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ARRANGED WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE WANTS AND CAPACITIES OR
PUPILS IN THE SENIOR CLASSES OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS.
CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN GEOGRAPHICAL AND STATISTICAL SOOCETY,
with new Maps.
ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by
8. S. CORNELL, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern
District of New York.
ALTHOUGH, from its practical importance, GEOGRAPHY has always formed a branch of common education, yet it is a fact to be neither gainsayed nor con. cealed, that our youth, after having spent years in trying to master this science, know little or nothing respecting either the earth’s important localities or its prominent physical characteristics. Tho cause is plain; it is clearly traceable to thu character of the geographical text-books and school-maps now in use, from the unphilosophical arrangement and defective systems of which it is not to be expected that well-digested views can be imparted, or that any enduring knowledge of the subject as a whole can be impressed on the mind. A féw isolated facts may, it is true, be here and there gleaned. Hard labor may enable the pupil to learn the government of a country, the population of a city, the length of a river, and other details equally dry and repulsive. But Geography is something more than a mere collection of detached facts: it is a science founded on fixed principles, which underlie its details, and which must bc thoroughly understood before the latter can be profitably learned. Its province is the whole Earth; and only when the characteristics of the Earth as a whole, the arrangement and distribution of its elements, the relations subsisting between its various parts, the agencies constantly at work on its surface, and the phenomena peculiar to it both as an individual planet and as a member of the solar system-only when these are intelligibly fixed in the mind as a great and enduring foundation, can the superstructure of facts and statistics be properly reared.
With the view of aiding the pupil in the acquisition of this important science, and of relieving the instructor of a vast amount of labor in imparting it, with the view of removing all difficulties and bringing about a radical and long needed reform in the mode of teaching Geography, the present volume (as well as the “Intermediate” and the “Primary" which have preceded it) is offered to the public. On the two works just alluded to, an intelligent community have already pronounced their verdict,
,-a verdict so favorable and flattering that this Highest Number, which completes the series and embodies the same principles and plan on an extended scale, is offered with less apprebension for their examination and use.
It is claimed for this “ High-School Geography"-
1. That it is arranged on the true inductive system, commencing with ele. mentary principles, and proceeding by natural and gradual advances from de. duction to deduction and from step to step until the whole ground is covered.
2. The arrangement is clear and practical, enabling the pupil to observe the relations between different parts of the subject, to know, at every point, where he is standing, and constantly to keep in view the end proposed.
3. It is interesting. Details are by no means sacrificed, but they are interspersed with noteworthy facts relating to the earth and its inhabitants, which legitimately belong to the subject, though not generally found in textbooks, and which are calculated to inspire the student with a fondness for the study.
4. It facilitates the teacher's task, by neither requiring reference to Tables nor asking questions which the learner cannot answer without aid.
5. It contains as many facts as can be advantageously remembered, while it eschews an embarrassing multiplicity that would be forgotten as soon as learned.
6. It embraces a system of Reviews in which the questions, presented in new forms, require the pupil to look at the subject in different lights, to think for himself, and to compare and digest the various facts he has learned.
7. It embodies the results of all new discoveries in Physical Geography, etc., the latest explorations of travelers and navigators, and takes its statistics from the most recent and reliable official records.
These are a few of the prominent features of the system here set forth. There are others hardly less important, but want of space prevents their enumeration. It is believed that the accompanying Maps also possess superior claims to consideration; that their design greatly facilitates the pupil's labors, and that their execution is free from those perplexing errors and inconsistencies with the text, which are a fruitful source of annoyance in the most popular atlases of the day. Further discussion of these points, however, and of the other advantages which it is claimed that these Maps possess, must be left for the Preface of the Atlas, to which the reader is respectfully referred.
The present volume is divided into three parts, to which is added an Appendix, containing the “RULES FOR DESCRIBING THE NATURAL DIVISIONS OP LAND AND OF WATER, INCLUDING DEFINITION OF TERMS, EXAMPLES, ETC.," together with “ DIRECTIONS FOR MEMORIZING THE CONTENTS OF A MAP.”
PART I. embraces Descriptive Geography and exercises on the Maps in the accompanying Atlas. Part II. treats of Mathematical Geography. Part III is an outline of Physical Geography.
New YORK, April, 1856.
HIGH SCHOOL GEOGRAPHY.
THIRD BOOK OF THE SERIES.
FORM AND MOTIONS OF THE EARTH.
What is the earth ?
The earth is that planet, in the solar system, which we inhabit. What is the form of the earth?
The form of the earth is that of an oblate spheroid, or nearly that of a globe or sphere.
What facts afford proof that the earth is a spherical body? • There are many facts that afford
evidence of the spherical form of the earth, among which are the following:
1st. That, if a mountain or any other elevation be ascended, a much greater extent of the earth's surface becomes visible;
2d. That, persons on shipboard, as they near the land, see first the tops of mountains, and, on approaching nearer, their bases;
3d. That, to a person on land, the highest parts of a ship are seen first in the distance, and, as she approaches nearer, the lower part, or hull;
4th. That, in traveling to any considerable distance, either north or south, new stars come into view in the direction in