A developed country (mdc) is a wealthy country with a high standard of living; a developing country (ldc) is a poor country whose economy has yet to develop therefore, having a low standard of living



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Review Guide: Human Geography


  1. What is a developed country? A developing country? A core country? A periphery country? A MDC? A LDC? A developed country (MDC) is a wealthy country with a high standard of living; a developing country (LDC) is a poor country whose economy has yet to develop therefore, having a low standard of living; a core country is a developed country having other developed countries as trading partners; periphery countries are poor countries whose economies have yet to develop, therefore their economies have produced no goods allowing them to trade with other developed nations for profit




  1. Describe the types of jobs in the following sectors: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Which sector usually earns the most money? Primary economic activity – extracting raw materials from nature, working directly with raw materials (farming, fishing, mining, logging, oil drilling); Secondary – creating finished goods from raw materials (manufacturing, assembly plants, factories, lumber mills, processing plants); Tertiary – providing information and service level jobs (banking, doctors, lawyers, teachers, retail trade) ** Tertiary is the most lucrative




  1. What is a human resource? A capital resource? A natural resource? Human resources – people at work (including number and skills of workers); Capital resources – resources created by humans to do work (machinery, technology; money for investment); Natural resources – materials created by nature that humans find useful (can be renewable or nonrenewable)




  1. What is “comparative advantage”? Countries specialize and export goods they can make a profit on




  1. How are Japan and Switzerland able to overcome limited natural resources and maintain a high standard of living? Both countries have capitalized on specialized tertiary economic activities – Japan has developed their economy with technology and Switzerland has developed their economy with international banking and tourism




  1. What is a nation-state? A nation is a group of people with a common heritage and ethnicity; a state is a group of people sharing a government. Therefore a nation-state is another name for a country.




  1. Who is fighting/arguing over the following areas and why:

    1. Kashmir

India and Pakistan are fighting over the territory of Kashmir, it started as a territory dispute, but religious tensions have emerged between the Hindus of India and the Muslims of Pakistan



    1. Taiwan

Taiwan claims independence from China, while China refuses to acknowledge their independence.

    1. Golan Heights Israel (Jewish) gained control of the Syrian territory of Golan Heights during the Six Day War in 1967; this is still an unresolved issue as Syria wants to regain control of this land area.

    2. Western Sahara

Land dispute between dispute between Western Sahara and Morocco

    1. Northern Ireland

The religious dispute between Ireland (Catholic) and Northern Ireland (Protestant) saw Northern Ireland separate to remain part of Great Britain (Protestant)

    1. Israel/Palestine

Israel (Jewish) moved onto land given to them by the U.N. in 1948. The land was occupied by Palestinians (Muslims) prior to this act. Palestinians refuse to leave certain land areas yet through a series of wars Israel has continued to retain control of these land areas referred to as Occupied Territories (West Bank & Gaza Strip)


  1. What is site? Situation? Site is the actual, physical location of a city. Situation is the relative location of a city; usually its importance is based on some regional landscape of transportation link.




  1. Why did Brazil build Brasilia? Brazil moved its capital city to the inland city of Brasilia to relocate some of the population from Rio de Janeiro the previous capital city. Although Brasilia was a modern city with beautiful architecture, the move was unsuccessful. The mass migration from the megacity of Rio did not occur and it continues to remain one of the most overpopulated cities in the world today,




  1. What is a primate city? A primate city is a major city that works as the financial, political, cultural, and population center of a country and is not rivaled in any of these aspects by any other city in that country.




  1. Why did Omaha, Sacramento, and Novosibirsk grow into large urban areas?

Omaha, Nebraska and Sacramento, California (situation cities) both grew in to large urban areas because of their relative location to the Transcontinental Railroad. Like these cities, Novosibirsk and Vladivostok, Russia (also situation cities) grew up regionally along the Trans-Siberian Railroad in Russia. That is one of Russia main sources of transportation across Siberia and one of few examples of well-developed infrastructure in that country




  1. What types of energy are currently being developed because of fears about nuclear power and other current sources of energy?

Current fears of nuclear energy with its threat of catastrophic radioactivity leakage and other pollution created from the burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas) for energy has led to the push for the development of “clean, renewable” energy. These sources include solar energy, wind energy, hydroelectric power, and geothermal energy. These types of energy do not come without drawbacks however. They can be costly to develop and some people feel wind turbines and solar panels are not aesthetically pleasing.


  1. Why do some developing countries refuse international trade?

Developing countries often do not have marketable goods to trade that would create a trade surplus, thus leaving them in debt. International trade can create interdependence among countries and that is often undesirable. Most often developing countries refuse international trade because they do not want to meet global regulations for trade, such as North Korea and their development of nuclear weapons capabilities.


  1. Why do countries join economic unions?

Countries can trade goods with no tariffs or barriers; it creates a global market for their goods; economic unions can give greater influence on the world market; more efficient; greater access to resources (natural, human, & capital)


  1. Which economic union has a common currency?

The European Union (EU) with the introduction of the euro in 2002



  1. Which economic union controls oil prices?

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)


  1. Name three mistakes made by the former Soviet Union that continue to hurt the area’s economy and/or environment.

The Soviet government was known for its mismanagement of resources and disregard for the environment. Collectivized farming techniques proved to be disastrous and resulted in the starvation of millions of Soviets during the reign of Joseph Stalin.

The decision of transplant the staple wheat crops for the cash crop of cotton the land near the Aral Sea also proved to be detrimental. This land area was in a steppe (semi-arid) climate region and large amounts of water had to be diverted to support the cotton production. It resulted in the shrinking of the Aral Sea, once the 4th largest fresh water lake to a fraction of its size and now one of the most polluted areas in the world due to heavy salt concentrations on the dried seabed.

Poorly developed infrastructure led to heavy pollution from leaky pipeline and oil rigs, leaving heavy land and water pollution in and around the Caspian Sea.

Air pollution has led to smog and acid rain from the heavy industry created and ran by the Soviet command economy.

The most catastrophic event of the Soviet era had to be Chernobyl and the radioactive fallout that resulted from the nuclear explosion during the 1980’s. This was a direct result of the government’s push to exceed all recorded nuclear power production capabilities.


  1. What is the difference between commercial farming and subsistence farming? Where would you find an example of each type of agriculture?

Commercial farming is large-scale production of crops for sale as cash crops, using mechanization. Subsistence farming is growing just enough food to survive. The United States is a country that uses commercial farming, with its abundance of fertile land and fresh water. Food stuff, such as cattle is one of the United States’ main exports. Developing countries, like those in Africa (Botswana) and Latin America (Uruguay), use subsistence farming in the rural villages for survival.


  1. What was the original intent of NATO? Its current purpose?

NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a military alliance that was created to defend Western European countries from the threat of communism (the Soviet Union) following WWII and during the Cold War Era. While communism is no longer a threat, NATO, which includes the U.S. and other Western European countries that sit along the North Atlantic, still acts as a military alliance that works to stop the threat of terrorism.

NATO = Military Alliance


  1. Name five areas that have experienced ethnic struggles in the past 20 years. Briefly explain their conflict.

    1. Yugoslavia – Albanians, Bosnians, Croats, & Serbians (ABC’S) ethnic rivalries created tension and later war following the fall of communism as a new leader of the once Soviet satellite country would have to emerge. The ethnic differences led to conflict and the ethnic cleansing of many Bosnians at the hands of the Serbs

    2. Rwanda & Burundi – Hutu and Tutsi tribal warfare following the division of land to create a new country as Belgium withdrew their control at their colonial rule. Civil war broke out when the Hutu president was killed. A retaliation strike resulted in slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Tutsi tribesmen.

    3. Greeks and Turks on the island of Cyprus. Both ethnic groups want to retain control of the island. The U.N. has divided the island between the two ethnic groups and created a buffer zone along that boundary line where they maintain a presence.

    4. Sudan – Violent civil war between northern Arab Islamic Sudanese and black Traditional and Christian Sudanese. The Islamic front was responsible for pushing the Islamic law on the South Sudanese, since the country has been split to try to control tensions. In a separate incident within the country of Sudan along the region of Darfur, black Muslims who have spoken out against the government in claims that their needs have been ignored have been targeted in militia attacks.

    5. Kurdistan – the Kurds are a nation of people with no homeland. They share a common heritage, ethnicity, religion, language and government. While they are both a “nation” and a “state” they are not a country. These people have been persecuted and are forced to live in hiding in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria.



  1. Why would people build a city on a hill?

Protection (Rome, Italy; Athens, Greece; Jerusalem, Israel are all hilltop site cities)


  1. Name two cities that are located at the confluence site. What is a confluence site?

Khartoum, Sudan and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are confluence sites, that means they sit at a site where two or more rivers come together,


  1. Why is the Red Cross called the Red Crescent in some areas of the world?

The Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that goes to the aid of those in need during a time of crisis. The Cross is often seen as a Christian symbol. Middle Eastern countries that are predominantly Islamic have chosen to refer to their organization as the Red Crescent. The Crescent is an important symbol in the Islamic culture. The Jewish nation of Israel has chosen to adopt the name the Red Crystal for their chapter of this humanitarian organization.


  1. Name a major difference between Quebec and the rest of Canada.

The people of Quebec speak French and chose to retain their French heritage, while the rest of Canada speaks English.


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