Landfall Learning
Why We Go
Social Studies
Ship's Log
Reading List
Frequently Asked Questions
Landfall-Learning > Social Studies

Social Studies

This page provides general information about social relationships and the functioning of societies, including governments and economies. Detailed information about the governments and economies of the individual countries and territories that we visit is included on the pages linked from the Geography page.

Topics on this page include:

Other Social Studies topics include


The definition of government is "authoritative direction or control". Common forms of government we are familiar with include democracy, aristocracy, theocracy, and dictatorship. And in some countries, it often looks like anarchy rules! In addition to the common forms of government that we know today, there are many other forms of government that now exist, have existed, or could exist. One Website lists over 150 types of governments!

If government simply means authoritative direction or control, then there is a form of government even on a vessel. The master or commander of a vessel is called the captain, just like the leader of a sports team is called the captain. The captain makes the major decisions about how the boat is run, and where the boat will go.

Capt. Tracy and Capt. Sharon are both "licensed" captains, which means we have a certification from the U. S. Coast Guard. This means that we have studied the rules of seamanship and have passed a rigorous examination, earning the right to be called professional captains. However, anyone who owns a boat is the captain of that boat and, licensed or not, every captain is held responsible for the safety of their passengers and for the safe operation of their vessel. Just like in a car, unsafe operation of a vessel can endanger not just the occupants, but others as well.

On Landfall, there are two captains, or "co-captains". To avoid confusion, we've decided that whichever of us "has the helm" or is "on watch" is the "acting captain" at that time and so makes the decisions and gives the orders. On most commercial, military or government vessels, there is only one captain, but on Landfall, we wouldn't have it any other way.


A country's economy is simply the system of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. A country's economy can be evaluated based on the degree of market orientation, the level of economic development, the most important natural resources, and the unique areas of specialization.

An investigation of a country's economy also includes a review of current major economic events and policy changes, and may include an analysis of key future macroeconomic trends.