1. Within Middle America, geographers recognize the contrast (cultural, economic, and historical) between the isthmus and the Caribbean islands. Describe the diagnostic characteristics of the Mainland and Rimland regions of Middle America. Middle America includes approximately 7,000 Caribbean islands with hot, humid, and tropical climates; and is an isthmus (land bridge) between the north and South America. The four larger islands are called the Greater Antilles and the smaller islands are the Lesser Antilles (Archipelago). Sometimes middle and South America is referred to as “Latin America.” The realm is physically and politically fragmented. It began with the lowland Mayans and the highland Aztecs until the cultures collided. The Aztecs developed irrigation systems and were great pioneers of agricultural sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, and tobacco. When the Spanish first arrived in Middle America they joined forces with the Amerindians and attacked the Aztecs. This attack affected Middle America badly. The Spanish brought diseases with them, such as measles, smallpox, mumps, and many more causing their population to decline drastically. They also experienced things like changes in religion and deforestation, as well as other significant long lasting effects. Middle America is culturally diverse. The “euro-Amerindian” mainland is composed of Amerindians, mestizos (Indian and European), and Europeans. The “euro-African Caribbean” Rimland is compiled with Hispanics, blacks, mulattos (African), British, Dutch, and French. Some geographers may argue that the environment of ‘Middle America is among the world’s most hazardous environments’ and natural hazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes. The characteristics for the mainland and Rimland are very specific. The mainland is highly isolated while the Rimland is highly accessible. The mainland climate is considered altitudinal zonation and the Rimland is tropical. The Rimland consists of...
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