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Chapter 4, Section 3. Political Geography. 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

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chapter 4 section 3

Chapter 4, Section 3

Political Geography

political geography 4 3
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
four general categories of government
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
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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

when describing a country geographers refer to three characteristics
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
boundaries or borders set limits of the nation state
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
regional political units
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