A critical overview of the lush green fields of the Gangetic plains to the vast arid expanse of the sub-Saharan region, a bird’s eye view of the sprawling Shanghai high rise to the primitive dwellings of an Afghan hamlet raises quite an interesting question – Is the profound contrast in terms of prosperity and growth a whim of the almighty or is it the effect of geography? Geography has been instrumental in shaping the course of human civilization. It has brought about evolution and transformation of regions such that some countries have abundant primary energy resources, valuable minerals and immense agricultural potential while some lack all of these.
With its northern coastlines being ice-bound, Russia has squabbled for centuries over access to a warm water port – the Crimean War being the most serious. Why do you think that despite having so much land, Russia is exceptionally paranoid about its sea routes? The geography of a country determines characteristics such as soil quality, agricultural productivity, natural resources, climate, etc which have a bearing on a nation’s industrial as well as economic activity. No access to rivers, as well as land-locked geography, affects the growth of the country negatively. How do these geographical patterns have deep underpinnings in making nations rich or poor? Read the module to explore one of the longest and most heated debates in economics which still remains unsettled.