Touring the United States Regions By Trista L. Pollard

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Touring the United States Regions
By Trista L. Pollard


1     Our country is the land of variety. As you travel across the United States (U.S.), you will see a mixture of landforms. You will also see different types of vegetation. Many people from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds also call the U.S. their home. The U.S. is even the fourth largest country in land area! So you can see why geographers use regions to study our country.
2     Some geographers divide the U.S. into six or seven regions. The United States Census Bureau divides our country into four regions. Every four years, the bureau counts our population. They have created four regions. The states in each region have common features. These features are climate, geography, history, economy, and culture. Each region also has subregions. Subregions are smaller groups of states inside a larger region. Remember, geographers may create many different types of regions. You just need to know what information you will learn from those regions. The Census Bureau's four regions are the Northeast, the Midwest, the South, and the West.
3     The Northeast Region includes the New England Region and the Middle Atlantic Region. The Atlantic Ocean is the eastern border for the Northeast. This region has a lot of history. The first Pilgrim settlers from England came to the New England Region during the 1600's. They wanted to practice their religion freely. The New England states are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. This region is known for its fishing, shipbuilding, and trade.
4     The Middle Atlantic region also has a place in history. New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania were very important when our country fought for freedom. Many of the Revolutionary War battles were fought in these states. Some geographers also include Delaware and Maryland in this region. Many farmers settled in this area. This is also a manufacturing region. There is shipping in both regions because there are natural harbors and many rivers.
5     Our tour continues with the Midwest Region. It was born when our country expanded. People from the Northeast migrated to the Midwest in the 1800's. They went for better farmland. This region is now a major farming area. The Midwest has two smaller regions—the East North Central Region and the West North Central Region. The East North Central region has Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. This is the region where the Great Lakes are located. The West North Central region contains Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. This land is mostly flat and has fertile soil for farming.
6     The South Region has the most states. Many major events in American history happened in this region. English immigrants came to the South and started large farms called plantations. These plantations produced most of the tobacco, cotton, and sugar for our country. This is also the region where slavery started and continued until the late 1800's. Today the South Region is a manufacturing region. In addition to farms, there are large businesses. Your tour through the South begins with the South Atlantic Region. As you travel, you will pass through Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia is known to you as Washington, D.C., our country's capital. It is not a state. It is located in Maryland. The East South Central states are Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The other four states, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, make up the West South Central Region.
7     The last region on our tour is the West Region. This area was the last to be settled. As people moved to the Midwest, they continued to the Pacific Coast. This region has beautiful mountains and huge forest areas. There are also deserts in the West Region. If you tour the Mountain Region, you will visit Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Montana, Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming. In the past, geographers have grouped Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas as the Southwest Region. The climate in the Mountain Region changes as you move from north to south. Mountain states in the north tend to have colder climates. The states in the south tend to be drier and warmer.
8     The Pacific Region includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. The Pacific Ocean is the western border for this region. As you travel from Hawaii to Alaska, there is a huge change in climate. Hawaii is one of our tropical states. Southern California has a warmer, drier climate. Northern California's climate tends to be cooler and wetter. Alaska, since it is close to the Arctic, has a very cold climate and snow for most of the year. It also has very large areas of wilderness or forests. The Pacific and Mountain regions have many industries. There is fishing, manufacturing, mining, logging, and farming. Many of our fruits and vegetables come from California. These regions also have areas where people can vacation and have fun.
9     Your tour of the United States regions is not over! The best is yet to come. You will learn more about each region and the features that make them unique. Enjoy your tour of the regions!

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