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Definition of 'geographical determinism'

Translation of «geographical determinism» into 25 languages

❶By contrast, geographic and climatic factors in pre-colonial Africa made establishing absolute control over particular pieces of land prohibitively costly.

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Inhibit s, ed,ing, ion, ions. Liang further generalized this geographical determinism into a political category in his essay "On the Relationship Between Geography and Civilization," also written in , in which he observed that the contents of a "spiritual civilization," like This school of geographical determinism sought to explain all the phenomena of social life through the effect on it of the geographical environment.

Although the concepts of geographical determinism must not be confused with the materialistic The geographical determinism , which holds that the geography places demands on the person to adapt and survive or not adapt and perish, echoes the ecological biology perspective which sees the newborn emitting instinctual responses to Born Under a Bad Sign: But Watsuji's analysis differs from geographical determinism as practiced by, for example, his contemporary Ellsworth Huntington, , in that he does not intend to establish a causal link between these phenomena.

He insists, on the Jung was clearly influenced by the latter school and scholars on both sides of the Atlantic shared its pre-suppositions concerning the The Incans and other native groups were not as blessed, suffering from a north—south orientation that prevented the flow of goods and knowledge across the continent. The Americas also lacked the animals, metals, and complex writing systems of Eurasia which prevented them from achieving the military or biological protections needed to fight off the European threat.

In his book States and Power in Africa , political scientist Jeffrey Herbst argues that environmental conditions help explain why, in contrast to other parts of the world such as Europe, many pre-colonial societies in Africa did not develop into dense, settled, hierarchical societies with strong state control that competed with neighboring states for people and territory.

Herbst argues that the European state-building experience was highly idiosyncratic because it occurred under systemic geographic pressures that favored wars of conquest — namely, passable terrain , land scarcity , and high-population densities. European states consequently developed strong institutions and capital-periphery linkages. By contrast, geographic and climatic factors in pre-colonial Africa made establishing absolute control over particular pieces of land prohibitively costly.

Some early African empires, like the Ashanti Empire , successfully projected power over large distances by building roads. The largest pre-colonial polities arose in the Sudanian Savanna belt of West Africa because the horses and camels could transport armies over the terrain.

In other areas, no centralized political organizations existed above the village level. African states did not develop more responsive institutions under colonial rule or post-independence. Colonial powers had little incentive to develop state institutions to protect their colonies against invasion, having divided up Africa at the Berlin Conference. The colonizers instead focused on exploting natural resources and exploitation colonialism.

Marcella Alsan argues the prevalence of the tsetse fly hampered early state formation in Africa. African communities were prevented from stockpiling agricultural surplus, working the land, or eating meat.

Because the disease environment hindered the formation of farming communities, early African societies resembled small hunter-gatherer groups and not centralized states. The relative availability of livestock animals enabled European societies to form centralized institutions, develop advanced technologies, and create an agricultural network. Livestock also diminished the comparative advantage of owning slaves.

African societies relied on the use of rival tribesman as slave labor where the fly was prevalent, which impeded long-term societal cooperation. Alsan argues that her findings support the view of Kenneth Sokoloff and Stanley Engerman that factor endowments shape state institutions. Contradicting the link between the Inca state and dried potato is that other crops such as maize can also be preserved with only sun.

Numerous scholars have argued that geographic and environmental factors affect the types of political regime that societies develop, and shape paths towards democracy versus dictatorship. Robinson have achieved notoriety for demonstrating that diseases and terrain have helped shape tendencies towards democracy versus dictatorship, and through these economic growth and development. An Empirical Investigation , [39] the authors show that the colonial disease environment shaped the tendency for Europeans to settle the territory or not, and whether they developed systems of agriculture and labor markets that were free and egalitarian versus exploitative and unequal.

These choices of political and economic institutions, they argue, shaped tendencies to democracy or dictatorship over the following centuries. In order to understand the impact and creation of institutions during early state formation, economic historians Stanley Engerman and Kenneth Sokoloff examined the economic development of the Americas during colonization.

These endowments included the climate, soil profitability, crop potential, and even native population density. Institutions formed to take advantage of these factor endowments. Those that were most successful developed an ability to change and adapt to new circumstances over time. For example, the development of economic institutions, such as plantations , was caused by the need for a large property and labor force to harvest sugar and tobacco, while smallholder farms thrived in areas where scale economies were absent.

Though initially profitable, plantation colonies also suffered from large dependent populations over time as slaves and natives were given few rights, limiting the population available to drive future economic progress and technological development. Factor endowments also influenced political institutions. This is demonstrated by the plantation owning elite using their power to secure long lasting government institutions and pass legislation that lead to the persistence of inequality society.

Engerman and Sokoloff found smallholder economies to be more equitable since they discouraged an elite class from forming, and distributed political power democratically to most land-owning males. These differences in political institutions were also highly influential in the development of schools, as more equitable societies demanded an educated population to make political decisions.

Over time these institutional advantages had exponential effects, as colonies with educated and free populations were better suited to take advantage of technological change during the industrial revolution, granting country wide participation into the booming free-market economy. Engerman and Sokoloff conclude that while institutions heavily influenced the success of each colony, no individual type of institution is the source of economic and state growth.

Other variables such as factor endowments, technologies, and the creation of property rights are just as crucial in societal development. To encourage state success an institution must be adaptable and suited to find the most economical source of growth. The authors also argue that while not the only means for success, institutional development has long lasting-economic and social effects on the state. Other prominent scholars contest the extent to which factor endowments determine economic and political institutions.

American economists William Easterly and Ross Levine argue that economic development does not solely depend on geographic endowments—like temperate climates, disease-resistant climates, or soil favorable to cash crops. They stress that there is no evidence that geographic endowments influence country incomes other than through institutions.

Other states like Canada with fewer endowments are more stable and have higher per capita incomes. Easterly and Levine further observe that studies of how the environment directly influences land and labor were tarred by racist theories of underdevelopment, but that does not mean that such theories can be automatically discredited.

They argue that Diamond correctly stresses the importance of germs and crops in the very long-run of societal technological development. However, Easterly and Levine's findings most support the view that long-lasting institutions most shape economic development outcomes. Relevant institutions include private property rights and the rule of law.

Nugent and James A. Robinson similarly challenge scholars like Barrington Moore who hold that certain factor endowments and agricultural preconditions necessarily lead to particular political and economic organizations.

They favored smallholders, held elections, maintained small militaries, and fought fewer wars. Other states like El Salvador and Guatemala produced coffee on plantations, where individuals were more disenfranchised. Whether a state became a smallholder or plantation state depended not on factor endowments but on norms established under colonialism —namely, legal statues determining access to land, the background of the governing elites, and the degree of permitted political competition.

Historians have also noted population densities seem to concentrate on coastlines and that states with large coasts benefit from higher average incomes compared to those in landlocked countries. Coastal living has proven advantageous for centuries as civilizations relied on the coastline and waterways for trade, irrigation, and as a food source. They also have to rely on costly and time consuming over-land trade, which usually results in lack of access to regional and international markets, further hindering growth.

Additionally, interior locations tend to have both lower population densities and labor-productivity levels. However, factors including fertile soil, nearby rivers, and ecological systems suited for rice or wheat cultivation can give way to dense inland populations.

Nathan Nunn and Diego Puga note that though rugged terrain usually makes farming difficult, prevents travel, and limits societal growth, early African states used harsh terrain to their advantage.

The results suggest that historically, ruggedness is strongly correlated with decreased income levels across the globe and has negatively impacted state growth over time. They note that harsh terrain limited the flow of trade goods and decreased crop availability, while isolating communities from developing knowledge capital.

Synonyms and antonyms of geographical determinism in the English dictionary of synonyms

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Environmental determinism would go with the latter when faced with this scenario. The reason is that environmental determinism, also known as climatic determinism or geographical determinism, is the belief that a physical environment affects social and cultural development.

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Frank Davey defines geographical determinism as "a belief that the landscape has or should have--effects on the personalities and perspectives of its inhabitants, [and] leads to the assumption that these effects should have greater importance to the individual than do other possible grounds of identity" (5). Definition of geographical determinism from the Collins English Dictionary Aspect When we use a verb, we often need to be able to refer to more than the time at which an event took place.

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Geographic determinism is the theory that the human habits and characteristics of a particular culture are shaped by geographic conditions. Coined by Ellsworth Huntington, the theory looked at the rise and fall of the Roman Empire from Geographic determinism What does “geographic determinism” really mean? The term “geographic determinism” is used by many scholars as a pejorative, to justify the quick dismissal of a proposed geographic interpretation of a human phenomenon.