Carolyn F. Stephenson
The Southeast region is made up of the following states: Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and the District of Columbia.
The Southeast has a variety of landforms which include: coastal plains, swamps, Appalachian Highlands, interior highlands, the Piedmont, interior highlands, and interior plains. These landforms make this region interesting to visit and enjoy different climates. The flat land along the coast receives little rain and has warm temperatures. The coastal plains are higher, yet still quite flat. It is good for farming. As you travel farther inland the land rises and the temperature gets cooler as you reach the Piedmont, a wide area of low rolling hills at the edge of the Appalachian Highlands. The very low-lying areas are wet and swampy and may be covered with water.
The resources of the Southeast are important to the way of life of the people that live there. The rich soils grow a variety of crops to feed the nation. The rivers help transport goods. The bluegrass of Kentucky and Tennessee create great pasturelands. The forests provide many kinds of trees that are used for furniture making. Large deposits of oil, natural gas, and coal are found here. Other minerals are found in the Southeast such as iron ore, salt, and bauxite—which is used in the making of aluminum.
Soybeans are the major money making crop in this region. Tobacco and cotton are second and third respectively. Sugar, rice, and peanuts are supplied for processing into numerous food products. Citrus fruit is grown to be shipped to the north or squeezed into juice. Florida also raises vegetables that can not be grown during the winter months in the northern states.
The Southeast has attracted businesses to the area because of the mild climate, raw materials, and large work force. Highways and railroads form a valuable network for shipping the manufactured goods made in the chemical, textile, wood, food, and paper plants.
The environment of the Southeast affects the way the people live. They wear light weight clothing because the winters are not harsh. Heating their homes is less expensive. Some people who live in rural areas grow their own food and are self-sufficient. The cities are growing as more people are moving to the region.
People of many cultural backgrounds live in the Southeast. The first settlers came from England, Scotland, and Ireland. The French and Spanish inhabited the southern parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Large portions of the Southeast are home to African Americans. Native Americans live in portions of North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Retired people and families from Cuba and Puerto Rico contribute to the diverse culture of this region.
The National Park units I will use for the study in the Southeast Region are just a small sample of what the region offers to visitors of all ages.