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GGR100H1 (41)
Chapter 3

GGR216 Chapter 3

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University of Toronto St. George
Jason Hackworth

Middle America and the Caribbean Pre-Colonial/colonial Urban Development in Middle America and the Caribbean Central America: - Aztec population in the Valley of Mexico was facilitated by a large city, leadership was quickly subjugated by Spanish - Central America dates to the colonial era when Spain was responsible for the politico-administrative division of the region - The cities were dependent on agricultural production in their hinterlands - The urbanization could be broken down into two: - The first period of independence from Spain - The second period dates from 1930 until now, shows transition in the economic model and a new phase of accelerated urbanization - The early decades of independence marked a transition for some countries from the export of various agricultural products to nearly exclusive export of coffee - By the end of the 19 century, most of all countries in the region depended largely on income from coffee exports - However, North American investment in banana plantation, first in Costa Rica then in Guatemala. It accelerated the urbanization in these regions - International capital co-opted and monopolized the communication, transportation, and commercial infrastructures of the region - National poverty rates mirrored urbanization rate - The confluence of weather phenomena interfered with human settlement - Panamerican Highway remains the “backbone” of Central America - Despite the economic, cultural, and political development, the urban panorama in Central America is not promising The Caribbean: - Caribbean ports were scoped for harbor protection, fresh water and provisions - By the 1600s, England, France, and Netherlands began to claim the parts of the Caribbean not firmly under Spanish control - The pace of colonization and urban settlement quickened dramatically after development of the sugar plantation system on Barbados during the 1640s - 4 characteristics of the contemporary urbanization/settlement pattern: - no Caribbean island is without its primate city - the urbanization pattern in the past half-century shows the mid-size cities held the same proportion of urban residents - places with 1-5 million residents have more than doubled - lastly, beyond the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica), insularity is a key constraint Guatemala City and Indigenous Population - the city has the highest indigenous population of any country in the regi
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