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The United States of America today has changed a lot in the recent past. Mostly on its physical and geographical aspects, it has experienced an upsurge of population, an increase in the technological and other variables that physically demand space. being a fast moving world today every country America included, has taken into consideration on how to maximize efficiency while minimizing loss and wastage. Over the time, there have been conditions on the continents that have changed which have been conditioned by the natural environment and other human related activities. In the past centuries, human activities had minimum impact on the physical environment and thus the geographical features were raw and minimally tampered with (Miller, 1).
The physical geography in the past was a strong bay for the growth of the national economy for instance the clean beaches, and other natural recreation facilities that was an attraction to tourists and other visitors, mountains and vast land for agriculture and other activities which have an economical value. However this has been significantly reduced as visitors prefer lesser destinations in the major American former number one holiday spots. Human activities have also been a contribution to the downgrading of the environment and thus a reflection in the general economy (Hiatt, 102). In this study, we take into consideration two of the most significant states in America; New York and Hawaii. The states have an approach that is near opposite in how the physical geography has influenced their past, present and how it will shape their future growth of the general economy.
Hawaii, for instance is a collection of 8 islands stretched of ff the coast of the mainland American coastline, its islands include: Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, Lanai Molokai and Niihau and Kaloohae. An interesting fact in the Hawaiian geography is that it is nearly a protectorate of the Government. It is only a few people who not only have inhabited the island but own land while the government takes the rest of the stake. Its one of the few places not only in America but all over the world, that has been isolated by the government and its geography remain unhampered and is also a world acclaimed destination. Most of its natural resources which include the major beaches and sites have from the past have remained raw and untampered with. Only a handful of a percentage of the whole Hawaii is individually owned (about 39%) this explains how the natural state of the place has been maintained (Schaeffer, 70).
Hiatt (100) observes however that one aspect of the island that made it not agriculturally unattractive is because it is a mountainous island with six out of its eight islands not being able to support agricultural activities. History has it that as the settlers moved in, they utilized a few of the viable parcels of land and made it once one of the leading planters and exporters of sugarcane due to its volcanic soils. Fruits like pineapples have been on the increase as they have the ability to do well in the volcanic soils. The physical geography remains largely unaltered hence presently; the Hawaiian economy has been on the stable front. It is a social interaction centre that attracts the major holiday makers, hence increasing the tourists’ number.
It is an interesting fact that the Hawaiian population has for along time been either declining or remaining constant. most of the people in the island have divergegence culture races and ethnicity. However there is a good and peaceful coexistence of the people here.
New York is another U. S. state and a home to one of the largest city in the world, it has a large population and has been rated as one of the most populated city on earth. It is mostly urban and sometimes is referred to as the Concrete Jungle whereby it has end to end human and structural existence. Majority of the city is built by human and there are few natural resources or things that exist now in New York (Schaeffer, 60). The city is said to have more people in the US than even some of the major states in the country. It is one of the major hubs of manufacturing that is meant to drive the American economy. The Manhattan queen and Brooklyn account for the majority of the city’s major industries. The physical geography of the New York city has enabled it to have these facilities, for instance the nearness to the ocean and the river, which is essential for the usage growth of industries. The man made structures like the Manhattan bridge have been significant in the transport of human resource and labor to the industries. The city is also a hub of commerce and retail trade that oversees the smooth provision of goods and services.
Further, the large population of New York has necessitated the invention of better services like electricity, water, land and other essential services. This has led to an increase in the adoption of not so green-friendly ways of generation of services. The ways include use of oil or electricity based ways of power generation. A sure way of increase in pollution and other environmentally unfriendly situations
in both the states we have illustrated how the physical geography has affected their past, present and future growth. In as much as there are conservative steps that are taken to maintain the states, it can be said that it is inevitable that human activities will maintained (McDonnell, 1).
However there are some human activities that have a positive impact on the physical geography and the general economy for instance, the government has used the Kahoolawe island for military exercises , this has a socio-economic importance on both the people and the government because its is far from human settlement and has a lower economic burden (Miller, 1). Others have been the construction of manmade structures like dams and artificial beaches and other amenities in both Hawaii and New York. Bringing up of Bridges and construction of subways has enabled transportation of the human resource and other resources to places of work. in Hawaii the un agricultural land have been transformed into productive land and hence a more productive land.
In conclusion, physical geography has a great influence on the past, present and future economic development of regions. This is well illustrated above in the case of New York and Hawaii. Due to the nature of the soil, Hawaii practices agriculture and tourism while New York is largely and industrial state.