borders'

● alternative strategies for territorial management

● dispute resolution techniques

● peacekeeping in troubled borderlands

● refugees and borders

● the territorial aspirations of non-state nations

Amy / Sunny

10)Boundaries can influence identity and promote or prevent international or


internal interactions and exchanges.



11)The Law of the Sea has enabled states to extend their boundaries offshore, which sometimes results in conflicts

UNCLOS -- United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

● Signed in 1982 by 157 countries including China and the Philippines (more on that later)

● Intended to guarantee fair usage of the resources that lie in waters

Sovereignty is only guaranteed 12 nautical miles beyond the coastline; countries have exclusive


access to an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) 200 nautical miles from the coastlinewhere they may not claim ownership but have sole rights to exploit all natural resources that lie there. Disputes:

Foremost is the South China Sea disputebetween China and much of Southeast Asia (ASEAN member states)

○ China has been building artificial islands on reefs in the Spratly Islands, well within the EEZs of Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines and well beyond its own EEZ. It has also long been embroiled in disputes with Vietnam on island-building in the Paracel Islands, another island chain in the same body of water being hotly contested.

○ The Philippines in 2012 brought China to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague to state its case. The PCA in July 2016 ruled in favour of the Philippines.

○ China maintains that it is well within its right to build in the South China Sea because historically, it has claimed ownership of the South China Sea (through the so-called “nine-dash line”), thus making the sea an internal water of China and thus under Chinese law.




12)Voting districts, redistricting, and gerrymandering influence the results of elections at various scales.

Voting district (VTD) is a generic term adopted by the Bureau of the Census to include the wide variety of small polling areas, such as election districts, precincts, or wards, that State and local governments create for the purpose of administering elections. Some States also use groupings of these entities to define their State and local legislative districts, as well as the districts they define for election of members to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Redistricting is the process of drawing electoral district boundaries in the United States.

Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or
Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or

Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries. In addition to its use achieving desired electoral results for a particular party, gerrymandering may be used to help or hinder a particular demographic, such as a political, ethnic, racial, linguistic, religious, or class group, such as in U.S. federal voting district boundaries that produce a majority of constituents representative of African-American or other racial minorities, known as "majority-minority districts". Gerrymandering can also be used to protect incumbents.



13)Political boundaries do not always coincide with patterns of language, religion, ethnicity, nationality, and economy.

14)Forms of governance include unitary states (centralized government) and federal states.

- Multiethnic states are, in definition, not coinciding with patterns of ethnicity. It is a state that has multiple ethnicities, however this can cause problems as multi ethnicity is a centrifugal force that pulls people apart. Examples of these are almost all of the countries on earth.

-The main example of this is the Berlin Conference in which it exemplifies the political boundaries not always coinciding with language, ethnicity, nationality. Over 130 years ago, the European Powers met at the Berlin Conference and drew the borders of Africa we see today. Generally during this conference, traditional boundaries were not considered when carving the continent, resulting in numerous conflicts in the future. The European Powers(with their colonial borders) did not for the people in Africa, and their cultures and history.


The European Powers(with their colonial borders) did not for the people in Africa, and their cultures



Unitary government

: places most power in the hands of central government officials


Federal government:

​ ​allocates strong power to units of local government within the country

Gregory Sofia 15) ​ Powers of the subdivisions of states vary according to the form



Gregory Sofia 15) ​ Powers of the subdivisions of states vary according to the form of

15)Powers of the subdivisions of states vary according to the form of governance (e.g., the United States and Switzerland as federal states, France as a unitary state).