Regents Prep: U.S. History: Geography:

Geography of the United States

By this time, we are already familiar with the study of geography. When we look at the geography of any area (e.g., the U.S.A. or New York State), we must consider five main Themes, or topics: Location, Place, Interaction, Movement and Region.


The Five Themes of Geography

  • describes where a place is — its position on the Earth’s surface. Two ways to describe location: Relative Location and Absolute Location.
  • Relative Location: The description of a place in relation to another.
  • Absolute Location: The exact location of a place using lines of longitude andlatitude.
  • describes an area in terms of its physical and human characteristics such as climate, landforms, waterways, language, religion, social activities, etc…
  • describes how people change their environment or adapt to it
  • describes the movement of people, goods, and ideas. This occurs through migration,trade, and cultural diffusion.
  • describes an area that has its own unifying characteristics. This is done: politically — the Middle East is a political region, physically — the rainforests of Brazil, and culturally — Muslim areas are influenced by the religion of Islam.

This page and the links at the left are designed to aid students in reviewing the following topics which will appear on the New York State U.S. History & Government Regents Examination. In addition, students may test their knowledge of the material presented here by accessing multiple-choice questions from past Regents Exams.

US History Geographical Topics