In the fifth installment of this series, I will focus on the origins of the United States and the geographical elements that were critical in defining American politics, strategy and culture. In particular, three geographical features defined the English colonies and helped shape the United States into the country it is today. (click to enlarge) The first was the long Atlantic coast. Both the Jamestown and Plymouth colonies were funded by British investors who sought to profit from primarily agricultural goods produced along the coast that could be shipped to Britain. Over time, the long coastline allowed for more extensive settlement, the development of a North American shipping industry and an orientation to Europe. The colonies were therefore an extension of Britain not only politically but also economically. The second defining feature was the flow of major rivers in the colonies. In the south, the west-east flow of most rivers from the Appalachians to the Atlantic meant that north-south transportation, and even communication, was difficult. As a result, the southern colonies were isolated from the northern colonies and from each other. They saw themselves as distinct because of the lack of river transport and the lack of a road system, […]

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George Friedman

George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs and the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures.

Dr. Friedman is also a New York Times bestselling author. His most recent book, THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond, published February 25, 2020 describes how “the United States periodically reaches a point of crisis in which it appears to be at war with itself, yet after an extended period it reinvents itself, in a form both faithful to its founding and radically different from what it had been.” The decade 2020-2030 is such a period which will bring dramatic upheaval and reshaping of American government, foreign policy, economics, and culture.



His most popular book, The Next 100 Years, is kept alive by the prescience of its predictions. Other best-selling books include Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, The Next Decade, America’s Secret War, The Future of War and The Intelligence Edge. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Dr. Friedman has briefed numerous military and government organizations in the United States and overseas and appears regularly as an expert on international affairs, foreign policy and intelligence in major media. For almost 20 years before resigning in May 2015, Dr. Friedman was CEO and then chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996. Friedman received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of the City University of New York and holds a doctorate in government from Cornell University.