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No101 September 26.docx

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North American Studies
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Bina Mehta

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No101 September 26, 2012 Land and People: Patterns of Settlement Exam: connecting Canada, USA and Mexico How or Why Does Size Matter? • Commonalities in the history and development of Canada, the US and Mexico due to size: – Struggle for the occupation and settlement of the land – Extraction of resources – Building of transportation systems – Need to attract immigrants – Political struggle between central and regional governments -all countries have struggled for occupation/ settlement -ex invasion/ land grab (Texas) Mexico was too big to fully settle -attract immigrants –Mexico less so Does Geography Matter Now? • How was the interior of the continent “discovered”? • How do transportation networks shape our understanding of each nation and change the fate of cities and towns? (i.e. Winnipeg, “gateway to the West”; or Montreal before the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway). • Waterways, railways, highways and now? -transport – should Canada naturally flow East to West or North to South? -St. Lawrence Seaway vs Great Lakes (furtrade) -Winnipeg – gateway (Key! To trade) -Missouri River—St. Louis (river ended here) -Montreal vs Toronto (when was Montreal replaced as most important city? After referendum, also the Port of Montreal no longer a stopping point 1959)—train continues through th Example: The Whoop Up Trail (19 century) • Connected Fort Benton, MT and Forts in Southern Alberta (near today’s Lethbridge and Calgary); it took six weeks by wagon • Fort Benton was at the headwaters of the Missouri river and thus connected to Saint Louis by steam ship • Whoop Up Country • The coming of the railroads changed the fate of the town and connected the Canadian Forts to the rest of Canada. • The railroads divided the western region and brought Alberta and Sask. Into Canada. -Fort Whoop Up (region of the West) -Fort Benton (before train/ railroad was important for trade) 1870 -Montana -Major cowboy/ whiskey town in USA -brought whiskey North to Canada to sell to the Natives for fur (currency at the time), built forts, flew the American flag and traded bug juice (alcohol mixed with tobacco) -Native tribes are in the area but no “Canadian” presence and no supervision – the US presence is an issue -6 week travel route via horse and buggy to bring the whiskey from Benton to Whoop Up -North West Mounted Police built a fort in the area – the fort kicked the US out, but they needed food and supplies (which were shipped through Montreal) -easiest to ship through Benton -USA realized they could take this part of the West 1880s – Railroad (things no longer shipped through USA) -connected all Canadian forts -removed need for steam ships -for Natives the border was a shared region and they crossed unquestioned -Mother Nature and politicians don’t think a like -ex political and geographical borders are different What is a Region? • Geography? • Culture, language? • States, provinces (many US states and Canadian provinces have regions within them) • Urbanites vs. rural and/or suburban dwellers • “With current technological transformations, physical characteristics (of regions) are starting to lose some of their power.” ( No 101 course pack p. 44). Do you agree? th -19 C Whoop Up was a region (traded in British and American currency and officers of both in Fort Benton, two countries living together) -shifting- historically changing -Quebec + Vermont (different places but similar) -no agreement on regions beginning and ending -rural vs urban voting –population differences (size) - is a city a region? -Americans live in Suburbs –historically and statistically -cities are dangerous -don’t invest $ into their cities -separates outside world from people within the region The United States • 3rd largest country in population th • 4 largest in size • Varied physical environment (arctic tundra, subtropical rainforests, natural harbours, arid deserts, fertile prairies, etc.) • 200 cities with 100,000 more people; however the majority of Americans live in what we could call ‘suburban’ spaces -how has Canada managed to be so close but so spread out -many regions of the USA Map The transformation of the Plains – seen as a formidable land, sparsely populated. Mechanization of farming and railroad development are key in the transformation of this area. How have people shaped and been shaped by the land? The South • Offshoot of Jamestown, Virginia (Chesapeake Bay) • Oldest permanent European settlements • Indians were removed from the South • Four of the first five presidents were Virginians • Regional identity: legacies of slavery, plantation culture, warm climate and failed attempt to separate from the Northern States • Colonial staple crops – tobacco, cotton, rice and sugar • Up until 1970, operated mostly as a colony of the North, supplying cheap labour and raw materials. • New South is part of the Sun Belt – high immigration and job growth as foreign investors are investing in Southern cities in exchange for tax relief, pollution waivers and non-unionized workers. • Growth in US military (majority of bases are in the South, i.e. Fort Bragg, in NC) • Retirees have also brought money and development to parts of the South -Additional slide notes: Most religious, least educated and lowest paid in the country. -colonial stories -the nightmare (Jamestown) -their colony was unsuccessful -Trail of Tears - Natives in the South moved, they were in the South originally -New Mexico, Arizona -crucial for the American Civil War -Natives fought on a side depending on how their tribe viewed slavery -Battle of Antidum (spelling?) -massive investment in the South and disinvestment in the North -Sun Belt -less labour unions in the South and less paid wages -huge investment in military in the South (Fort Bragg is largest) -industries brought by the base North- the dream • Offshoot of Plymouth Puritans • Long associated with core American values of religious freedom, cultural diversity, liberty, capitalism, democracy, work and education • Puritan beliefs in the middle-class values of hard work and individual uplift • Industrial revolution first arrived in America in Boston and then spread to elsewhere in the North (textile and flour mills, weapons, shipbuilding etc.) Midwest- talk with a twang • Extension of the North; settled by immigration streaming westward from northern States in the aftermath of the American Revolution and the War of 1812. • Huge populations descended from Germans, Irish, Scandinavians and Ukrainians. • “Heartland” of America and/or American core values -Cleveland Western Reserve -land reserved for the soldiers -core values/ heartland -religious -who ever won Ohio won presidency in the past 8 elections -no longer heartland—maybe farther West? -empty signifiers? -agricultural based –supply staples (food, etc) to the country -vs hinterland Industrial Midwest • In addition to farming, dairy-making, meatpacking, the Midwest has large cities that have known good and bad times. • African Americans from the South migrated to these industrial cities in great numbers • Some cities are experiencing urban renewal (Chicago); some are not (Cleveland; Detroit). -disinvestment of these cities -going to Arizona to retire—bringing retirement money and requesting infrastructure -Chicago—dream and the nightmare -uneven development in USA West- (The Big West) • Big states and small populations • Sizeable Native Indian population • These states into the Union after the American Revolution and the Civil War decided what kind of nation America would become • Yet, the West looms large in the popular perception of Americans (thanks to Hollywood) and in the perceptions outsiders have of America (i.e. The Wild West) • The West is “the frontier”; that space where man is tested, where the pioneer spirit prevails; that vast territory waiting to be “filled”. • Into the Wild • One Week -came into the Union after the Civil War -spill over zone for Civil War (battle area) and people who fought against each other are living together there -USA has enough land to absorb violence and everyone still had eno
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