Geography Other Essay Topics
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Geography How has a region’s geography shaped its history? How has man adapted his environment to shape his needs? Irrigation (dams, dykes) Roads (Romans, Silk, Incan – Suspension Bridges) Walls (Great, Roman) Terrace Farming (Inca, Japan, Yellow) Houses (Stilt – Indonesia, Yurts - Mongols) Chinampas - Aztecs June 2013 The Great Wall of China and the Berlin Wall were both intended to (1) halt the spread of communism (2) isolate unpopular governments (3) limit the movement of peoples (4) keep people from smuggling illegal goods Typical Multiple Choice Questions Location of countries/physical features – England, India, Vietnam, Japan, Suez Canal, Andes Mountains, Mediterranean Sea etc. Types of maps – cartographic, physical, political Geographic feature – archipelago, peninsula, strait, canals, savannah, tundra Interpreting Maps – trade, migration August 2013 What would a geographer conducting research be most likely to do? (1) use carbon-14 to determine the age of artifacts (2) analyze the reasons women vote for certain candidates (3) observe the effects of wind patterns on regional trade (4) design a survey to determine the online spending habits of young people June 2013 • The Americas are referred to as the “New World.” • Eastern Asia is referred to as the “Far East.” • Southwest Asia is referred to as part of the “Middle East.” Whose perspective is best represented by these regional place names? (1) Chinese (3) European (2) African (4) Indian June 2013 Based on this map of 13th-century world systems, which of these circuits was limited to one continent? (1) I (3) V (2) II (4) VI Which letter identifies the peninsula that is home to Mecca, the religious center of Islam? (1) A (3) C (2) B (4) D 46 Which letter identifies the peninsula that was the site of the Vietnam conflict and the atrocities of Pol Pot? (1) A (3) C (2) B (4) D August 2013 Which letter represents the location of a country created in part as a result of the Zionist movement? (1) A (3) C (2) B (4) D June 2013 Which geographic feature presented an obstacle to Simón Bolívar’s forces? (1) Sahara Desert (2) Great Rift Valley (3) Andes Mountains (4) Strait of Malacca Jan 2014 Charlemagne’s 9th century empire covered territory which today would include the countries of (1) Poland and Russia (2) Spain and Portugal (3) France and Germany (4) Ireland and the United Kingdom Which feature would most likely appear on a physical map? (1) population densities (2) land usage patterns (3) climatic patterns (4) mountain ranges A geographic similarity between Italy and India is that both of these countries are located (1) on peninsulas (2) on archipelagos (3) between two oceans (4) south of the equator Which geographic factor has often made Korea a key region for those seeking to control East Asia? (1) long coastline (3) mountains (2) location (4) climate 11 Which statement about the trip taken by Emperor Mansa Musa is accurate? (1) The trip extended beyond North African trade routes. (2) Mansa Musa used the Mediterranean Sea to reach Mecca. (3) The route primarily followed major rivers. (4) Mansa Musa traveled to Fez on his way to Mecca. 12 Which conclusion about trade is best supported by the information on this map? (1) Timbuktu was a center of trade in West Africa. (2) The Sahara Desert prevented trade. (3) Cairo and Mecca were trading partners. (4) West African gold and salt were traded along the Zaire River. Jan. 2014 Which nation is located on a peninsula? (1) Brazil (2) Philippines (3) Saudi Arabia (4) Austria Egypt Key Terms for Essay on Egypt Deserts – “Red Lands” – Nubian, Libyan, and Sahara Nile River – “Black Lands” surround w/silt; floods annually – need to build irrigation, has cataracts (waterfalls), delta (tributaries protect) Impact – protects, stability of dynasties, need for strong central authority, culture based on Nile “Land of Living” vs. “Land of Dead”, architecture of sandstone, papyrus for books; build Aswan High Dam (no oil); Suez Canal built to capitalize on strategic location btw Mediterranean and Red seas. Which geographic feature had the greatest influence on the development of ancient civilizations? Dense forests Mountain passes Smooth coastlines River valleys The Suez Canal, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Strait of Gibraltar are important because they prevent attacks on bordering nations control access to vital trade routes limit Russian access to warm-water points prohibit the movement of ships carrying nuclear weapons Mesopotamia Key Term for Mesopotamia Fertile Crescent – two rivers: Tigris and Euphrates Flood erratically – need to build dams and dykes Easy to navigate rivers – lots of invasions, cultural diffusion, political instability Modern – desertification, Oil reserves (Persian Gulf War – 1980s – OPEC) Jan 2014 Which geographic region has the greatest number of members in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)? (1) South America (2) sub-Saharan Africa (3) Southeast Asia (4) Middle East (Southwest Asia) August 2013 One way in which the ancient Sumerians, Egyptians, and Mayas are similar is that these civilizations developed (1) irrigation systems (2) iron weapons (3) wheeled vehicles (4) block printing systems China Key Terms for China ETHNOCENTRISM – caused by geographic barriers – Gobi Desert, Tien Shen Mts., Himalayas, Pacific Ocean Rivers – Yellow (Huange-He) “River of Sorrow” – heavy silt, cut deep into mts; Yangtze – both rivers flow west to east Adaptations – Silk Road, Great Wall, Grand Canal, terrace farming along Yellow Which statement best describes an impact of geography on the history of the Korean peninsula? Large deserts have led to isolation Location has led to invasion and occupation by other nations Lack of rivers has limited food production. Lack of natural resources has prevented development of manufacturing. January 2014 China, Korea, and Japan share cultural similarities in part due to their (1) clashes with Russian imperialists (2) shared river systems (3) contacts through trade (4) unification under Mongol rule January 2014 “River of Sorrows Floods Again” “Thousands Missing After Huang He Overflows” “Over 10 Million Reported Homeless After 1931 Flooding” These newspaper headlines describe the effects of geography on the people of (1) China (3) India (2) Japan (4) Vietnam India Key Terms on India Sub-continent of Asia Peninsula Monsoons Indus River – navigable (similar to Tigris) Hindu-Kush mts and Himalayas protect and isolate Deccan plateau – center – inhospitable Lots of trade in Indian Ocean British India - Railroad handy to unite large landmass Bengal Famine 1943 – Green Revolution Split in 1948 – Pakistan and India (fight over Kashmir) August 2013 Which statement can best be supported by the information on this 2003 map? (1) India and Pakistan have agreed on shared borders. (2) Several borders are in dispute between India and China. (3) India and Nepal are currently involved in border disputes with each other. (4) The inhabitants of the territory claimed by both India and China have little voice in the conflict. June 2013 Which geographic feature would have most likely hindered the expansion of the Guptas into what is modern-day China? (1) Thar Desert (2) Himalaya Mountains (3) Deccan Plateau (4) Bay of Bengal In India, Bangladesh and much of Southeast Asia, agricultural productivity is most affected by the Seasonal monsoons Unnavigable rivers Numerous deserts Cold climates Jan. 2014 The Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra were important to ancient India because they were (1) high mountain ranges that protected India from invasion (2) great rivers that flowed through India’s fertile northern plain (3) Aryan gods to whom the priests prayed for rain (4) ruling dynasties that united the people of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro Which generalization is best supported by the information on this map? (1) No trade occurred between East Africa and the Persian Gulf region. (2) The monsoon winds influenced trade between East Africa and India. (3) Trading states developed primarily in the interior of East Africa. (4) Trade encouraged the spread of Islam from East Africa to Arabia. Jan 2014 What is one way the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir and the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis in the Middle East are similar? (1) Both conflicts concern territorial and religious issues. (2) Hostilities within these regions were provoked by the United Nations. (3) Both conflicts emerged as a result of the breakup of the Soviet Union. (4) Tensions in these regions were caused by efforts to remain nonaligned. Greece Key Terms on Greece Polis/Poleis will be divided by mountains Great natural harbors for fishing and trade; strength of military is triremes for Athens not hoplites Few natural rivers/springs – need to import food – colonies Volcanic area – angry gods (land and sea – Zeus/Poseidon) Rich volcanic soil good for olives and grapes Which was one cause of the development of many small independent city-states in ancient Greece? Greece and Rome were often at War The mountainous terrain of Greece resulted in widely scattered settlements Military leaders found small Greek settlements easy to control The Greek people had many different languages and religions August 2013 Which geographic factor contributed to the formation of independent city states in ancient Greece? (1) tropical rainforests (2) fertile farmland (3) navigable rivers (4) mountainous topography Roman Empire Key Terms for Roman Empire Italy is Peninsula Expanded over three continents around Mediterranean Sea So large – Roman legions need to build roads, aqueducts, bridges, walls August 2013 At the height of its power, which ancient civilization controlled the entire coastal region surrounding the Mediterranean Sea? (1) Phoenician (3) Roman (2) Persian (4) Carthaginian Byzantine Empire August 2013 The strategic location of the Byzantine Empire allowed control of the key trade routes between the (1) South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca (2) Caspian Sea and the Indian Ocean (3) North Sea and the English Channel (4) Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea Incan Empire Key Terms for Inca Andes Mountains Incan Trail w/suspension bridges Terrace farming Aztec Empire An effect of a mountainous topography on Inca and Chinese civilizations was the development of industrialization single-crop economy desalinization projects terrace farming Which generalization about geography of Latin America is accurate? geographic features prevented foreign imperialism harsh climatic conditions have prevented the development of large-scale agriculture the lack of geographic barriers facilitated the development of transportation and communication systems great variations in latitude and landforms resulted in a diversity of climates January 2014 The Encounter occurred as a result of European explorers crossing the (1) Atlantic Ocean (2) Sahara Desert (3) Andes Mountains (4) Mediterranean Sea Africa Key Terms for Africa Deserts – Sahara (north), Kalahari in south Continent is plateau – all rivers (Nile and Congo) have cataracts Savannahs – high grasses where animals live – hard to farm, little urbanization, dispersed tribes Rainforest (Congo) Natural resources – gold, diamonds, rubber (Congo – King Leopold) – needs salt Livingstone will map out country Cape to Cairo Railroad – Cecil Rhodes Berlin Conference – strategic breakup Pan-Africanism – impossible to unite Desertification – Sahara growing causing famine in Ethiopia August 2013 Which area of the world was most directly affected by the decisions made at the Berlin Conference? (1) Africa (3) India (2) China (4) South America June 2013 What was a major reason European nations competed for control of Africa during the second half of the 1800s? (1) Africa had a wealth of natural resources. (2) Slave labor was needed in the Americas. (3) African nations offered religious and political freedom. (4) Europeans needed land for their excess population. Which statement about the geography of Africa is most accurate? Much of the land in Africa is below sea level The variety of geographic barriers had served to promote cultural diversity Africa had an irregular coastline with many natural harbors Much of the land in Africa is tundra and forest. In Africa, an effect of topography and climate has been to encourage rapid industrialization of the interior prevent the development of kingdoms promote large-scale trade between African and Asia promote the growth of diverse societies June 2013 Which conclusion about the geography of these continents is best supported by this passage? (1) Europe and Africa have the same climate. (2) Europe and Africa have many deep major ports. (3) Waterways are a geographic blessing in both Europe and Africa. (4) River systems have helped development in Europe and hindered it in Africa. Japan Key Terms on Japan Archipelago Mountains (Fuji) – forced to terrace farm Volcanic/Tsunami – nature spirits (kami) worshiped in Shinto religion Protected by location and kamikaze winds (Mongols) Used Korea as landbridge to China Lacks natural resources – forced to imperialize to gain resources during Meiji Restoration In Japan, a major economic problem has been the lack of natural resources investment capital skilled labor experienced management August 2013 • Sino-Japanese War 1894–1895 • Russo-Japanese War 1904–1905 • Annexation of Korea 1910 These events in the history of Japan reflect its (1) resistance to trade (2) abundance of natural resources (3) vulnerability to attack by neighbors (4) emergence as an imperialistic country England Key Terms on England Great natural harbors – makes it prime for naval supremacy (Armada, WW2), and imperialism Natural resources – coal, tin, timber – sparks Industrial Revolution January 2014 Which geographic feature most aided England during the Industrial Revolution? (1) desert climate (2) natural harbors (3) mountainous terrain (4) monsoon winds Russia Key Terms on Russia EurAsia – two continents Lacks warm water port Blocked by Turkey/Ottomans from Black Sea entrance to Mediterranean Cold and Large – difficult to conquer (Napoleon, Hitler) – center area is vast steppe Used scorched-earth policy to deter invaders Lacked sufficient oil and natural resources – build Tran-Siberian Railroad to get to Asia; fought Afghanistan War 1979 for oil; refuse to let Chechnya go because of oil need Which geographic factor has most strongly influenced Russia’s foreign policies and economic development? lack of natural resources vast desert regions limited access to warm-water ports extensive mountain ranges The Russian steppe is most similar in topography to the mountains in Switzerland deserts in the Middle East rainforests in South America savannas in Africa August 2013 – trick one One reason the Russian Empire was difficult to unite was that it (1) had many diverse ethnic groups (2) possessed limited natural resources (3) served as a crossroads for trade (4) lacked a navy IMPACTS OF MOUNTAINS DIVIDE PEOPLE – creates cultural diversity (Andes Mts for Incas, Greece) even isolation (China) PROTECTS PEOPLE – Alps for Italy, Himalayas for China and India, Andes for Inca DIFFICULT TO FARM – have to introduce terrace farming – Japan, Incan, Yellow River (China) IMPACTS OF RIVERS UNITES PEOPLE – unifies cultures, ease of communication, increases trade HELPS FARMING – creates fertile soils (early river civs – Nile (Egypt), Mesopotamia, Indus, and Yellow (China), may need to build dams/dykes/irrigation SACRED – Ganges (Hindus) IMPACTS OF DESERTS DIVIDES PEOPLE – hard to cross, creates cultural diversity and isolation (Sahara in Africa) LACK OF RESOURCES – no food can cause famines, need for trade IMPACTS OF CLIMATE MONSOONS – India, China, Indonesia need rains to make food grow – if drought – famine, if floods – famine (build houses on stilts to protect from floods) // monsoon winds also help sailboats to travel Indian Ocean COLD – Russian steppes frozen (permafrost) – can not farm, need special houses, need access to warm water ports IMPACTS OF NATURAL RESOURCES OIL – needed by many countries like US and Russia – will have to import from Middle East (OPEC – Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) – wars will take place over accessing oil (Afghanistan War, Iran-Iraq War, Persian Gulf War, etc), Suez Canal will be used to access region. LACKING IT – Japan will have to imperialize China because lacks natural resources and wants to industrialize HAVING IT – England will dominate Industrial Revolution early on because of access to water, timber, and coal. Environmental Concerns Deforestation due to logging, farming, development and acid rain in Amazon (Brazil) and Congo rainforests Desertification – spreading of deserts – especially in Sahara – due to farming along savannahs, causes famine in Ethiopia Global Warming, Acid Rain, Pollution (outgrowth of Industrial Revolution) – attempts to handle with Kyoto Accords August 2013 Which global issue is a primary threat to biodiversity in the tropical regions of Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Amazon basin? (1) deforestation (3) acid rain (2) oil spills (4) drought
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