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Geography 1100
D.Kim Holland

Land Resources - Biological resources, lands that support living things Soils - Topsoil usually few inches deep, less than 1 ft - Formed by physical and chemical decomposition of rock material and by decay of organic matter - Soil erosion is the removal of soil particles by wind or water o Usually soil formation rate > soil erosion rate o Depth and fertility increase with time - 45% of Earths rainforests have been cleared or degraded o Lands cleared for agriculture almost immediately have soil loss - Desertification, the expansion or intensification of areas of degraded or destroyed soil and vegetation cover o Caused by climate change, rainfall and drought o Mainly accelerates because of human activity o Occurs when both plant cover and soil moisture are lost o 40% of Africa’s land is in danger of human-induced desertification - Salinization is the concentration of salts in the topsoil as a result of the evaporation of surface water o Occurs where evaporation exceeds precipitation Political Geography - Study of the organization and spatial distribution of political phenomena National Political Systems - The idea of the state and its claim to sovereignty within its boarders are normal now State: An independent political unit occupying a defined, permanently populated territory and having full sovereign control over its internal and foreign affairs - Colonies or protectorates are not states because there is no established government or permanent population Nation:Agroup of people with a common culture occupying a particular territory, bound together by a strong sense of unity arising from shared beliefs and customs. - Language and religion are strong unifying elements, but most important is cultural distinctiveness and a sense of ethnocentrism Nation-State:Astate whose territorial extent coincides with that occupied by a distinct nation of people or whose population shares a general sense cohesion and adherence to a set of common values - Examples are Iceland, Slovenia, Poland and the two Koreas Part-Nation State:Asingle nation that is dispersed across and be predominant in two or more states - Examples are gypsies, and Palestinians Evolution of the Modern State - The now universal idea of the Modern State was developed by European philosophers in the 18 century o Advanced the concept that the people owe allegiance to a state and the people it represents rather than a leader - Many states are the result of European expansion during the 17 – 19 centuries o Much of Africa, Asia and theAmericas were divided into colonies o New boundaries represented the limits of colonizing empire’s power rather than cultural or physical lines - In 1776 (Declaration of Independence) only 35 empires, kingdoms and countries in the world - In 1939 (World War II) there were 70 - In 2009 around 200 independent states Challenges to the State - State centric view under assault from economic and social power 1. Globalization of economics and emergence of transnational corporates who economic and production decisions are unrelated to the interested of any single state 2. International and supranational institutions limit the independence of action of each other members and thus diminish absolute state primacy in economic and social matters. Example, WTO, European Union and NA Free-TradeAssociation 3. Non-governmental Organizations (NGO) whose interests and actions cut across national boundaries and unite people sharing common interests. They use social pressures to influence or limit government action. Example, Globalization,AIDs effort, etc. 4. Immigrants no longer need to assimilate into their new social environment or transfer loyalties to their new adopted country because of the Internet, inexpensive communication, etc. GLOBALIZATION 5. Increase in nationalist and separatist movements in culturally composite states weakening the formed unquestioned primacy of the established state Geographic Characteristics of States - Size o Large states might have areas that are inaccessible, sparsely populated and hard to integrate into mainstream economics o Smaller states are more culturally homogeneous, easier to develop transportation and communication systems to link the sections of the country - Shape o Compact state is ideal because it is circular; with the capital located in the middle, places could because in a minimal amount of time meaning less expenditure on railroads and transportation. Ex Zimbabwe, Uruguay and Poland o Prorupt States are like compact but have one or two narrow extensions of territory. Tend to isolate a state and provide economic or strategic significance. Example, Thailand o Elongated states are the least efficient shape administratively. Causes areas far from the capital to be isolated because of the costs of roads. Likely to encompass more diversity of climate, resources and peoples. May have less national cohesion o Fragmented States are countries formed completely or partially by islands and partially on mainland. Harder to impose centralized control over its territory because of the separation between parts of the state  Exclave is a state within a state :O o Perforated State is a state that completely surrounds a territory that it does not rule.An Enclave is that state that is surrounded, ex. The Vatican.Aperforated state can be weakened if the enclave is occupied by people whose value systems differ from those of the surrounding country - Location o Absolute location (where its physically located in the world) of Canada and Russia in the north reduces its size advantage because of limits their agricultural advantage o Relative Location is its location in relation to that of other countries. Land locked states are at a disadvantage because it doesn’t have any coastline. Countries like Singapore is located at a crossroad of world shipping and commerce - Cores and Capitals o Core Area is the original nucleus of a state and usually contains the densest population, largest cities, highly developed transportation system, and most developed economic base. Example, Paris, London and Moscow  Rest of the country expands outward from core area o Primate City is usually the capital city and the largest city. Usually within the core area and is the focus of it. o Unitary States are countries with centralized governments, relatively few internal cultural contrast, a strong sense of identity and boarders that are clearly cultural as well as political o Federal States have a capital city that may have been created to serve as the administrative center. It is part of the generalized core region of the country but the capital is not the largest cities. Example is Washington DC and Ottawa o Regional Government (Asymmetric Federalism) strong unitary states acknowledge the aspirations of several subdivisions within their state and grant them a degree of administrative control, while retaining central authority over matters of national concern.  Claims are made on differences in religions, languages or interests. o Forward-Thrust capital city is one that is deliberately sited in a states frontier zone to signal the governments awareness of regions away from the core Boundaries - International boundaries are lines that establish the limit of each states jurisdiction and authority o Boundaries dictate the kind of money people use, the legal code, the army, language and perhaps the religion taught in schools o Serve as powerful reinforces of cultural variation o Were Frontier Zones previously, a poorly defined area marking the effective end of a states authority. Often sparsely inhabited o Boundaries projected upwards and downward - Natural Boundaries are based on recognizable boundaries such as mountains rivers and lakes - Artificial (Geometric) Boundaries are set by latitude and longitude. Such as the Canada th and USA boarder along the 49 parallel - Antecedent Boundary is one that is drawn across and area before it is well populated. Before the cultural landscape features developed o USA – Canada boarder is one becaus
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