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Lecture 4

GGR254 Lecture 4.rtf

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Robert Lewis

Lecture #4 - Resource economy: Mining, the Mesabi Range and the West The National Economy and Mining - David Meyer: America formed along regional lines - he argues that increasing economic-spatial specialization of national economy drives America's rise to industrial supremacy - He emphasized transportation and communication, the telegraph, railroads, they reduce the prices, increase the speed of movement of ideas and goods National Economy and Mining: 1. Physical geography - Physical character of the USA shapes economic development - Different sectors of the US are specialized in different minerals National Economy and Mining: 2. Integrative - Oil is mostly found in the south near Texas and Louisiana - Oil is integrated through pipelines, to supply the rest of the country for consumer and economic oil National Economy and Mining: 3. Regional complex formation - In Texas, for example, oil production (a) is a mix of urban and rural production-financial nodes (b) links the region to the rest of the US - You have settlements and transportation around oil deposits - People move to large cities such as Houston and Dallas to service these deposits National Economy and Mining: 4. Landscapes - Mineral extraction is responsible for the creation of varied landscapes - Being an oil town is much different than being an auto town like Detroit - Creates differing landscapes National Economy and Mining: 5. Dependency - The cities are dependent on the mineral, this is a problem if it runs out - Resource centres are vulnerable to fluctuations in the demand and accessibility of the product, which has long term negative impacts - Also dependent on the price of extracting the product -- the global market could control this Case Study: Mesabi Range - Extraction and manufacture of iron ore central to America's industrialization - Central area to the rise of America as an economic superpower - South of Ontario, North of Minnesota - Major deposit in the US - One of 4 ranges in N. Minnesota - 110 by 3 miles - A stratified formation running east-west - Markets: supplied the steel mills all over eastern US - Important between 1890s and 1950s (for skyscrapers, etc…) - It created specific landscapes: - Mining - open pit - Urban - dependent towns - Infrastructure - railroads, etc… - Hibbing, MN: built around the extraction and distribution of iron ore to the manufacturing belt's blast furnaces - Iron ore from Mesabi fed the steels mills of the Manufacturing belt - Iron ore was part of the construction of work and living spaces - Such as the steel producing districts of Chicago, far from the iron ore mines Mining and the West - Part of regional specialization, copper, gold, silver were key (gold boosted the growth of California) - The west became a resource hinterland to the manufacturing belt - "The great warehouse of raw materials" - The region supplies the Atlantic-based industrial system The West: The frontier - Directly linked to the rise of agriculture, ranching, and mining - Growing population builds up western states - From 1850 to 1920, percentage of overall population goes from 0.7% to 6.7% of total US The West: Investment and the government open up the frontier - Capital is driving this - Capitalism is driving this economy - Based on investment, which is linked to - Land policy -- privatization of land - Resource discovery - government and corporations investing money and time into this - Mining leases - Military -- bring law and order into the mining regions, kick out the natives The West: Investment and corporate capital - We start to see large corporations controlled from the major Eastern cities - Ownership of mines and control over mineral production quickly taken over by eastern- based corporations The West: investment and transportation technologies - The government gives railroad companies lots of free land to built their lines - They integrate the West into national and international world - They connect western mines to eastern factories The West: Grabbing Native Indian land - Pacifying the native population centred around usurping property, building settlements, and creating state policy The West: Phelps Dodge and Copper - The NYC copper company, Phelps Dodge is a great illustration of the forces that made the western mining landscape - Became a large multinational corporation due to lucrative copper mining Phelps Dodge: Outside corporate control - Control over finance, production etc. from outside the region, Phelps Dodge was run from NYC - Lack of control within the region/regional Phelps Dodge: Spatial shi
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