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LESSON PLAN: Environmental Determinism, Ellsworth Huntington, and the Decline of Geography | GeoCurrents

October 3, 2013 // 0 Comments

Environmental Determinism, Ellsworth Huntington, and the Decline of Geography | GeoCurrents. Geography is defined as “the study of the earth and its features.” Derived from the Greek for “earth writings,” geography traditionally focused on the world as a whole; investigations of smaller regions were a distinct if related branch of learning. For centuries, the main focus of geographical research was filling in the unknown portions of the world map. But as that task came to an end in the late 1800s and early 1900s, new research frontiers were sought. Many geographers turned to what was then a hot topic in social science: the racial differentiation of humankind. Others attempted to distill geographical laws from the age-old theory of environmental determinism, seeking global correlations among climate, soils, and landforms, on the one hand, and social, political, and cultural forms, on the other. By the 1910s and ‘20s, environmental determinism was the reigning paradigm of [...]
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