James E. Vance is considered to be one of the most important geographers of the 20th century in the United States. His wide interest in the ways in which the urban construction developed in time and space has given him a reputation of a subtle analyst of the geographic space with a historical approach. His main areas of interest included the evolution and structure of the urban systems, including transportation, the trade inside the cities, as well as the social process that in the end shape the evolution of the urban dwellings. It can be said that throughout his academic activity he tried to focus and discuss the process of evolution and transformation of city forms having in mind the elements that compose an urban environment.
One of the most important works of Vance's academic thought deals with a thorough analysis of the Californian landscape. "California and the search for the ideal" tries to discuss the issue of the development of the Californian environment from the end of the Civil War up to the development of the new urban structures and the urban framework.
His wide interest in the historical development of the cities is obvious from the early start of his essay. In this sense, he connects the end of the Civil War with its immediate consequences on the society as well as on the urban environment. More precisely, Vance views the end of the Civil War as a catalyst for the rapid growth of the population and the expansion west, towards California. From this point of view it can be said that the connection the author made between the change in the natural environment and the social changes that occurred at the level of the population point out the interdependence between the human being and its natural environment, one of the most common beliefs of the author. However, it can also be added the fact that the development of western parts was imminent for the history of the US especially taking into account the …