Separating North America Into Sub-Regions Term Paper

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North America into Sub-Regions

By total area, the United States is the world's third largest country, with landscape that varies from temperate forestland and rolling hills on the East coast, mangrove in Florida, the Great Plains in the center of the country, the Mississippi and Missouri river system, the Great Lakes which are shared with Canada, the Rocky Mountains west of the plains, the deserts and temperate coastal zones west of the Rocky Mountains, the temperate rain forests in the Pacific Northwest, and the tundra of Alaska (United). Canada, the second largest country in the world, occupies the northern half of the North American continent, and is divided into six regions, the Pacific Coast, the Interior Plains, the Canadian Shield, the St. Lawrence Lowlands, the Appalachian Region, and the Arctic Lowlands (Geographic). The majority of the regions of both countries tend to correspond with one another. Aside from the South and Southwestern United States, Canada and the United States share similar land regions.

The Arctic Lowlands of Canada and the state of Alaska could definitely be considered one region. Like Alaska, the Arctic Lowlands, or the Innuitian Region, has nearly continuous daylight during the summer, while the winters are long, bitterly cold and dark (Geographic). And like Alaska, the majority of the area is uninhabitable and inaccessible except by air (Geographic). Moreover, both regions are home to an indigenous peoples, known as the Inuit, or formerly referred to as Eskimos (Geographic). In October 2005, Alaska's Governor Frank H. Murkowski met with the premiers of three Canadian provinces who all committed to support goof faith negotiations between their governments, North Slope oil producers and Canadian pipeline companies in an effort to ensure the most expeditious development of the project (Governor). In anticipation of an agreement in Alaska, Murkowski turned his attention to advancing the Canadian portion of the pipeline (Governor). ConocoPhillips agreed to a base fiscal contract terms with the state on a natural gas pipeline contract that meets the governor's six pipeline principles, while the states is working with BP and ExxonMobil to finalize an agreement (Governor). Moreover, Murkowski also conferred with Canadian officials about the potential of extending a rail link from Canada to Alaska, "extending an energy intertie from Southeast Alaska to British Columbia, and their collective concerns over requiring Americans to carry passport to enter Canada (Governor).

The Appalachian Region of Canada includes the Atlantic Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, were among the first areas to be settled by Europeans (Geographic). Much like the upper Northeastern states of Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, these Canadian provinces have a history of fisheries, and share the ancient mountain range of the Appalachians, which consists of low, rugged hills and plateaus, and deeply indented coastlines (Geographic).

The St. Lawrence Lowlands, or the Great Lakes area of Canada, which includes Southern Quebec and Ontario are considered the industrial heartland of Canada, and contain Canada's two largest cities, Montreal and Toronto (Geographic). Within this region, 50% of Canadians live and 70% of Canada's manufactured goods are produced (Geographic). Moreover, the region contains prime agricultural land, such as the Niagara Peninsula, and the expanses of lakes Erie and Ontario provide cultivation of grapes, peaches, pears, and other fruits (Geographic). This region shares much with the Great Lakes area of the United States, New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota (Great). Both regions are heavily industrialized and populated. This chain of five freshwater lakes form the largest lake group in the world, and covers an area of 95,000 square miles (Great). The total shoreline is nearly 10,000 miles, with over 350 species of fish, while providing drinking water for more than 40 million people (Great). This area was once vital to fur trading and regional development in the early history of Canada and the United States, and today remains a significant transportation route for iron ore, steel, petroleum, grain, automobiles and much more (Great).

The Hudson Bay extends into the heart of Canada, and wrapped around this bay is a rocky region called the Canadian Shield, which is Canada's largest geographical feature, and stretches east to Labrador, south to Kingston on Lake Ontario and northwest to the Arctic Ocean (Geographic). The Shield is the nucleus of the North American continent and is made up of roots of ancient mountains, with granite rocks that are 3.5 billion years old, or three quarters the age of the Earth (Geographic). This region is prime with minerals, including gold, silver, zinc, copper and uranium, and borders the states of Eastern Minnesota, Northern Wisconsin, and Northern Michigan (Canadian). The primary industries are farming, mining and forestry, much like the bordering states, as well as the Dakotas (Canadian). The only quaternary industries are research at the universities in Thunder Bay, Sudbury and Duluth (Canadian).

The Interior Plains of Canada are rich in agriculture and livestock, thus is similar to the states of Montana and Idaho (Interior). The Pacific Coast of Canada and the Pacific Northwest region of the United States share much in terms of climate and economy (Geographic). Both areas are home to a tropical rain forest, volcanic activity and the great western red cedars and Douglas firs, (Geographic). Much like the Arctic Lowlands and Alaska, the Pacific regions share in economic interests (Pacific). In 2003, it was reported that one of the keys to improving U.S. And Canada relations is through non-governmental organizations such as the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region and through private sector involvement which are based on economic self-interest (Pacific).

The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region represent the elected state and provincial officials of the Northwest United States and Western Canada, and works with business leaders in an effort to communicate with the region's top officials (Pacific).

The Southern United States consists of a distinctive region, with a unique cultural and historic heritage that has developed its own customs, literature, musical styles and cuisine (Southern). The South has been involved in numerous issues such as slavery, the American Civil War, and Presidential politics (Southern). This region includes the states of Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginian, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas (Southern). Southern American English is a dialect spoken throughout the South, although there are sub-dialects with speech differing between, such as in the Appalachian region and the coastal areas of South Carolina (Southern). The South as a whole defies stereotyping, however it is known to be very conservative, and supports conservative issues such as resistance to same-sex marriage and abortion, and in the past was resistant to feminism, desegregation, the abolition of slavery and interracial marriage (Southern). Perhaps because of its central role in agriculture in the antebellum economy, rural communities developed strong ties to churches that were seen as community institutions (Southern). The South is often referred to as the Bible Belt, due to its evangelical Protestantism, and is often stereotyped as being intolerant of other religious faiths (Southern). For more than two centuries, the main economy was agriculture, however during recent decades, there has been a boom in service economy, manufacturing base, high technology industries, and tourism (Southern).

The Western United States includes Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming (Western). The region has been shaped by a variety of ethnic groups, and the border states of California, Arizona and New Mexico have large Mexican-American populations, and each shares a rich history of Spanish influence (Western). Moreover, the West contains the majority of the Native American population, especially in the large reservations in the mountain and desert states (Western). Cowboy culture has become a common cultural touchstone, however modern forms include country and western music and artists such as Georgia O'Keefe, who related the richness of the…[continue]

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