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Q: with specific example, outline the importance of plains
A: T he historian Walter Prescott Webb, in his book The Great Plains, [ suggested that the northwest Europeans who settled much of the United States faced three great "environmental encounters"--areas where climatic conditions were so unlike those of their home region that the agricultural crops and settlement patterns developed in Europe were inappropriate. The first of these encounters was with
the high summer temperatures and humidity levels of the Southeast. The second was the arid Southwest and interior West. The third was the great continuous grasslands located astride the center of the country (Map 10: 36K). Among the problems on the grasslands, average annual precipitation was much less than in the East, although violent storms accompanied by high winds, hail, and tornadoes were common. Blizzards with wintry blasts intensifying the cold drove the snow into immense drifts. The hot, dry winds of summer parched the soil and sometimes carried it away in great billowing clouds of dust. The region's sparse natural water supply would not support tree vegetation except along the stream courses. Many of these streams were small and flowed only intermittently. Eastern farmers, accustomed to a plentiful supply of water for crops and animals, as well as ample wood for building, fencing, and heating, had to adapt to quite different conditions in their attempts to settle the Great Plains. ]
Expert answered|shyningwaterfal3|Points 810|
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Asked 4/27/2009 1:27:58 PM
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