A complete geography (with Illustrations)
In the plan of this volume, the authors have left the beaten track to such an extent that some words of explanation seem in place. General Geography. — Probably the most difficult part of the geography for Grammar School grades is that dealing with seasons, winds, rainfall, temperature, etc. It ordinarily occupies a considerable number of pages at the beginning of the larger book and follows immediately upon Primary Geography.
This arrangement requires pupils to spring from a meagre study of simple, concrete facts to the highest abstractions in the entire subject; and, what makes the matter worse, these broad abstractions are usually only very briefly stated. The authors of this volume have followed a different plan. Only three chapters, at the beginning of the book, precede the in- tensive treatment of the United States.
The first is a physiographic history of the continent, showing how its principal mountain ranges and valleys came into existence; how its coal beds were formed; what were the effects of the great Ice Age; and what have been the more recent changes in the coastline, with their results. Then comes a chapter on the Plants, Animals, and Peoples of North America; and following that is a treatment of Latitude and Longitude.
Only so much is presented before taking up the United States because that is all that seems really necessary. Whatever further facts have been needed for North America in regard to seasonal changes, winds, etc., have been plainly stated, when needed, just as other concrete facts have been. After our continent is finished and a fair number of concrete data, bearing on these matters, has been collected, these topics themselves are treated in much detail. By this arrangement, the study of these difficult subjects has been postponed one year, and they are then approached somewhat inductively.
The authors regard this as one of the most important among their proposed changes in method. The general principles in regard to industries, distribution of inhabitants, mutual relation of city and country, and dependence of various sections upon one another, form another subject which, contrary to custom, is treated in the middle and hatter parts of the volume. One reason for this is that these broad truths approach abstractions in their nature, and are, consequently, too difficult to be earlier appreciated by children.
They are, moreover, to a large extent, a summary of what has preceded, and, therefore, naturally come last. A more inductive approach is, therefore, again highly desirable. Their great importance, also, has caused more than the usual amount of space to be given to them. Physiographic Basis and Causal Sequence. — The authors believe that rational geography must rest upon a physiographic foundation. It is physiographic conditions that most often furnish the reasons for the location of human industries, the development of transportation routes, the situation of cities, etc
. In other words, when the physiographic facts about a given region are clearly grasped, most of the other geographic facts easily arrange themselves as links in a causal chain. Thus the many details touching a certain locality are taught in relation to one another, so that they approach the form of a narrative, rather than that of a mere list of statements.
Physiography has, therefore, been introduced freely; but not too freely, provided each physical fact is shown really to function in man's relation to the earth. Physiography that is clearly shown to have a real bearing upon man greatly enriches the subject of geography; it is the unused physical geography that is a stumbling block in the grades, and this we have tried to avoid. Review of North America. —
A common defect in the teaching of geography is that the facts previously learned about the United States fade from the pupil's memory while other countries are being studied. Yet the relation between North America and the other continents is so marked that this defect is unnecessary. For example, most of the industries and important principles of physiography and climate have received the attention of a child when he has completed a general study of the United States. Foreign lands illustrate the same great ideas under slightly different conditions.
This book though old but very useful for geography students to know the fundamental of geography with illustrations
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