What differences does geography make in the course of human development?
Geography affects the course of human development because of its effect on the movement of people and the types of resources available. The main differences geography makes in the course of human development are in:
- Types of resources available
- Access to resources
- Ease of transportation for trade
- Ease of travel and migration
- Extent of interactions among societies
Types of Resources Available
Geographic features determine the resources people can use. For example, a region with many rivers has more water for irrigation. Geography makes a difference in the course of human development because it determines the resources that support society.
Access to Resources
Geography also makes a difference in the extent of access to resources. In the course of human development, people access resources by land, air, or sea. It is more difficult to access resources in an archipelago because people need boats or aircrafts to reach the various islands.
Ease of Transportation for Trade
The ease of transportation for trade is another difference geography makes in the course of human development. For example, land bridges between countries facilitate trade via transport of goods by road or rail. Rivers facilitate trade through ferries.
Ease of Travel and Migration
The course of human development is under the influence of migration, which in turn is affected by the area’s geography. For example, it is more difficult to travel in an archipelago because people need boats or aircrafts to travel around.
Extent of Interactions among Societies
Geography makes a difference by affecting interactions among societies, which enrich cultures, thereby influencing the course of human development. For example, land bridges make it easier for people from different countries to interact.
- Bentley, J. H., & Ziegler, H. F. (2011). Traditions & Encounters. McGraw-Hill.
- Wolch, J., & Dear, M. (Eds.). (2014). Power of Geography. Routledge.