Gran Chichimeca: Large region north of Mesoamerica whose inhabitants have been characterized as hunting and gathering barbarians.  The large agriculturally favorable areas in the Gran Chichimeca were not occupied or farmed like those found in Mesoamerica.
tierra de paz: Mexico south of Mesoamerica’s northern boundary

tierra de guerra: Mexico north of Mesoamerica’s northern boundary (Gran Chichimeca)

coamiles: former agricultural lands (milpas) that were being fallowed

monte: woody growth

tierra de humedad:
tierra fria

Describe the physical geography of Gran Chichimeca. Arid, semi-arid, cacti, large alluvial valleys with sufficient summer rain for agriculture, forested highlands 

Did the region possess agricultural potential? Yep.

What does Sauer mean when he states that the line separating Mesoamerica and the Gran Chichimeca was a cultural boundary not a physical boundary? Some of the favorable environmental factors found in the Valley of Mexico also existed north of the line in the Gran Chichimeca.

What evidence does Sauer employ to support his thesis that Mesoamerica's cultural development originated along the Pacific side of the region?
climatic requirements of domesticated food plants, large diversity of ecologically fixed crop types along Pacific Coast foothills, the presence of wild relatives of domesticated food plants, diffusion of crops along west coast and not Gulf coast,   

 How does the Valley of Mexico fit into Sauer's chronology of "high cultures'? Not the most anciently settled land in Mesoamerica.

Where were gold deposits in Mesoamerica? South and west of Mexico’s volcanic center in metamorphic and igneous rocks: Balsas, the north coast of Honduras 

How were the Tarascan and Aztec states similar in terms of location? High altitudes, their capitals were near the boundary that separated Mesoamerica from the Gran Chichimeca line, both states pursued expansionist drives to the south to tierra caliente
where important resources like precious metals, cotton, cacao, dyes, gums were abundant.

Into which elevational zone did both states expand? Tierra caliente 
Which region did both states ignore? Chichimeca

How did "Aztec and Tarascan imperialism facilitate Spanish occupation"? The
Spanish conquistadors simply appropriated pre-existing tributary arrangements.

Why did the Spaniards come to associate gold with heat? They found it in low, hot lands of the south (Tierra caliente

What resource was the basis of the new frontier to the west? Silver

What Spanish economic development caused the Mixton War? Slave raiding, silver mining, and encomendero

What resource made Zacatecas important? Silver
When? 1540s

When and how did Guadalajara become the economic capital of the north? 1540s
What was its role?  It became the gateway to the mines, ranches and mission of the North

What was the relationship between mining and cattle? Local cattle production was necessary to the silver mines.  Also cattle ranches provided the beasts of burden that brought imports to silver mines of the North.

What was Mexico City's relationship to the north? “ultimate beneficiary of the wealth of the North”

On what grounds does Sauer argue for the north being the location where "a new nationality was formed"? In the North, indigenous inhabitants were largely extinguished by warfare and disease. Consequently, the Spanish sent thousands of indigenous slaves from the south to work the mines.  They also utilized African slaves in the mines.  Over time these three groups (Spanish, Indigenous, African) intermixed and became the group that we now know as Mestizo.  It wasn’t Spanish, indigenous, or African, but a mix of the three, a new national identity.  

Sauer wrote this article in 1941.  What differences between north and south persisted at that time? North = immigrant destination; producer of metals, livestock, cotton; revolutionaries; fluctuation of labor and sloth

South: aboriginal, patient, steady