Southwest Region

by: olivia moore

Location and Place

  • Arizona

  • New Mexico

  • Oklahoma

  • Texas

    • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

    • Alamo, Texas

    • Hoover Dam, Arizona

    • Austin, Texas

    • Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

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Rocky Mountains are a 3,000 mile mountain range running through Alaska to New Mexico.

Great Plains is flat land and it is for mostly farming.

Grand Canyon is a 217 miles canyon carved by the Colorado River.

  • Rio Grande is the 4th longest river in the United States.

  • Colorado River is the most well-known river in the United States other than the Mississippi River because it goes through the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam.

  • Gulf of Mexico it is the 9th largest body of water in the world.

The climate varies in the southwest. It is manly known to be hot and dry. It can also be below freezing and snowy in higher elevations.


Arizona is winter lettuce capital of the world supplying the US with 90% of leafy vegetables between November and March. New Mexico is known for raising cattle and sheep; they also produce a lot of hay to feed the cattle. 86% of the land in Texas is used for agriculture; they are #1 in cattle and are a top producer of cotton. Oklahoma is #1 in production of rye and they also raise cattle and winter wheat.

Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico all manufacture computers and electronics with Texas being the #1 producer. Arizona’s main natural resource is copper. Oil field machinery is Oklahoma’s main manufacturing product and their main natural resource is petroleum/natural gas. Texas is well-known for the natural resource of oil. New Mexico’s top natural resource is petroleum/ natural gas.

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Historical Perspective

Years ago, not many people lived in the southwest because it was hot, dry, and not much water but with the invention of the automobile, air-conditioning, and cars all that changed. People were able live comfortably in the Southwest with air conditioning and cars made traveling quicker and easier to travel to the southwest so people didn’t die of thirst. The invention of the aqueducts (large pipes or canals that carry water over long distances) people were able to have water and grow crops.

Parts of the Southwest were owned by Mexico until the United States got the land in the Mexican American War of 1846-48. As the US grew and pushed west many Indians were killed in Indian Wars. Today the southwest has the largest Native reservations and much of their culture influences the Southwest region.


People hoping to get rich from gold/ oil began to move easier to the Southwest with the development of the Santa Fe Railroad (1859). Due to the Reclamation Act of 1902, government funded dams and irrigation were created to help people raise crops and livestock. However, the series of massive dust storms of 1930 caused a drought and forced many to move away.
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