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Chapter 2

The Middle American Realm

TermDefinition
Primate city A country’s largest city—ranking atop its urban hierarchy—most expressive of the national culture and usually the capital city.
Indigenous Aboriginal or native; an example would be the pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Americas.
NAFTA The free-trade area launched in 1994 involving the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Borderland General term for a linear zone that parallels a political boundary.
Maquiladoras The term given to modern industrial plants in Mexico’s U.S. border zone.
Land bridge A narrow isthmian link between two large landmasses.
Archipelago A set of islands grouped closely together, usually elongated into a chain.
Hurricane Alley The most frequent pathway followed by tropical storms and hurricanes.
Altitudinal zonation Vertical regions defined by physical-environmental zones at various elevations
Tropical deforestation The clearing and destruction of tropical rainforests in order to make way for expanding settlement frontiers.
Culture hearth Heartland, source area, or innovation center; place of origin of a major culture.
Mestizo Derived from the Latin word for mixed, refers to a person of mixed European (white) and Amerindian ancestry.
Hacienda Literally, a large estate in a Spanish-speaking country.
Plantation A large estate owned by an individual, family, or corporation and organized to produce a cash crop.
Connectivity The degree of direct linkage between a particular location and within a regional, national, or global transportation network.
Small-island developing economies The additional disadvantages faced by lower-income island-states because of their small territorial size and populations.
Economies of scale The savings that accrue wherein the unit cost of manufacturing decreases as the level of operation enlarges.
Economic integration The economic benefits of forging supranational partnerships among three or more countries.
Acculturation Cultural modification resulting from intercultural borrowing.
Transculturation The two‐way exchange of culture traits between societies in close contact.
Ejidos Mexican farmlands redistributed to peasant communities after the Revolution of 1910–1917.
Biodiversity hot spot A much higher than usual, world-class geographic concentration of natural plant and/or animal species.
Offshore banking Term referring to financial havens for foreign companies and individuals.
Remittances Money earned by emigrants that is sent back to family and friends in their home country.
Intermodal transport systems One that smoothly integrates different surface transportation modes.
Social stratification In a layered or stratified society, the population is divided into a hierarchy of social classes.
Mulatto A person of mixed African (black) and European (white) ancestry.
Created by: pl243452