The American Nation
Chapter 1
Geography, History, and
the Social Sciences
Copyright © 2003 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. All rights reserved.
The American Nation
Chapter 1: Geography, History, and the Social Sciences
Section 1:
Thinking Geographically
Section 2:
Land and Climates of the United States
Section 3:
The Tools of History
Section 4:
Economics and Other Social Sciences
Copyright © 2003 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. All rights reserved.
Thinking Geographically
Chapter 1, Section 1
• How do the five themes of geography help
define the connections between
geography and history?
• How did geography influence population
trends in United States history?
• How are maps made and used?
What is Geography?
Chapter 1, Section 1
• Geography is the study of people, their
environments, and their resources.
The Five Themes of Geography
Chapter 1, Section 1
Looking at the Five Themes
Chapter 1, Section 1
Location
Exact location describes a place on a grid of
numbered lines on a map or a globe.
• Lines of longitude measure distance east and
west of the Prime Meridian.
• Lines of latitude measure distance north and
south from the Equator.
Relative location describes one place in relation
to another place.
Looking at the Five Themes
Chapter 1, Section 1
Place
• Physical features—climate, soil, vegetation, animal life,
bodies of water, and natural resources, for example.
• Human features—types of housing, transportation, jobs,
languages, and religions, for example.
Interaction
• People adapt to the land
• People change the land, through crops, irrigation, pest
control, and drilling for oil, for example
Natural resources—materials humans take from the
environment to satisfy their needs
Irrigation—bringing water to dry lands
Looking at the Five Themes
Chapter 1, Section 1
Movement
• People
• Goods
• Ideas
Regions
• Unifying physical
characteristicsclimates, landforms
• Unifying human
characteristicslanguage, culture
Geography and Population Trends
Chapter 1, Section 1
• Late 1700s—People lived along the Atlantic coast
or near other water transportation.
• Early 1800s—With new forms of transportation,
people moved westward and cleared land for
farms.
• Late 1800s—White settlers overcame Native
Americans and settled the West.
• Mid 1900s—People were attracted to cities with
mild climates in the south and west.
Cartographers Make Maps and Globes
Chapter 1, Section 1
Cartographers make maps
using different map projections
for different purposes.
• Cartographer—mapmaker
• Map projections—ways to
show the earth on a flat
surface. Types of map
projections are Mercator
and Robinson
Cartographers make different
types of maps for different
purposes.
• Physical maps show
physical features such as
mountains and bodies of
water.
• Political maps show
countries, states, and
capitals and other cities.
• Thematic maps deal with
specific topics-population,
rainfall, vegetation, or
elections, for example.
Section 1 Assessment
Chapter 1, Section 1
Which is the best definition of “geography”?
a) learning the countries and their capitals
b) study of rocks and rock formations
c) studying ways to show the earth on a flat surface
d) study of the connection between people and the natural environment.
The main purpose of a thematic map is to show ______.
a) mountain ranges and bodies of water
b) special information such as rainfall or population
c) boundaries of states and countries
d) capitals and other cities
Want to connect to the American Nation link for this section? Click here.
Section 1 Assessment
Chapter 1, Section 1
Which is the best definition of “geography”?
a) learning the countries and their capitals
b) study of rocks and rock formations
c) studying ways to show the earth on a flat surface
d) study of the connection between people and the natural environment.
The main purpose of a thematic map is to show ______.
a) mountain ranges and bodies of water
b) special information such as rainfall or population
c) boundaries of states and countries
d) capitals and other cities
Want to connect to the American Nation link for this section? Click here.
Lands and Climates of the United States
Chapter 1, Section 2
• What are the main physical regions of the
United States?
• How do rivers and lakes affect American
life?
• How do climates vary across the United
States?
Where is the United States?
Chapter 1, Section 2
•
•
•
•
•
Arctic Ocean and
Canada to the north.
Atlantic Ocean to the
east.
Pacific Ocean to the
west.
Mexico, Central
America, and the
Isthmus of Panama to
the South.
Isthmus—narrow strip
of land linking two
larger areas of land
Looking at Physical Regions of the United States
Chapter 1, Section 2
Region
Where
What
Pacific Coast
West Coast from
Alaska to Mexico
High mountain ranges
and valleys
Intermountain Region
East of the Pacific
Coast mountains
Rugged mountain
peaks, high plateaus,
deep canyons, deserts
Rocky Mountains
From Alaska through
Canada into the
western United States
Many mountain
ranges, highest in
North America, some
peaks with elevation
over 14,000 feet
Interior Plains
Between the Rockies
and the Appalachians
Lowlands; include the
Great Plains and
Central Plains
Elevation—height above sea level
Looking at Physical Regions of the United States
Chapter 1, Section 2
Region
Where
What
Appalachian
Mountains
In the East from
Canada to Georgia and
Mississippi
Mountains lower and
less rugged than the
Rockies
Canadian Shield
Eastern Canada,
Michigan, Wisconsin,
and Minnesota
Erosion has reduced
high mountains to low
hills and plains
Coastal Plains
Between the Atlantic
Ocean and the
Appalachians
Coastal lowland area,
includes the Atlantic
Plain and the Gulf
Plain
Hawaiian Islands
In the Pacific Ocean
many miles west of
California
Chain of tropical
islands, the tops of
undersea volcanoes
Erosion - gradual wearing away
How Rivers and Lakes Affect American Life
Chapter 1, Section 2
• Provide water for farmlands
• Serve as a means of transportation
• Used as political boundaries
Famous American Waterways
Chapter 1, Section 2
Mississippi-Missouri River
System
• Main branches
• Mississippi River
• Missouri River
• Tributaries
• Ohio River
• Tennessee River
• Arkansas River
• Platte River
Other major rivers
• Colorado River
• Hudson River
• Rio Grande
Great Lakes
• Superior
• Michigan
• Huron
• Erie
• Ontario
Tributary—stream or
smaller river that flows into
a larger one
Climate and Weather Words
Chapter 1, Section 2
• Weather—condition of the atmosphere at any
given time or place
• Climate—the average weather of a place over 20
or 30 years
• Precipitation—water that falls as rain, sleet, hail,
or snow
• Altitude—height of the land above sea level
How Climates Vary
Chapter 1, Section 2
Type of Climate
Where
Characteristics
Marine
Pacific Northwest
Mild, moist ocean air;
warm summers; cool
winters
Mediterranean
California
Mild, wet winters; hot,
dry summers
Highland
Cascades, Sierra
Nevada, Rocky
Mountains
Varies according to
altitude; cooler than
surrounding lowland
Desert
Southwestern United
States
Hot days; cold nights;
little rain
Steppe
Great Plains
Hot summers; cold
winters; little rain
How Climates Vary
Chapter 1, Section 2
Type of Climate
Where
Characteristics
Humid Continental
Central Plains and
northeastern United
States
Mild summers, cold
winters; much rain
Tropical
Southern Florida and
Hawaii
Hot; humid
Humid Subtropical
Southeastern United
States
Warm; regular rain
Tundra
Northern and western
Alaska
Cold year-round
Subarctic
Rest of Alaska,
northern Canada
Long, cold winters;
short summers
Section 2 Assessment
Chapter 1, Section 2
Mostly, what do geographers use to divide the country into physical regions?
a) distance from the Equator
b) landforms
c) climate
d) bodies of water
Mostly, what feature or features define an area’s climate?
a) what physical region it’s in
b) lakes and river system
c) ocean and wind currents
d) temperature and precipitation
Want to connect to the American Nation link for this section? Click here.
Section 2 Assessment
Chapter 1, Section 2
Mostly, what do geographers use to divide the country into physical regions?
a) distance from the Equator
b) landforms
c) climate
d) bodies of water
Mostly, what feature or features define an area’s climate?
a) what physical region it’s in
b) lakes and river system
c) ocean and wind currents
d) temperature and precipitation
Want to connect to the American Nation link for this section? Click here.
The Tools of History
Chapter 1, Section 3
• How do historians evaluate and interpret
historical evidence?
• How do archaeologists add to our
knowledge of history?
• What can we learn about history by
understanding chronology and eras?
Historians Evaluate and Interpret Historical Evidence
Chapter 1, Section 3
Collecting Evidence
• Primary sources—
firsthand information—
official documents, public
speeches, eyewitness
accounts, for example
• Secondary sources—
accounts by people who
did not witness an event;
based on primary
sources—textbook,
encyclopedia, biographies,
for example
Evaluating Evidence
• Authenticity—whether the
source is what it seems to
be
• Reliability—whether the
source is accurate
• Bias—leaning toward or
against a certain person,
group, or idea
Interpreting Evidence
• Determine the cause of a
development or event
• Historians have their own
biases
Archaeologists Add to Our Knowledge of History
Chapter 1, Section 3
Archaeologists
Add to Our
Knowledge of
History
Archaeology is the
study of evidence left
by early people
Archaeologists Study
Artifacts
Archaeologists form
theories about the
cultures of ancient
peoples
Archaeology—study of evidence left by early people in order to find out about
their way of life.
Artifact—objects made by humans, such as tools and weapons.
Culture—a people’s way of life—home, economy, government, for example.
Understanding Chronology
Chapter 1, Section 3
Chronology
• Chronology—sequence of events over time
Economics and Other Social Sciences
Chapter 1, Section 4
• What basic questions do economists ask
about society?
• What are the benefits of free enterprise?
• How can the social sciences support the
study of history?
Economists Ask Three Basic Questions About Society
Chapter 1, Section 4
What goods and services
should we produce?
• Food, shelter, clothing
• Consumer goods
• Construction,
transportation
• Services—education, for
example
How should we produce
them?
• Small enterprises
• Large factories and farms
For whom should we produce
them?
• Cash economy
Economics—the study of how
people manage their limited
resources to satisfy their
wants and needs
Consumer—user of goods
and services
Cash economy—economic
system where people
exchange money for goods
and services
Benefits of a Free Enterprise System
Chapter 1, Section 4
Characteristics of a Free
Enterprise System
• Government plays a
limited role in the
economy.
• Private citizens own
businesses, decide
what to make, how
much to make, where
to sell, and what to
charge.
• Businesses compete.
Benefits of a Free
Enterprise System
• The “know-how” of
many individuals
contributes to
national prosperity.
• Consumers have
freedom of choice.
• The choices people
make influence what
is made, how much,
and at what price.
Other Social Sciences Support the Study of History
Chapter 1, Section 4
Social Science
Study of...
Example
Political Science
Government
How Americans created
the Constitution
Civics
Rights and
responsibilities of
citizens
Freedom of speech,
worship, and assembly;
voting, military service
Anthropology
How peoples and
cultures develop
How first Americans
spread across the
continent
Sociology
How people behave in
groups
Comparing life in a
farming community with
life in a big city
Psychology
How people think and
behave
Understanding the views
and biases in a primary
source
Social sciences—studies that relate to human society and social
behavior
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