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Chapter 4, Section 3

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  1. Chapter 4, Section 3 Political Geography

  2. Political Geography 4.3 • State - an independent unit that occupies a specific territory and has full control of its internal and external affairs • This control is known as sovereignty • Sometimes we call a state a country • Nation - a group of people with a common culture living in a territory and having a sense of unity • When a nation and a state occupy the same territory, that territory is called a nation-state • It is possible for a nation to not have a territory • Called a stateless nation • Palestinians, Kurds, Basques

  3. Four general categories of government • Democracy – power rests with the citizens, either directly or through elected representatives- example: USA • Monarchy – a ruling family has the power and may or may not share with the people • Constitutional Monarchy: United Kingdom • Absolute Monarchy : Saudi Arabia • Dictatorship – an individual or group hold complete political power – example: Myanmar • Communism – based on an economic system, most political power and means of production are held by the government in the name of all people – example: Cuba

  4. orange – parliamentary republicsgreen - presidential republics, executive presidency linked to a parliament yellow - presidential republics, semi-presidential systemblue - presidential republics, full presidential systemred – parliamentary constitutional monarchies in which the monarch does not personally exercise power magenta – constitutional monarchies in which the monarch personally exercises power, often (but not always) alongside a weak parliament purple – absolute monarchiesbrown - republics where the dominant role of a single party is codified in the constitution beige - states where constitutional provisions for government have been suspended olive – military dictatorshipsgrey - countries which do not fit any of the above systems

  5. When describing a country geographers refer to three characteristics • Size – large countries may have more potential (More people and resources), but small countries can be successful too (Singapore, Denmark) • Shape- • Compact – Germany • Long – Chile • Fragmented – Malaysia • Relative location • A landlocked country may be disadvantaged for trade • Bolivia (landlocked) vs. Singapore (located on a major shipping lane) • A nation surrounded by hostile neighbors must deal with issues of security and protection • Israel

  6. Boundaries or borders set limits of the nation-state • Within borders a nation can collect taxes, set up legal code, declare official language and claim resources • Natural Boundaries – formed by physical features such as rivers, lakes and mountains • Easy to draw • What if river changes course? • Artificial boundaries – drawn by humans, often along a parallel or meridian • Who draws the borders? • Africa • Pakistan/India

  7. Regional political units • Countries are often divided into smaller units: cities, town and villages, school districts • Countries who have regional entities (states, provinces) that have powers not given to the national governments are called federal • Countries where the national government has all the power are called unitary • Countries that band together for certain purposes can be called confederations • European Union, United Nations