Regional Geography 105
Middle America is a fragmented realm
Characterized by a rich cultural heritage, and numerous indigenous populations.
Ancient civilizations include the Zoque, Olmecs, Toltecs, Aztecs and Mayans.
Major world cultural hearths include:
- Andean America
- West Africa
- Nile River Valley
- Indus River Valley
- Ganges River Valley and Delta
- Wei/Huang Rivers
Early cultural hearths located in low latitudes.
Concentration of wealth/power in mid-latitudes.
Tropical heat/humidity inhibit cultural progress.
Midlatitude climates stimulate achievement.
Natural environment dictates development of a civilization.
According to Ellsworth Huntington,
Progress is based on climate, heredity and culture.
What are the logical failings of this theory?
Physiography - Environment of Middle America
Environmental Determinism Revisited
Mayan Civilization example of adaptation to environment
Multiple influences have overprinted the indigenous cultures.
Four main colonial influences
Spanish - dominant on the inland portions of the mainland and large islands.
British - coastal areas of the mainland and islands
French - islands
Dutch - islands
Middle America regions based on cultural influences - proposed by John Augelli in 1962.
Euro-Amerind Mainland - Spanish and native cultures dominate interior portions of mainland.
Euro-African Rimland - coastal areas and islands of the Caribbean.
Agriculture in Middle America
Slash and Burn Agriculture
Original Definition: Banana producing country in Middle America that was or is controlled economically and politically by foreign fruit producers, who own and control the banana plantations.
Original Banana Republic: