Environmental Determinism and Modern Geography - Deepstash

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Environmental Determinism and Modern Geography

  • In the late 19th Century, environmental determinism was revived by the German geographer Friedrich Rätzel. He was heavily influenced by evolutionary biology and the impact a person's environment has on their cultural evolution.
  • Rätzel's student, Ellen Churchill Semple, introduced the theory in the United States in the early 20th Century, where it grew in popularity.
  • Another student of Rätzel, Ellsworth Huntington, also worked on expanding the theory, which led to a subset of environmental determinism, called climatic determinism. He said that the economic development in a country could be predicted based on its distance from the equator.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

  • Strabo, Plato, and Aristotle used climatic factors to explain why the Greeks were more developed than societies in hotter and colder climates.
  • Aristotle developed a climate classification system to explain why people settled in some regions of the world.
  • An Arab sociologis...

Environmental determinism's popularity began to decline in the 1920s as its claims were often found to be wrong. Critics claimed it was racist and perpetuated imperialism.

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