World Human Geography Notes

Oh boy, kids - this post is going to be a doozy. Both informative and boring as hell - but maybe - just maybe, you will be able to use these notes sometime.

This is my attempt at memorizing my notes for world human geography. I haven't done so hot in this class and am sitting at a low B. Not good for the GPA. I have another class that is even lower. Not the best semester of my school career. Terrible year, all in all. But it is not so bad now. Anyway, without further ado - here's my notes!

East Asia
- highest standard of living until Industrial Revolution
- Japan, Singapore, South Korea are all modern societies

  • -  China is making strides and India is catching up China
  • -  Great Wall of China = great military edifice 1000 years ago, still is today.
  • -  population is very high and very dense
    - over a billion
  • -  people have moved from the interior to the coast for employment
  • -  infinite supply of labor but the country is still poor
  • -  still a lot of progress being made
  • -  population increase means an increase in production per acre expanded from
    North to South
  • -  roughly same size as US
  • -  most people are in Eastern China
    >History of China
  • -  the Opium Wars with Great Britain
    • -  the Chinese market was already so diverse that the only British product to sell was opium
      - Chinese government didn’t want opium because it’s destructive to the society
    • -  lost wars
  • -  China was too big for the colonial powers to control
    - made spheres of influence
  • -  the people were treated horribly but had to put up with it because it was like that
  • -  1911 Revolution
    • -  the Europeans had left when WW1 had started a power struggle between the nationalists and communists
    • -  capital city was in the South East
    • -  1928: the communists were gathered up and shot
    • -  they ran even farther south but the nationalists pursued
    • -  the communists fled north
    • -  this was called the Long March
    • -  by the end, 90% are dead
    • -  all the future communist leaders were part of it
    • -  communists settle in the middle of nowhere
  • -  Japanese invaded Manchuria during the Great Depression
    - the communists & nationalists worked together to fight off the Japanese - after a 5 year struggle, WW2 began

  • -  WW2
    - Russia ran the Japanese out of Manchuria (the industrial part) - they gave it to the communists (duh)
    - nationalists were corrupt

  • -  the communists had a land reform slogan - supported the landless peasants
    - majority of the population
  • -  communists attacked from the north
  • -  nationalists fled to Taiwan
    • -  established own government which was recognized by the US as China for
      many years
    • -  it was an economic miracle in computers
  • -  the People’s Republic was established on the mainland program called the Great Leap Forward
    - failed...
    - focussed everything on heavy industry
  • -  China is a hard working populace buy by 1962 it was exhausted
  • -  had series of droughts
  • -  the greatest number to ever die in a famine
  • -  late 1960s
    - program of reculturation destroyed moral
    - “westernizing” was very bad
  • -  1976
    - Mao Zang Tung dies - main leader
  • -  country was very isolated until after 1976
  • -  most Chinese live on farms doing hand labor
    - focus on rice
    - wheat also good in the dry climate
  • -  Chinese won’t waste anything
  • -  put in collective farms to increase production for the cities
  • -  lots of surplus labor
  • -  1980
    - population policies began
    - country couldn’t handle a growing population
    - tried to limit the growth by limiting a family to one child - no dirty children running around (anymore)
    - living space was/is very limited

- usually 1 room/family
- kitchens & bathrooms are communal
- improved housing & schooling for that one kid

- boys are much more preferred over girls. Why?
- don’t have to pay a dowry to marry a boy off

- the policies worked that you lose benefits if you have more kids - society is extremely structured
- no teenage PDA at all
- no gays

- majors and marriages are suggested by the parents
- crime is not near the same as in the US
- soon the 1 Child Policy will cut down on the working population
- definitely an aging population and the few will be taking care of the many - 1997

  • -  Asian Contagion
  • -  put competition to everyone else 7 lowered currency & because they did that,
    the stuff was cheaper then everyone else’s. So the developing world had to lower prices to keep up, which caused a lot of problems, but China wanted the world to buy Chinese stuff
    > Economy of China
    - 50 years of war and revolution had completely destroyed the country - the infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc) were practically non-existent
    - northern China

    - multitude of coal
    - focused on heavy industry
    - shipped coal to the vast reserves of low grade iron ore - lots of pollution
    - focused on Manchuria for economic advancement
    - plenty of people to do the work
    - “Man has town hands but only one mouth”

    - modern investment in Hong Kong & they invest in China
    - started out in textiles
    - went to electronics & heavy industry
    - factories are located on the coast instead of the interior because the roads are so bad - infinite supply of labor in the interior wanting to go to the coast and compete for $1/day - revamped the little electric motors

    - made them standard quality for little money - most of the money stays in the west
  • -  backward & isolated country
  • -  1853: US sent Matthew Perry (he said this & idk why it’s relevant but I put it in the
    notes anyway)
  • -  hierarchy: noblemen, then samurai, then peasants
  • -  Industrialization
    - 1868: new government
    - moved the capital to Tokyo
    - copied Britain (Brit was the most powerful in 1868)

    - started off with textiles
    - New order: Samurai became the bosses of factories & the peasants became

    the workers
  • -  Japan is a trading country ***he said this a lot
  • -  exporting society
  • -  1904: Russo-Japan War
    - Japan had low coal grade reserves in Kitakyushu - lack of raw materials: get them from China
    • -  China controlled by foreigners (spheres of influence)
    • -  can’t drink water, so they drank beer (Germans taught them how to make
      beer = really good beer)
    • -  NE corner of China: Mangiere (sp?)
      - under Russian sphere of Influence
  • -  W. Edwards Demming
    - Total Quality Management Control
    - US didn’t want him, so they sent him to desperate Japanese - Quality control became a big focus

  • -  Japan is a destroyed country
  • -  Early 1950s: Korean War- Japanese made a fortune
    - Toyota was saved by Korean War - Toyota
    - started out in textiles
    - founder had a son that wanted to make cars in 1920s - WW2: Japanese government needed lots of trades

    - won race, military let them build shitty trucks - by the end of WW2, company is almost broke
  • -  1972: all hell broke lose
    - first oil embargo: the price of oil soared - fuel economy became an issue for cars

  • -  Japanese society and character - cheap
- traditional
South Asia
- very complicated culturally
- lots of different islands inhabited by different peoples
- lots of influence from China, India, and colonial powers - area was over run by Japan

- when the Japanese left, the Europeans couldn’t regain control
- Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand are the most modern countries in the region - Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos are the most backwards
- the tropics are very warm throughout the year
- lots of rain in the summer (monsoons) and dry in the winter
- some desert, but mostly moist

- modern country

- used to be really poor
- primarily a Chinese city so it seceded from Malaysia
- very low crime rate because of the harsh punishments
- key port city
- manufacturers of electronics and textiles (more and more electronics)

- source of rubber and cheap electronics

- “forgotten” British colony until the British needed a place to grow rubber - historically a lot of Indians worked as laborers
- complex religiously and culturally
- advanced economically
- invested in real estate
- lots of loans out

- “export your way out”
- popular middlemen in contracts
- lots of bankers and business people
- subcontracting from the Japanese
- not taken over by colonial powers; literal translation is “Land of the Free” (Thai)

- big population
- decent resources, but not well explored in general

- terrible mismanagement throughout colonial history
- first by the Dutch Colonies, then Japanese took over low wage industry - known as Spice Islands

- A LOT of muslims - civil war
- neo-colonialism

- controlled by Spain until the US took over
- also suffered from mismanagement and corrupt government - main resources are metals (copper, nickel)
- very agricultural

- export a lot of fruit
- focus of the US for a decade
- the new dominated the college campus life of the time - History:

  • -  was a french colony
  • -  they used it for rubber
  • -  overrun by the japanese during ww1
  • -  not in a good shape by the end
  • -  the Vietnamese army (Viet Minh) was led by Ho Chi Minh
    - he was a nationalist and not very popular with the US
  • -  after WW2, France tried to re-establish control
  • -  they had fortress disrupting the Viet Minh’s supplies from China
  • -  they were defeated by the Viet Minh a few times and the war lost popularity in
  • -  a peace agreement was signed
  • -  it divided the country into North & South
    • -  North was given independence, but South was still controlled by French until the US stepped in
    • -  Eisenhower provided aid to a revolt in the south
    • -  the revolution did not go well...
    • -  US provided them more and more aid as time went on because they
      were losing
    • -  advisors began to be sent in addition to supplies & money
    • -  at first the advisors didn’t fight but soon they were allowed to shoot back
    • -  then more troops were sent to protect them
    • -  US commitment increased drastically as they were still losing
- at first you could easily get deferred
- time went on and it was harder to get deferred - 500,000 troops total

  • -  1964: Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed by US Congress allowing the president to do whatever it took to win the war
    • -  he said that American boats had been shot at, but that was a lie (a lot more shit was going on)
    • -  by the end, several senators knew they had been lied to & pres. Johnson had no answers
    • -  winning the war no longer seemed possible
    • -  the mess was all over the media
  • -  Nixon promised to get out of the war & win peace
  • -  replace American troops with Vietnamese
  • -  finally moral broke down so much within the American military that they had to leave
  • -  Vietnam was reunited
  • -  it had been completely destroyed
  • -  the people are hard-workers though
  • -  Economy
    - restarted after the war with textiles
    - now also major coffee plantations
    - it is trying harder to enter the world market

    - no fuels but still trying to be a big industrial power - controlled by the British for many years
    - two religious groups: Hindus & Muslims

    - Hinduism
    - philosophy of life more than a religion
    - 1 billion adherents
    - no specific founder
    - evolved
    - Buddha was just trying to reform Hinduism
    - Karma, Dharma, and reincarnation are the three basic beliefs

    - Karma: idea that your actions in this life choose how your next life is going to be
    - if your life sucks then you must have been bad in your past life & there’s nothing you can do about it
    - Dharma: caste system
    - no upward mobility

  • -  you die on the same level you were born into
  • -  each person is born to do a particular duty & that is the only
    thing they should (and can) do
  • -  major problem for economic advancement; who is
    supposed to do all the technological jobs? - SIKHS!
    - combination between Islam & Hinduism
  • -  Economy
    • -  dominated by agriculture
    • -  employs half the population
    • -  began as a socialist economy, more and more bureaucracy has been
    • -  1947: first thing is iron & steel in Jamshedpur (Indian equal of Ruhr)
    • -  Mumbai is the west and biggest economic center
    • -  textile industry then banking
    • -  by 1991: the bureaucracy was so bad that the government gave up control of
      the market
    • -  English is the language of the educated
    • -  Chenai in the South is where the main location of the Indian Institute
      Technology is; BIG DEAL IN INDIA
      • -  lots of competition in technology
      • -  more and more options to work overseas
      • -  numerous call centers
      • -  put stress on the family as the kids make more money than the parents
        and spend it on Westernization
  • -  In 2000 when everyone was scared that computers would crash, American companies
    brought Indians to the US to fix it just in case
  • -  During the same recession in 2001, those Indians were laid off
  • -  many many highly qualified technological people in India
  • -  By the time America recovered & needed tech specialists again, the internet made it
    possible for them to work from halfway across the world
  • -  anything purely knowledge based like paperwork, programming, etc. can be sent
    without much cost
  • -  the Indian middle-class is bigger then the entire population of the US
  • -  India’s main resource is brain power
  • -  the majority of the population is still poor
  • -  farmers have nots
  • -  the nationalists are still in power & they are against globalization
Middle East (here we go)
  • -  hot & dry
  • -  in the heart of subtropical high
  • -  moves north & south & the rain moves with it
  • -  rain is few and far between
  • -  the air is sinking which condenses it and makes it hotter; needing rising air for
  • -  water is more available in the mountains
  • -  cultural similarities region-wide
  • -  majority speak Arabic & are Sunni Muslim
    - except for Iraq and Iran which are majority Shi’ite
  • -  only different countries because the Ottoman Empire, which controlled most of the
    area, was dissembled after WW2 but it had already been deteriorating
    - Turks had a big army but needed military technology from Europe

  • -  had nothing to give in return but trade rights
  • -  by end of the 1800s the Empire officially controlled things but those trade rights were
    the real power
  • -  during WW1, the Ottoman Empire allied with the Central Powers
  • -  the technological difference was just too great against the British
  • -  they betrayed the Muslims & divided the empire up themselves
  • -  Iraq for example was just three provinces slapped together
  • -  the new territory lines were based on the earlier trade rights
  • -  today there is a great gulf between the poor & rich
  • -  based dramatically on oil
  • -  production & prices
  • -  in general, countries with the oil don’t have many people and countries with people
    don’t have enough oil ****HE SAID THIS A LOT.
  • -  latter are incredibly poor & have a tremendous economic contrast
  • -  lots of oil reserves but not much development
  • -  ISLAM
    - similar to Judaism & Christianity
    - except we believe that the Quran is the direct word of God - not from divine inspiration like the Bible
    - tradition is sacred
    - originated in 570 AD in Saudi Arabia

    • -  Muhammad
    • -  Mecca/Jeddah
    • -  ran to Medina (converted them first)
    • -  within 100 years, the faith had spread all the way to the Atlantic, up into
      Europe; east to Iraq & Iran
  • -  various distinctions within the religion
  • -  two main ones: Sunni & Shi’ite
  • -  breaking point was the issue of succession; vote by elders (like who would lead
    better) *Sunni* or by blood *Shi’ite*
  • -  5 Pillars of Islam
    - prayer (5X/day)
    - Affirmation of Faith

    - there is only one God & Muhammad is the prophet - Fasting
    - Ramadan (uggggghhhhhh)
    - No eating/drinking during the day - no smoking (anything)
    - no alcohol
    - no sex
    - no cursing
    - you have to be modest in clothing

    - it reeeeeally makes you thankful for what you have. - Pilgrimage to Mecca
    - at least once - Almsgiving
    - ~10% to the poor (old form of taxes)
    - There isn’t anything in the Quran that says to treat women like shit. - it actually raised the status of women during the time
    - treatment varies among the countries
    - some have even had a female head of state

    - the exception to the economic development problem
    - eagerly trying to join the European Union
    - a lot of people
    - not much oil but has other resources (coal and steel)
    - took the western model of starting out in cheap labor industries (textiles) & moving up - doesn’t suffer from lack of stability like the rest of the middle east does
    - part of Turkey is in the middle east (Asia) and part is in Europe

    - 3 regions put together by the British after WW1
    - three important geographic & cultural distinctions

    - KURDS! :) in the north (20% of population - Shi’ite in the south (60%)
- Sunni in the middle (20%)
- the oil is in the north and south
- Sunnis (minority in the country) is in power - History

  • -  major religious problem because the Kurds didn’t get a country after the war
  • -  Kurds are at their strongest in Iraq
  • -  longtime revolution in the north
  • -  around 1975 the Iranians (Persians) began supplying the Kurds in order to keep
    the Iraq army busy with killing the Kurds while the Iranians took an island
  • -  they stopped supplying the rebellion and the Iraqi army defeated the Kurds by
    killing thousands
  • -  there is not a revolt in Iran
  • -  Saddam Hussein (asshole) takes the island back for Iraq and tortures/kills
    hundreds of thousands of Kurds while displacing millions
  • -  Shah of Iran is overthrown
  • -  the war against Iran lasts 8 years (1980-1988)
  • -  all of the Arab states are afraid of the problem in Iran & help Iraq (but not so
    much the Kurds)
  • -  no one wins or loses the war
  • -  Iraq is in major debt
  • -  sold more oil but for a low price
  • -  in 1981 Saddam thinks it’s a good idea to try to take over Kuwait because he
    believed that Kuwait was actually a part of Iraq
  • -  the US runs them out
  • -  Bush jr. says Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, but no one found them
  • -  US invades Iraq and initially makes things better for the Kurds by capturing
    Saddam, but they eventually add to the shit storm of problems Iraq faces
  • -  only winner from Iraq-US relationship is Iran
    - small area
    - the jews & arabs are essentially fighting over dirt and using religion as their excuse - history

  • -  the ancient Jewish homeland from 2000 years ago after the Romans ran them out
  • -  650 AD overrun by Islam and remained that way
  • -  everyone always blames the Jews
  • -  they were the bankers of Europe
  • -  1880: Ottomans owned Palestine; Jews came in but Arabs didn’t feel too
  • -  British take over the area after WW1
  • -  Jews petition them for their own country
    - movement is called zionism
  • -  in 1933, Hitler becomes Chancellor and this is a key date for the formation of
  • -  he & a lot of Germany blamed the Jews for losing WW1
  • -  they are severely discriminated against
  • -  even after WW2, no one wanted the Jews
  • -  zionism led them to Palestine
  • -  Arabs are already there and they don’t want to leave; so they started fighting
  • -  Israel always win
  • -  the problem was taken before the UN & in a practically unanimous vote, the
    Jews were given their own country. (Arab countries were not represented) = not
  • -  no country wants the Palestinians who had moved out, so they linger on the
  • -  lots of terrorism since then
  • -  1956: 10 Day War against a combined army of Egypt, Sudan, Libya, etc.
    - Nasser (former Egyptian leader) gets the Suez canal
    - Israel fights for it, takes them 10 days to win, but they didn’t tell the US - US got pissed and told them to gtfo, so they did
    - Israel still wins

  • -  1967: 6 Day War against another combined army; not Libya this time though) - This time they kept the land they got
    - pissed off the Palestinians
    - Israel wins again

  • -  1973: Yom Kippur War against another combined army
    - Egyptians surprised Israelis
    - took two weeks
    - arabs fought, israelis lost a lot of people relative to their population - Egypt finally recognized Israel

    - Israel wins
  • -  1979-1980: Israel invades Lebanon to end the terrorism
    - went all the way to Beirut but started sustaining to much loss
  • -  1990: Intifadah
  • -  2008: Hezballah War
    - Israel always has to win; losing even once means total destruction

    - has the big advantage of western aid for modern military technology
- West Bank is the key real-estate
- it is sacred to all three major religions

- After the Yom Kippur War, work was started on peace treaties
- need a solution to the fact that everyone wants the same pieces of land - tough political decisions need to be made
- the situation is highly unstable
- Israel is in a dangerous position

- main resources are metal and the people (no natural resources) - incredibly poor
- Muslim
- agriculture and industry
- Taliban

- also only metals and people
- & incredibly poor
- Muslim
- agriculture & cheap industry
- Grameen Bank gives low interest, low dollar loans to woman - always paid back

  • -  isolated and peaceful
  • -  created as buffer state to separate the British empire (which ruled a lot of south Asia)
    & Russia
  • -  also no natural resources
  • -  cheap narcotics (opium, heroin) though
  • -  History
    • -  1978: a communist government takes the country over and is quickly in trouble; Russia takes advantage of the situation to invade
    • -  US gives aid to the resistance (muhjadeen)
    • -  the government hates these soldiers of God
    • -  they are a little crazy, but they do want to fight the Russians
    • -  Charley Wilson, a democratic congressman from Texas, is a big advocator for
      this aid
    • -  The Soviet is defeated
    • -  civil war: the Taliban, a fundamentalist Muslim group, gain power
    • -  male-dominated society with a lot of rules (veils, beards, etc)
- aaaaand then there was 9/11
  • -  the Industrial Revolution had been coal powered
  • -  petroleum is the main thing today
  • -  world consumption is about 85 million barrels a day
  • -  the major producers are Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the US
  • -  major consumers are the US, China, & Japan (&Germany)
  • -  oil industry started in 1859 in Titusville, PA as a substitute for whale oil
  • -  Edwin Drake was the first person to be an oil millionaire but goes bankrupts and dies
  • -  the problem was too much oil, so it’s impossible to control production
  • -  always series of boom and busts
  • -  by 1900, Rockfeller (Standard Oil) is the wealthiest American in history
    - started out poor
    - worked as a bookkeeper
    - figured out that you can control distribution
    - he was very anti-competition and did some illegal things
    - was forced to give up monopoloy
    - oil was starting to be needed for transportation by then so he was still rich

  • -  7 Sisters dominated the industry - Standard Oil/Exxon
    - Mobil
    - SoCal
    - Texaco
    - Gulf
    - Shell
    - British Petroleum

    - they act as a family instead of competitors
    - five of the seven are American
  • -  almost infinite supplies in the Middle East
  • -  production is cheap
  • -  1947: first year US is an oil importer
  • -  1960: OPEC formation to solve problem of surplus and price
  • -  1973: oil embargo towards the west
    - war between Iraq and Iran
  • -  1985: prices plummet to $8/barrel when production got out of control; another price
    spike in 1991 to $40/barrel
    - the world recession in 1998 brought the price down to $10/barrel

- 2008, price was $147/barrel - April 26, price was $85/barrel


  1. Tons and tons of information, I actually learned something!

  2. Good ones. The history and geography notes of yours quite accurate. But I didnt catch that part about SIKHS though.

  3. I enjoyed learning from your notes. Thans for posting them. I want to see the deserts in South Asia now.

  4. Ah, I remember this all too well... good luck on your finals.

  5. There are actually some interesting things in there. B's aren't so bad, much better than a fail, but good luck on getting them up.

  6. well, i've read that the country with the highest percentage of people with high IQ is India

    opium is old school weed

    gosh, you have a million facts to memorize! O_o
    i think it would be easier if you categorize facts per country and timeline significant events...

  7. Really interesting post! Thank you
    Sometimes we know this things but we don't think about it and this post makes us remind it!

  8. Yyyy... I think that it's little long.

  9. hahaha! long enough to make me fall asleep :D

  10. Dear god! I started reading it, but then I understood the length of it.. and gave up. Good luck man!

  11. Are you doing a report or something here?


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