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The development of farming allowed formerly nomadic people to stay in one place and led to the
development of civilization. These places had the common characteristics of fresh water (a river),
fertile soil and temperate (seasonal) climate.
Southwest and Southeast Asia are places where multiple regions meet through water routes and trade.
Southwest Asia connects Asia, Africa and Europe, while South East Asia is a pathway between
Europe/South Asia and East Asia. Both are areas of cultural convergence or crossroads.
The world’s largest Islamic country is Indonesia because its population ranks 4th in the world. The
Middle East and North Africa is the largest region of Muslims in the world.
During Soviet times people were exposed to huge billboards of communist propaganda and huge
statues of communist leaders. They were also in fear of being sent to concentration camps in Siberia
for real or fake charges of crimes against the government. The symbols on the Soviet flag were of the
hammer and the sickle. These characteristics are very similar to North Korea.
In 1989 students in China protested in Tiananmen Square for more voice in the government, at the same
time in Germany the Berlin Wall was being demolished and East and West Germany were re-uniting and
moving toward a democratic Germany. These are examples of people wanting or gaining political
Japan is an archipelago on the Pacific Ring of Fire. Because of this it is impacted by earthquakes,
volcanoes and tsunamis. Because it is an educated, well developed country its engineers have designed
buildings to withstand earthquakes. Japan also has developed the largest commercial fishing fleets in
the world. Because it is mainly mountainous, most of its people live in cities along the coast. Also, it is
limited in mineral and energy resources, so it became imperialistic in its history in order to acquire these
resources. Japan has also developed nuclear power plants for energy. Lastly, housing in Japan is much
smaller than in the United States because of limited space and they practice terraced farming because of
the mountainous terrain.
The Malay peninsula connects Southeast Asian islands to the mainland.
Both Pol Pot and Mao Zedong sought to control their populations by eliminating people they thought
would be threats to their power.
Iran has significant oil reserves.
Europeans colonized Africa because Europe is small and needed resources for the Industrial Revolution.
Japan took over parts of China because it is also small and needed energy and other resources.
Unequal distribution of resources in the world can lead to trade, but sometimes also to aggression,
imperialism and war.
Chinese dynasties had many accomplishments, including paper, gunpowder and printing.
In 1949 the communists under Mao Zedong defeated the nationalists in China. The nationalists fled to
Taiwan. This has led to an uneasy situation between the mainland and island that continues today.
China believes Taiwan is part of China and Taiwan, whose name is Republic of China believes it should
be the legitimate government of China. China is recognized by the United Nations, and lets Taiwan
practice capitalism and have a democratic government as long as Taiwan does not push the issue of
Dams are used to control flooding, create a reservoir to store water and create hydroelectricity. They
also cover up farmland, people’s homes, and archeological sites as well as disrupt the environment and
require continuous maintenance.
The British created Pakistan in 1949 as they were leaving India as a homeland for Muslims. Muslim
leaders were worried about being a minority in Hindu dominated South Asia and asked the British for
their own land.
Because of its physical geography ( mountains and deserts in the north and west, coastline in the east)
China has historically been isolated and was able to develop a homogeneous population--- most of its
population was the “same gene”—94% Han Chinese. Most of its population is along the rivers and
coastlines in the east. Most of its commerce and industry is in this location also.