What is the cultural geography of the Americas?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The cultural geography of the Americas is extremely complex.  There are many ways to look at this geography.

One way to look at the cultural geography of the region is to focus on language.  If we look at things in this way, we would split the Americas into zones that speak English, Spanish, and Portuguese, with zones for French and Dutch speakers as well.  This is an important distinction, but it is not sufficient because there are, for example, serious differences between people in Quebec and those in Haiti even though both speak French.

Another way to look at the cultural geography is to look at race.  The cultural geography of the Americas has been strongly influenced by the fact that African slaves were brought to the area and by the fact that there are different levels of indigenous populations in various areas.  This means, then, that the culture of Bolivia (with many indigenous people) is different from the culture of Jamaica (largely populated by those of African descent).

A third way to look at the cultural geography would be to say that it is made up of a patchwork that depends to a large degree on wealth.  In this view, a rich person in Mexico City has much more in common with a person in Dallas or Toronto than they do with their own countryperson in Chiapas. 

These are some possible ways to look at the cultural geography of the Americas, but there are many others given the immense diversity of the region.

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