Environmental Determinism Essay

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Weather is a factor in the lives of all people residing in the world. Many studies have been conducted throughout the years to understand the influential nature of the weather and how its varying patterns have impacted the course of history. Huntington (1913) details a study of this concept in which the theory of pulsatory climatic change, first described by Professor A. T. Olmstead in 1912, is enacted to justify similarities between the climatic conditions of California and Asia as a result of their geographic likeness. The details of the study also reflect the concept of environmental determinism, in which “The simple definition…is that the natural environment is responsible for all human actions” (Hardin, 2009, p.9). Further research into …show more content…
The latter half of the research on climatic conditions lists many ways in which the environment, including the weather, has impacted human history. One example would be the onset of foreign diseases in areas experiencing a change in normal climate conditions. “In the case of the plague there is possibly some connection between the times of its occurrence and the time of increasing aridity” (Huntington, 1913, p.227). The onset of events begins with the climate changing and becoming more arid. This would lead to famine in some countries, which leads to an increase in trade activity between other countries for food. During the time of the Black Death, trade from Asia to Europe was extremely prevalent. The diseases which were common in Asia due to its dry climate found their way into the similar European climate through trade routes, allowing the foreign disease to infect people who had never been exposed to it. “Therefore [it] seems to be justified…that the Black Death may have originated during the famines which in some of the drier parts of Asia must have accompanied the period of aridity from 1100 A.D. to the end of the thirteenth century” (Huntington, 1913, p.228). Another example would be economic changes (Huntington). When climate conditions are favorable a country is able to yield more agricultural goods to sustain it and to trade, directly resulting in a stable or flourishing economy. Likewise, bad conditions could result in a lack of agricultural goods, famines, disease, etc. and would lead to a decreasing economy. “The purchasing power of any nation depends ultimately upon the natural resources of the country, and in the case of practically all the nations of antiquity the resources were almost wholly agricultural” (Huntington, 1913,

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