The Northeast

The Northeast has developed into a major commercial center!

Physical Characteristics of the Northeast

The region includes six states that are located in the northeastern part of the United States. It's known for it's attractive landscape. Ogden Tanner describes "form a canoe suspended on silver river, surrounded by the great, silent autumnal explosions of the trees. The hills the evergreen stand unchanging." The combination of precipitation, type of soil, and varieties of trees. But the Northeast has far more to offer than magnificent forests. Every year millions of tourists flock the Northeast just to explore it world famous cities. New York is considered by many to be the cultural center of the nation, whereas Boston and Philadelphia offer visitors a view into the nations history.

Natural Resources of the Northeast

Contrast with other regions of the United States, the Northeast has few natural resources. The Northeast thin, rocky soils and steep hills are a challenge to the area;s farmers. The northern reaches reaches to the Appalachian Mountains make some part of the Northeast rugged. Pennsylvania has a coal-rich area, the region has few mineral resources. The industry, commerce, and the center of trade has turned the Northeast as its major resource. Since colonial times, people of the Northeast have engaged in commerce and fishing. The harbors are important because of the region's rocky and jagged shoreline.

A Leader in Industry

The Northeast's many rivers, including the Connecticut and the Hudson, have been vital to its history. The Northeast has discouraged farming and aided industrialists in the nineteenth century. The abundant precipitation about 30 to 50 inches annually, combined with the hilly terrain, keeps the rivers of the regions flowing swiftly. Industrialists harnessed the power of these rivers by building water wheels, which converted water power into machine power. Throughout the 1800s- especially in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, And New Hampshire- factories were build at waterfalls along the region's many rivers. The trade from rivers and goods being sold throughout the United States made the Northeast the most productive manufacturing region in the world.

The Megalopolis

Cities along the Atlantic coast first grew importance as harbors of international trade and as centers of shipbuilding. As manufacturing grew, those cities attracted industries that needed a large supply of workers. New industry grew and population increased magnificently. Europeans were attracted by the job opportunities in cities of the Northeast so by 1840, 80,000 people immigrated but the number jumped in 1850 to 308,000 immigrants. Today many people of the Northeast come from the earlier immigrants who came by sea.

The far suburbs of one city in some cases stretched to the suburbs of the next. By the 1960s, the area from Boston to Washington D.C. had earned a new name: Megalopolis (a word based on Greek roots meaning "a very large city." About 40 million people now live in this megalopolis- one seventh of the entire United States population.

While the east coast megalopolis remains one of the dominant centers of American business and industry, it faces serious problems too. After decades of steady explosions, its inhabitants now have serious concerns that the area might run short of water or of facilities for waste disposal.

Another problem facing many cities in the Northeast is a decline in population. Between 1970 and 2000, for example, the population of the city of Philadelphia declined by more than 430,000. As a result, the city government must collect higher taxes from fewer residents and businesses. The city has to rely on other sources of revenue to pay for many basic services, such as street repairs and police protection.

Yet, the Northeast still remains a vital area. despite the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, New York is still the business capital of the world, and its population has grown to more than 8 million people. Businesses and industries want to be near large numbers of consumers continue to thrive in the Northeast. Tax breaks have spurred the creation of new jobs. The natural beauty of less crowded parts of the region also attracts people.