Physical Geography The Big Idea The physical geography

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Physical Geography The Big Idea The physical geography of Central America and the Caribbean

Physical Geography The Big Idea The physical geography of Central America and the Caribbean islands includes warm coastal lowlands, cooler highlands, and tropical forests. Main Ideas • Physical features of the region include volcanic high lands and coastal plains. • The climate and vegetation of the region include forested highlands, tropical forests, and humid lowlands. • Key natural resources in the region include rich soils for agriculture, a few minerals, and beautiful beaches. Holt Mc. Dougal,

Main Idea 1: Physical features of the region include volcanic high lands and coastal

Main Idea 1: Physical features of the region include volcanic high lands and coastal plains. Central America • Southern part of North America • Includes Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama • An isthmus, or narrow strip of land that connects two larger land areas • No wider than 125 miles between Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea • Chain of mountains and volcanoes divides Caribbean and Pacific coastal plains • No good water route, so difficult to travel Holt Mc. Dougal, The Caribbean Islands • Across from Central America in the Caribbean Sea • An archipelago, a large group of islands • Greater Antilles: Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico • Lesser Antilles: Small islands from Virgin Islands to Trinidad to Tobago • Bahamas: 700 islands • Formed from tops of underwater mountains or volcanoes and coral reefs pushed up by colliding tectonic plates

Main Idea 2: The climate and vegetation of the region include forested highlands, tropical

Main Idea 2: The climate and vegetation of the region include forested highlands, tropical forests, and humid lowlands. Islands and Coastal Plains Inland Mountains • Humid tropical and tropical savanna climates • Pacific coast savannas cleared for plantations and ranches • Caribbean coast rain forest • Cool, humid climates • Cloud forest, or a moist, high-elevation tropical forest where low clouds are common Holt Mc. Dougal,

Climate Temperatures • Little change from – Day to night – Summer to winter

Climate Temperatures • Little change from – Day to night – Summer to winter • Change in season marked by change in rainfall • Winters dry • Summers wet Holt Mc. Dougal, Hurricanes • Threaten from summer to fall • Violent winds, heavy rains, and high seas • Occur mostly from June to November • Destruction and loss of life

Main Idea 3: Key natural resources in the region include rich soils for agriculture,

Main Idea 3: Key natural resources in the region include rich soils for agriculture, a few minerals, and beautiful beaches. • Land climate attract tourists. • Volcanic ash enriched soil • Crops include coffee, bananas, sugarcane, and cotton. • Export timber from rain forests • Very few mineral and energy resources Holt Mc. Dougal,

Central America The Big Idea Central America’s native traditions and colonial history have created

Central America The Big Idea Central America’s native traditions and colonial history have created a mixed culture, unstable governments, and uncertain economies. Main Ideas • The history of Central America was mostly influenced by Spain. • The culture of Central America is a mixture of Native American and European traditions. • The countries of Central America today have challenges and opportunities. Holt Mc. Dougal,

Main Idea 1: The history of Central America was mostly influenced by Spain. Early

Main Idea 1: The history of Central America was mostly influenced by Spain. Early History • AD 250– 900: Maya built large cities with pyramids and temples. • Maya descendents live in Guatemala and Belize. • Early 1500 s: Europeans controlled most of Central America. Independence • 1821: Independence from Spain • Remained joined as the United Provinces of Central America – Britain: Belize and Nicaragua’s coast • 1838 -1839: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatamala separated. – Spain: Large plantations of tobacco and sugarcane • 1903: Panama and Columbia separated. – Forced Indians and enslaved Africans to work in mines and plantations Holt Mc. Dougal, • 1981: Belize independence

Since Independence • Wealthy landowners continued to run countries. • Economy remained based on

Since Independence • Wealthy landowners continued to run countries. • Economy remained based on bananas and coffee. • Early to mid-1900 s: U. S. -based United Fruit Company controlled most of banana production. – The company developed railroads and port facilities. – This development improved transportation and communication. • People resented role of foreign companies. • Mid- to late 1900 s: Demands for reform led to armed struggles in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. • Peace achieved only in recent years Holt Mc. Dougal,

Main Idea 2: The culture of Central America is a mixture of Native American

Main Idea 2: The culture of Central America is a mixture of Native American and European traditions. People and Languages Religion, Festivals, and Food • Most people are mestizos, or people of mixed European and Indian ancestry. • Descendents of ancient Maya live in Guatemalan Highlands and other places. • People of African ancestry live mostly along the Caribbean coast. • People speak mostly Spanish, but also native Indian languages and English. • Most people are Roman Catholic. • Indian traditions influenced Catholicism. • Celebrations are tied to religion: special saints’ feast days and Easter. • Traditional foods are corn, tomatoes, hot peppers, and cacao. Holt Mc. Dougal,

Main Idea 3: The countries of Central America today have challenges and opportunities. Guatemala

Main Idea 3: The countries of Central America today have challenges and opportunities. Guatemala • More than 14 million people • Most mestizos; almost half Indian • Live mostly in small villages in highlands • 1960 -1996: Fighting killed 200, 000 people. Belize • Smallest population in Central America • Not much land for agriculture • Ecotourism, the practice of using an area’s natural environment to attract tourists • Crops: coffee and cardamom Holt Mc. Dougal, Honduras • Mountainous country • Transportation difficult because of rugged land • Little land for farming • Exports: citrus fruits and bananas

Central America Today El Salvador Costa Rica • Land owned by a few rich

Central America Today El Salvador Costa Rica • Land owned by a few rich people • History of peace and stable, democratic government • 1980 s-1992: Civil war, a conflict between two or more groups within a country • Progress toward reducing poverty • Fertile soil to grow coffee and sugarcane • Tourism to rain forests Nicaragua • 1979: Dictator overthrown by Sandinistas • 1979 -1990: Civil war • Rebels aided by the U. S. • 1990: Democratic elections pushed Sandinistas out of power. Holt Mc. Dougal, • Crops: coffee and bananas Panama • Narrow, southernmost country • Canal links Caribbean Sea and Pacific and Atlantic Oceans • Panama Canal fees and industry make this region prosperous. • 1914 -1999: Canal controlled by U. S.

The Caribbean Islands The Big Idea The Caribbean islands have a rich history and

The Caribbean Islands The Big Idea The Caribbean islands have a rich history and culture influenced by European colonization. Main Ideas • The history of the Caribbean islands includes European colonization followed by independence. • The culture of the Caribbean islands shows signs of past colonialism and slavery. • Today the Caribbean islands have distinctive governments with economies that depend on agriculture and tourism. Holt Mc. Dougal,

Main Idea 1: The history of the Caribbean islands includes European colonization followed by

Main Idea 1: The history of the Caribbean islands includes European colonization followed by independence. • 1492: Christopher Columbus discovered the Caribbean islands, believing them to be the Indies. • The islands are now 13 independent countries. • These countries show the influence of the first European colonizers. Holt Mc. Dougal,

History Early History Independence • Columbus thought he had reached the Indies, and so

History Early History Independence • Columbus thought he had reached the Indies, and so he called the Caribbean the West Indies. • 1804: Toussaint-L’Ouverture helped Haiti win independence from France and freedom for slaves. • 1600 s-1700 s: The English, French, Dutch, and Danish established colonies on the islands. • Mid-1800 s: Dominican Republic – They built sugarcane plantations that required many workers. – Most Caribbean Indians died from disease, so Europeans brought enslaved Africans. • Africans and their descendents outnumbered Europeans. Holt Mc. Dougal, • 1902: Cuba from U. S. • After World War II, other Caribbean countries gained independence. • Some islands, such as Martinique and Guadeloupe, are still not independent.

Main Idea 2: The culture of the Caribbean islands shows signs of past colonialism

Main Idea 2: The culture of the Caribbean islands shows signs of past colonialism and slavery. People Language • Most islanders are descended from Europeans, Africans, or both. • Some Asians, who came to work on plantations after slavery ended, live on the island. • People speak Spanish, English, French, and mixtures of African and European languages. • Haitians speak French Creole, which is a dialect, or a regional variety of a language. • Former colonies are mostly Roman Catholic. Religion • People also blend Catholicism and traditional African religions. Holt Mc. Dougal,

Caribbean Culture • Islanders celebrate a variety of holidays. Festivals • The most widespread

Caribbean Culture • Islanders celebrate a variety of holidays. Festivals • The most widespread is Carnival, before Lent, when people celebrate with big parades, fancy costumes, and music. • Caribbean food reflects past. • Yams and okra from Africa Foods • In Barbados, souse is made of pigs’ tails, ears, and snouts because slaveholders gave slaves the leftover parts of the pig. • People from India brought curry to the region. Holt Mc. Dougal,

Main Idea 3: Today the Caribbean islands have distinctive governments with economies that depend

Main Idea 3: Today the Caribbean islands have distinctive governments with economies that depend on agriculture and tourism. Puerto Rico Haiti • U. S. commonwealth, or a self-governing territory associated with another country • Mountainous western third of Hispaniola • Eastern part of Hispaniola • Small farms, but exports coffee and sugarcane • More developed than Haiti but not rich • People are U. S. citizens with no voting rights. • Poorest country due to corruption • More developed than other Caribbean countries due to U. S. aid and investment • Many become refugees, or people fleeing to another country for political or economic reasons. Holt Mc. Dougal, Dominican Republic • Capital Santo Domingo is the first permanent European settlement in Western Hemisphere. • Economy: agriculture and growing tourism

Caribbean Islands Today Cuba • Largest and most populous island with Havana as capital

Caribbean Islands Today Cuba • Largest and most populous island with Havana as capital • Since 1959: Run by a Communist government headed by Fidel Castro • Communists took over U. S. owned businesses, so U. S. banned trade. • Farms are cooperatives, or organizations owned by its members and operated for mutual benefit. • Government controls the media. Holt Mc. Dougal, Other Islands • Jamaica is the largest of these other islands. • Saint Kitts and Nevis is the smallest. • A number of islands are territories of the U. S. , Britain, France, and the Netherlands. • Some islands have land to grow coffee, sugarcane, and spices. • Others attract tourists. • New construction for tourists can harm natural environment.