The topic on regional geography of the US and Canada is an interesting topic basing the arguments on different geographers. Every geographer has his or her own theory on this topic. Most of the geographers views tend to depict and make judgments on the regional geography as political, economic and social strongholds with in the USA and Canada. From Garreau’s North America regionalization approach is based on “political economy or historical geography” (Joel Garreau).
Joel Garreau’s approach is mostly based on “cultural regions of North America” (Joel Garreau). The regional boundaries are based on a grouping of political, economic, physical and cultural boundaries (Joel Garreau). From the Joel Garreau’s approach he uses “the nine nations of North America” concept where its regionalized into New England, Quebec, the Foundry, Dixie, the Islands, Mexamerica, Ecotopia, Empty Quarter, and the Breadbasket (Joel Garreau). Further in his approach what dictates the regionalization is the place where power, money and influence are being dispersed (Joel Garreau).
From the ‘Geography of North America’ approach is based on the political, historical, traditional concepts and themes (Susan Hardwick, Fred Shelley and Donald Holtgrieve, 2007). The approach argumentations are not more compelling and indicative to audience as compared to the Joel Garreau’s one. The information from its concept though is much important and helpful in one getting to know the American history.
The ‘Geography of North America’ concepts it regionalizes the continents as The Atlantic Periphery, Quebec, Megalopolis, The Great Lakes and Corn Belt, The Inland South, The Coastal South, The Great Plains, The Rocky Mountains, Intermontane West, MexAmerica, The Pacific Northwest, Hawai’i and the Pacific Islands and The Far North (Susan Hardwick, Fred Shelley and Donald Holtgrieve, 2007).
According to Joel Garreau’s approach the New England is not the only six states that are usually considered; but the area also includes the Maritime Provinces of Canada and Newfoundland (Joel Garreau). Its one of the poorest of the nine nations whereas, it’s mostly affected by cost of home heating oil and food imports particularly from California (Joel Garreau). It’s also considered one of the origins of the American antinuclear movement and considered one of the oldest Anglo civilization on the continent (Joel Garreau).
The Dixie is considered as the most affected by change – particularly the economic change that has been remarkably by many because of the changes reflections (Joel Garreau). This is also reflected in social life as there is in-migration of predominantly blacks to the region (Joel Garreau).
The Islands is entire the coverage of Caribbean Rim which the traditionalists like to think of as the tip of South America, or Venezuela where its believed that its center is in South Florida and Miami (Joel Garreau). This region leading industry is drugs – “$35 to $55 billion a year, pushing Exxon for No. 1 on the Fortune 500 list “(Joel Garreau).
Mexamerica is the most booming area where it covers from Los Angeles to Houston where if “Los Angeles was declared an independent country, it would be the 14th wealthiest country in the world” (Joel Garreau). The term “booming place” is distinguished by a sense of no limits; Los Angeles for instance, has enough natural resources for 200,000 people maximum, and there are 8 million people living there today (Joel Garreau).
Ecotopia, is a thin, Chile-like strip, is the one place in the West with enough of everything (Joel Garreau). Empty Quarter is another region which is very dry; water is a invariable worry and it’s a very flimsy place to be (Joel Garreau). Very few people live in the Empty Quarter and thus it has been rendered as politically powerless (Joel Garreau). According to Joel Garreau this is the last “colony” of the nine nations where it has one of the greatest stretches of the wilderness and quality-one air (Joel Garreau).
The breadbasket is a region that has many diversified ways that make it work in all aspects. It is characterized by and based on a fortunate renewable economy, the most productive agriculture that the world has ever seen (Joel Garreau). It is also the approval of the social change and trends in the continent (Joel Garreau). It has also great learning institutions with all the land grant universities (Joel Garreau).
The geography of North America by Susan Hardwick, Fred Shelley and Donald Holtgrieve is generally written and intended for the young learning students (for merely educational in class work). Its emphasis is based on the class work and therefore much is left behind on the basis of research and learning prowess. The Joel Garreau concept on the nine nations is an engaging argumentive debate that gives room for all kinds of people independent of their social and educational backgrounds hooked on it. The article is written on journalistic aspect that makes it a more discussing and appealing characteristics on all the readers, thus has more engaging and captivating attributes to the readers.
The factors based on the regionalization are the political power, economic power, cultural and heritage, environmental settings, historical settings among other prevailing factors (Susan Hardwick, Fred Shelley and Donald Holtgrieve, 2007). These factors play a major deal in dictating the success and importance of the region in respect to political will, economic strength among other quantified variables.
The validity in making the general assertions on the regional geography of the America is imperative since a lot of history gives plenty of information and ideologies about the region. For instance from the Joel Garreau’s concept we appreciate the fact that New England region is one of the poorest of the nine nations. The history gives the account as it being “one of the origins of the American antinuclear movement and considered one of the oldest Anglo civilization on the continent” (Joel Garreau). The history further accounts that other regions such as the Breadbasket and Mexamerica are among the wealthiest and economic viable regions; hence more political vigor is illuminated from these regions (Susan Hardwick, Fred Shelley and Donald Holtgrieve, 2007).
Generally the topic is more debatable and more so, a lot of issues, investigations and questions would arise from it. On all approaches made by the geographers still more need to be done to fully quantify and investigate on this matter. However, the approaches made are commendable because they give plenty of account on the regionalization of America. It’s with this information from the geographers that we are able to know and analyze the history, cultural heritage, political will and power, economic strengths among other factors that affect the America as a nation. Finally the Joel Garreau’s concept on regionalization of America is more presentable, engaging and decisive compared to that of Geography of North America.
Garreau J. ;http://www.garreau.com/main.cfm?action=chapters;id=27; (accessed on June 10th, 2009)
· Hardwick, S., Shelly, F., and Holtgrieve, D. Geography of North America.: Prentice Hall, 2007.