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ECONOMIC REGIONS IN NORTH AMERICA. INTRODUCTION What is a region? A region is an area in which certain features are similar. Regions are defined by either.

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Presentation on theme: "ECONOMIC REGIONS IN NORTH AMERICA. INTRODUCTION What is a region? A region is an area in which certain features are similar. Regions are defined by either."— Presentation transcript:

1 ECONOMIC REGIONS IN NORTH AMERICA

2 INTRODUCTION What is a region? A region is an area in which certain features are similar. Regions are defined by either natural or human features. Natural features are such things as landforms, vegetation, and climate. Human features include population, culture, and the economy of an area. An economy is a system of producing, distributing, and consuming goods and services. Regions can be defined by what goods and services are produced, distributed, or consumed. Economic regions often develop because of the natural resources available to the region. Regions then specialize in producing certain goods or services with those resources and trade with other regions. For instance, the Midwest might trade crops such as corn or soy beans with the Mountain West for minerals such as copper and gold found there.

3 C H A P T E R 1 North America has abundant land for farming, ranching, as well as vast forests. Beneath the surface of the continent are minerals such as copper and iron. Further below the surface are fossil fuels which supply oil, coal, and gas. There is also fresh water. Some of the natural resources in North America are renewablethey can be replaced at a rate at which they are used. For example, trees can be planted to replace forests that have been harvested. However, some resources are nonrenewable. When their supply is used up, they cannot be replaced. Fossil fuels are an example. Because of this scarcity, we must make choices about how to allocate these resources, what to produce with them, and therefore what we can buy. Natural Resources and the Economy scarcity: the condition of not being plentiful allocate: to decide that something should be used for a particular purpose

4 Societies allocate scarce resources in various ways. In some places, resources are shared equally. For example, Native Americans shared natural resources equally within their tribes. Other societies allow resources to be claimed on a first-come-firstserved basis. Frontier land in the United States was settled in this way. In some societies natural resources are rationedonly a certain amount is made availableor a lottery is used so that everyone has an equal chance to acquire them. During World War II, many goods such as gasoline, silk, and steel were rationed by the U.S. government in order to ensure enough supply to produce weapons, parachutes, and other goods for soldiers. Other societies barter for resources, goods, and services. The early pioneers bartered goods with Native Americans. rationed: to give out a fixed share when something is scarce lottery: a system that involves selection by chance such as a drawing barter: to pay for goods with other goods instead of money RATIONING BARTERING

5 Different regions or countries may have different allocation methods. In countries with a command economy, the government controls the allocation of resources and the production of goods. The government tells businesses exactly what to make, how much to make, and what to charge for the goods. The United States, has a market economy. The government does not control what and how much is produced. Goods and services are produced based on consumer wants and needs. Individuals in all economies must answer the fundamental economic questions of what to produce, how to produce, and for whom to produce. command economy: an economy in which decisions about production and allocation are made by the government market economy: an economic system that permits an open exchange of goods and services between producers and consumers

6 C H A P T E R 2 Location of Natural Resources While North America has abundant renewable and nonrenewable resources, they are located in specific regions of the continent. For example, the plains and prairies of the central United States and southern Canada provide land for farming and ranching. The Rocky Mountains, which stretch from northwestern Canada, through the western United States, and into Mexico are rich with forests for lumber and minerals such as copper, gold, and silver. This region is lacking in an important natural resource, thoughwater. Because of its dry climate, farming is not a major economic activity. The Midwest region of the United States and Canada has the Great Lakes. This is the largest supply of freshwater in the world.

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