Full text: Modern business geography

Indted States Deparimeni of Aagriculiure 
Fig. 127. Where railroads and steamships meet. The terminal of a grain-carrying railroad at 
Jersey Citv 
Tae number of railroads varies greatly from country to country. For 
example, the United States has more than a third of all the railways 
in the world, while in northern Siberia an area as large as the whole 
United States contains not a single mile of railroad. Great Britain 
and Ireland have over three times as great a railway mileage as China; 
yet China has eight times as many people and is thirty times as large. 
Although New Jersey is only a twelfth as large as Wyoming, it has 
more miles of railroad. Such differences are accounted for by four 
main causes: (1) degree of progress in civilization; (2) density of 
population; (3) relief of the land ; and (4) natural resources. Let us 
see how each of these conditions does its work. 
Why progressive countries have many railroads. Most of the 
railroads are in highly progressive regions like the United States and 
western Europe. Japan, too, in proportion to its area, has far more 
railroads than any other country in Asia. On the other hand, back- 
ward countries like Siam, Persia, Abyssinia, and Paraguay have very 
few. There are many reasons for this difference. 

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