Chapter 8- political Geography Learning Objectives



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Chapter 8- Political Geography
Learning Objectives- After studying this chapter you should be able to:

  1. Identify examples of countries that make defining the numbers of states problematic and explain why they make it problematic (Korea, China, and Western Sahara are mentioned specifically).

  2. Identify where and under what circumstances states came into existence. Describe the differences between Ancient and medieval states.

  3. Identify the reasons that some states established colonies and be able to provide examples of the colonial holdings of various European and non-European states.

  4. Explain how the nature of colonialism has changed in the contemporary world and locate examples of currently existing colonies.

  5. Identify the five basic shapes of states, explain what their properties are, provide an example of each and explain why certain shapes of states might cause them problems.

  6. Identify the different types of boundaries and provide specific examples of them.

  7. Provide examples of different considerations used to draw political boundaries with states, explaining the terms unitary state, federal state, and gerrymandering.

  8. Provide specific examples of how states cooperate with each other in military, political, and economic relations. Explain why they might be compelled to do so in each case.

  9. Identify individuals and organizations that engage in terrorism. Explain the motivations behind their actions.

  10. Identify states that provide official support for terrorism and explain their motivation for doing so.


Terms- You should understand these terms and be ready to identify them:

Balance of power Condition of roughly equal strength be­tween opposing countries or alliances of countries.

Boundary Invisible line that marks the extent of a state’s territory.

City-state A sovereign state comprising a city and its immedi­ate hinterland.

Colonialism Attempt by one country to establish settlements and to impose its political, economic, and cultural principles in another territory.

Colony A territory that is legally tied to a sovereign state rather than completely independent.

Compact state A state in which the distance from the center to any boundary does not vary significantly.

Elongated state A state with a long, narrow shape.

Federal state An internal organization of a state that allocates most powers to units of local government.

Fragmented state A state that includes several discontinuous pieces of territory.

Frontier A zone separating two states in which neither state exercises political control.

Gerrymandering Process of redrawing legislative boundaries for the purpose of benefiting the party in power.

Imperialism Control of territory already occupied and organ­ized by an indigenous society.

Landlocked state A state that does not have a direct outlet to the sea.

Microstate A state that encompasses a very small land area.

Perforated state A state that completely surrounds another one.

Prorupted state An otherwise compact state with a large pro­jecting extension.

Sovereignty Ability of a state to govern its territory free from control of its internal affairs by other states.

State An area organized into a political unit and ruled by an es­tablished government with control over its internal and foreign affairs.

Unitary state An internal organization of a state that places most power in the hands of central government officials.


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