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Political Geography


Political Geography – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Political Geography

Political Geography
Political Architecture
  • What is a State?
  • State
  • Population Territory Govenrment Soverignty
  • A state is a place, but is also a concept
    represented by certain symbols and demanding
    (though not always obtaining) the loyalty of

4 steps to becoming a state
  • 1. Territory
  • 2. Resident Population
  • 3. Government that ensures sovereignty
  • 4. Recognition by the international community

Political Architecture
  • What is a Nation-State?
  • Nation Territory Government Sovereignty
  • A nation with a state wrapped around ita nation
    with its own state, a state in which there is no
    significant group that is not part of the nation.

The Nation-State Triangle
  • Nation-states sit on a three-legged stool.
    Stability requires that each leg be strong and in

The Nation-State Triangle
Unified People
  • Picture the stool as a triangle with the
    following vertices

Attachment tocontrol of Territory
Without all three legs the stool will fall!
Nation-State Triangles
  • Some entities on the world political map are
    sitting on a very un-stable two-legged stools
  • 1. Palestinians A nation with a
    government, but not a state
  • 2. Nigeria A state with a
    government, but not a
    nation (not
    a national identity)

Nation-State Triangles
  • 3. Somalia A nation (Somalis) with a state, but
    no effective government (anarchy)
  • 4. Iraq A state divided among three
  • Sunni Kurds,
  • Sunni Muslims, the
  • Shiite Muslims

  • There are few ideal nation-states in the sense
    of being culturally homogeneous
  • 1. Iceland
  • (language, ethnicity, history)
  • 2. Denmark
  • (language, ethnicity, history)
  • 3. Japan
  • (language, ethnicity, history, religion)
  • 99.5 of people are ethnic Japanese
  • (Ainu or Ryukyans)

The World Political Map is a Lie!
  • When we think of most states on the world
    political map as nation-states, we draw
    conclusions that may not be true
  • 1. We assume that people who live in Israel are
  • 2. We assume that people who live in Nigeria
    are Nigerians.
  • 3. We assume that all Somalis live in Somalia.
  • We assume that people who live in Canada are
  • We assume that all those in China areChinese.
  • 5. We assume that people who live in
  • the United States are ____________.

How was the worlds territory political organized
by 2011?
  • The building blocks of the world political map
  • 1. Independent states
  • (countries or nation-states)
  • 2. Dependencies of independent states (colonies
    or protectorates)
  • 3. Global commons
  • (The high seas and Antarctica)

192 UN Members 193 Vatican City 194 Taiwan
Lets ReviewIndependent States
  • An independent state is a territorial entity
    occupied by a unified population.you can find
    its boundaries on the map. The population need
    not be unified by culture!
  • An independent state has a government that has
    full authority over its internal and external
  • An independent state is sovereign and may be
    referred to as a sovereign state because it has
    full authority over its internal and external

Dependencies (or colonies?)
  • Dependencies are external possessions of the
    worlds independent states. We used to call them
    colonies or protectorates. The most general
    term today might be territories
  • 1. The largest in land area is Greenland, a
    self-governing possession of Denmark. It is the
    worlds largest island, but it has only 56,000
    people. Its official name is Kalaallit Nunaat
  • 2. The largest in population is Puerto Rico, a
    possession of the United States. It is an island
    in the Caribbean Sea and has almost 4 million

Global Commons
  • 1. Oceans
  • The High Seas beyond the 12-mile territorial
    limits of coastal states and the International
    Seabed beyond 200 miles.
  • No state owns the open ocean
  • It is governed under the rules laid down in the
    UN Convention on the
  • Law of the Sea (1973-82)

Global Commons
  • 2. Antarctica. Although the political map of
    Antarctica looks like a pie cut into many wedges,
    these zones are simply territorial claims.
  • Under the Antarctica Treaty (1959), no state owns
    any part of Antarctica all states have the right
    to conduct scientific research there.
  • The US recognizes NO territorial claims to
    Antarctica and has none of its own.
  • The US does have research stations in Antarctica.

The worlds largest countries
  • 1. Russia 6.6 million sq. mi. 2 continents
    11.5 of land 11 time zones
    (out of 24)
  • 2. Canada
  • 3. China
  • 4. United States
  • 5. Brazil
  • 6. Australia
  • 7. India
  • 8. Argentina
  • 9. Kazakhstan
  • 10.Sudan

The worlds smallest countries
  • 1. Vatican City (109 acres)
  • 2. Monaco (368 acres)
  • 3. Nauru (8 sq. mi.)
  • 4. Tuvalu (10 sq. mi.)
  • 5. San Marino (23 sq. mi.)
  • 6. Liechtenstein (61 sq. mi.)
  • 7. Marshall Islands (70 sq. mi.)
  • 8. St. Kitts Nevis (104 sq. mi.)
  • 9. Maldives (115 sq. mi.)
  • 10. Malta (122 sq. mi)
  • ___________________________
  • City of Virginia Beach 248 sq. mi.
  • City of Richmond 60 sq. mi.

Advantages Disadvantages
Large State Large Population More talent Large Army More Natural Resources Economic Self-sufficiency Difficult to Unify Population More culturally diverse Transportation difficult
Advantages Disadvantages
Small State Easier to Unify population Homogeneous Population Less culturally diverse Transportation easy Closer together Small Population Less Talent Small defense force Vulnerable to Attack Fewer Natural Resources Economic vulnerability
Changing World Map
  • Todays world political map is much different
    than it was 100 years ago, 200 years ago etc.
  • City-states developed slowly (beginning in the
    Fertile Crescent) and often attacked each other
    to form empires.
  • States that exist today began forming after the
    middle ages as areas of people of common cultural
    backgrounds joined together to form governments.

Changing World Map
  • In 1900the British King the Russian Czar alone
    controlled 1/3rd of the land on earth.
  • You also had the French, Austro-Hungarian,
    German, Dutch, Danish, Belgian, Italian,
    American, Ottoman, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese,
    and Spanish Colonial Empires

Colonialism v. Imperialism
  • A colony is a territory tied to an independent
    state and occupied by its citizenstherefor
    colonialism is simply an extension of a state.
  • Imperialism is the control of a territory that
    was previously occupied by and organized by an
    indigenous population.
  • There is a fine line between the two!!!!!

Changing World Map
  • How will the worlds territory be politically
    organized in 2100?
  • Some countries are coming together European
    Union, NAFTA, etc.
  • Some countries are breaking apart East Timor
    (2002), Montenegro (2006), South Sudan(2011)
  • We will talk about this morelater!!!

  • Every independent state on the world political
    map has a size and a shape
  • The size and shape of a state may encourage
    either unity or division
  • Size quantitative data, measured in square miles
    or square kilometers
  • Shape qualitative data, measured according to
    how much it looks like a known shape or geometric

Do you see the shapesor do you see the wordor
  • Compact
  • circular to hexagonal
  • Uruguay, Poland, Switzerland
  • Communication and transportation are relatively
    easy in a compact country, as is the mobilization
    of the military.
  • A disadvantage is a lack of natural resources b/c
    compact countries tend to be smaller in size

  • Elongated
  • Long, usually skinny
  • Nepal, Italy, Vietnam, Chile
  • Distance can cause problems with the
    Transportation of raw materials to industrial
  • Those living in the ends of the countries can
    feel isolated, which can lead to separatist

  • Prorupt
  • with a panhandle appendage attached to main
  • Thailand, Namibia, Mexico, India, Florida is a
    proruption from the US.
  • One advantage of having a proruption is that it
    usually provides the country with access to a
    useful raw material. It may also provide trade
  • The disadvantage is that the proruptions are
    usually fiercely fought over.
  • Proruptions are usually the doings of colonial
    powers and therefore, hard to justify.

Caprivi Strip
  • Fragmented
  • several non-continuous pieces
  • Indonesia (13,000 islands 3,000 miles), USA,
  • A fragmented country is in pieces that are not
    attached to each other. Usually islands.
  • USA when it added Alaska and Hawaii in 1959.
  • Alaska is an exclave an area separated from its
    state by another state.
  • Kaliningrad is an exclave of Russia separated
    by Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus from Russia

  • Advantages to being fragmented???
  • The advantage of being fragmented is that another
    country would have a hard time trying to occupy
    and control your country.
  • For example, invading Indonesia would involve
    invading thousands of separate islands.
  • However, communications and the transportation
    between the separated areas can be difficult,
    especially if another country is in the way.

  • Perforated
  • with a hole
  • South Africa (Lesotho) Italy (Vatican City
    San Marino)
  • Lesotho, Vatican city are called enclaves a
    country that is completely surrounded by another
    political state. They are always landlocked
    countries with no access to the sea.

  • The advantage to having a country completely
    within your borders is that the ethnic group of
    the enclave has its own state.
  • If those people were part of the perforated
    country, there might be tensions.
  • The disadvantage of having a country completely
    within your borders is that it may get in the way
    of transportation and communication.

What about landlocked states?
  • With no direct outlet to the sea international
    trade is limited and cooperation with neighbors
    is crucial!
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