Themes in U.S. and World History
The Nile River was more than just a geographic factor in Egypt it was one of the main drivers behind Egyptian society, it enabled Egypt to become one of the most recognized and celebrated civilization in human history. Before settling around the Nile the largest population groups in the region were small and could not support large numbers as most of the area was desert. As people began to settle around the Nile, the population grew (The Nile and Ancient Egypt, 2011). The Nile enabled people to farm in the area, and every summer the Nile would flood and water the crops in an otherwise desert plain (The Nile, 2011).
The flooding of the Nile each year meant a plentiful bounty for the region, and this created a stable environment in which government, architecture, arts, and general civilization could prosper. While other groups were struggling in the rough desert terrain to provide basic food and water, Egyptians did not have to worry about those basic needs nearly as much as the Nile provided much of it.
Tea, China and Japan.
Tea was first discovered in China around 2700 B.C. and quickly became a popular drink in China (History of Tea, n.d.). The Chinese used tea as a medicine for the elites in society for hundreds of years.
It was not until about 600 B.C. that tea made its way to Japan. Japanese Priests studying in China discovered the drink, and brought it back with them to Japan, they found it particularly useful when they need to meditate and remain awake to study (History of Tea). Japanese love for tea quickly outgrew just priests, the Emperor of Japan especially enjoyed tea and had it imported for himself and other Japanese.
Geography and the U.S.
Bodies of water have a large effect on the development of the United States, two of the most important being the Pacific Ocean and the Mississippi River. The Pacific Ocean drove much of United States expansion, and had throughout history. The best example of this is clearly the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition’s primary goal was to find a water passage to the Pacific Ocean for trade with Asia (The Lewis and Clark Expedition). The expeditions search for the Pacific Ocean led to a multi-year exploration of many of the western lands of the United States. Lewis and Clark were some of the first Americans to explore the area and actually see the land and what is has to offer. Lewis and Clark took copious notes of the geography, the climate, and even named many of the animals they had never seen before. The search for a passage to the Pacific Ocean led to the first truly extensions explorations of the United States and allowed Americans to truly understand how diverse and expansive their nation was.
The Mississippi River is another body of water than has played a major role in shaping American history. The Mississippi runs from northern Minnesota down to New Orleans. The long length of the Mississippi River made it an important and coveted trade route, and that has been central its role in the expansion of America (The Mississippi River and Expansion of America). With the invention of the Steam Boat commerce along the Mississippi exploded and Mississippi River became an important vehicle for the transport of good to the western United States. (The Mississippi River and Expansion of America. Control of the Mississippi was also critical in the Civil War, and the south did not truly lose hope until they lost control the river.
Jenkins, Mark. “Tea Horse Road.” (2010). National Geographic. Retrieved from http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/05/tea-horse-road/jenkins-text
“The History of Tea.” (n.d.). Teavana. Retrieved from http://www.teavana.com/tea-info/history-of-tea
“The Lewis and Clark Expedition.” National Archives. Retrieved from http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/lewis-clark/
“The Mississippi River and Expansion of America.” Legends of America. Retrieved from http://www.legendsofamerica.com/ah-mississippiriver.html
“The Nile and Egypt.” (2011). eshafim.org. Retrieved from http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/geography/nile.htm