People first domesticated wild animals and plants more than 10,000 years ago. The first peoples of North America quickly learned to farm using hand- and animal-power. As technology developed, farming machines were invented. These helped develop farming in many regions of North America previously too difficult to cultivate. From 1840 to 1880, Wisconsin USA became the breadbasket of America, and crop- and livestock-farming developed quickly. The village of Monticello is famous for its dairy farming and cheese. The community is still largely based on this. It has a population of about 1,200 people and is the focus of this book about life in a farming community.
This title looks at offshore fishing. Around the coast of much of North America, fishing stocks have greatly declined as a result of overfishing, pollution, and global warming. Nova Scotia, in the northeast of Canada, once had a huge fishing industry. In 1753, people from Germany, Switzerland, and France came from Europe to set up colony at Lunenburg on the coast. They soon set up a fishing and shipbuilding industry. The community grew until about 1980, when the fishing industry largely stopped. Since then, the community has had to reinvent itself. It is still largely based on the old industries, but tourism is as important. Lunenburg has a population of about 3500 people.
Trees were one of the first natural resources used by man. In North American, most native and early European settlements were set up near forests from where wood was harvested for firewood, building homes and boats, and for fortifying villages. Western Canada had, and continues to have, huge coniferous forests. McKenzie in British Columbia, Canada, is a community based on timber mills, timber supply and tourism. It has a population of 5,450 people.
Mining People mine for coal, oil, minerals, and metals. These are used for energy and as raw products to make things. In various parts of North America there are huge areas rich in one or more of these natural resources. Gillette, in Wyoming, is the coal-mining capital of the USA. Nearby is the small community of Moorcroft. The community developed from an old wild west cattle-ranching center and is now largely based on oil and coal-mining. About 900 people live in the small town.
Few people live in the business district of big modern cities. The area where people live in a big city is usually filled with office buildings, banks, insurance companies, and stores. This book focuses on New York City, and looks at the everyday life of workers in the business district.
Life in a Residential City looks at living in the housing zone of a big modern city. City life, with lots of people, traffic, buildings, and roads, is busy and fast-paced. Toronto, Ontario, is the featured example. It looks at houses and apartments, and how people commute to work.
Life in a Suburban City looks at living in cities that have spread from the center far into the countryside. Many people live and work in areas that are miles from downtown. Los Angeles, California is the featured example, and focuses on family life in a typical suburb.