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Economic Geography

INTRODUCTION

Economic Geography is the study of resources in any given place. It combines the study of natural and man-made resources and the resulting consequences given in the terrain of any given place.

The origins of economic geography is unclear and there are two separate theories on how and when economic geography came into being. One school of thought suggests the origin of economic geography began with the British Empire and necessity to improve trade and transportation within the empire. The other theory of the origins of economic geography suggests it began with the ideas of trade and commerce in North America.

ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY AND THE BRITISH EMPIRE

Great Britain may only be a small island but the British Empire was large and incorporated many different countries. In order to feed such as vast number of people in the empire, trade and transportation became necessary. The science of economic geography therefore governed what could be grown and in what country as some crops grow better in some countries than in others.

The industrial revolution was an important factor in economic geography originating in this way. Raw materials would be collected from all over the British Empire and many would be shipped to Britain to be manufactured into mass produced products. The advances in transportation in turn helped with the transportation of goods and raw materials. Notable theorists of economic geography and the British Empire include:

  • Alfred Marshall
  • W.G. Ormby Gore
  • Proffessor Olinto Marinelli

ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY AND NORTH AMERICA

Theorists, Heinrich Von Thunen and Alfred Weber looked toward North America in their own studies of economic Geography. Their work was determined to decide the best places to locate business such as farming but also where to place factories, towns and cities. Studies included transportation and building costs as well as looking at what local resources were on offer in order to find the optimal locations.

Further research into North America was conducted by Walter Isard. As a result of the studies from all three theorists, this provided an important step to economic geography and the beginnings of regional science. Important theorists in regional studies therefore include:

  • Heinrich Von Thunen
  • Alfred Weber
  • Walter Isard

CONCLUSION

Although both origins are placed in very separate locations, the same principals apply. Economic geography therefore is the study of resources and transportation that is needed in order to locate businesses and predict possible consequences of terrain.

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