Why Geography Matters and the Return of History

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Justin Rubin

GRY 320

Final Exam

December 13, 2012

For our midterm examination we were asked to write an essay that would cover some key aspects of our knowledge that we have gained throughout the course of the semester. The main discussion topic in this essay will be why geography matters and the return of history. This essay will go in the order of the following subtopics: Defining geography and an illustration of my understanding of the spatial perspective. Next will be the notion introduced by Kagan that history is returning. Lastly, I will show how geography and history can help us understand the transformations human beings have created on Earth. In this essay I will use class discussions, notes, and reading assignments as my primary source of information.

It can be very difficult to simply define geography, it can also be very misunderstood and viewed totally different by two different people. A lot of factors play into this but one big reason is due to the incorrect view many have of geography because of the “canned” geography given in lower levels of education. A good example of this would be the “map test” most high school students have to take at some point in high school. This can lead to the misinterpretation that geography is simply looking at the map and knowing where something is. If forced to give a definition of geography I would use: “Geography is the science of place and space, integrating knowledge and techniques from both social and physical sciences.” This definition was of course from Missouri State’s geography department. The view one has when he or she explores spatial distributions and underlying spatial processes
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