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State Organization and Evolution

Political Geography

The following information corresponds to Chapter 8 in your textbook. Fill in the blanks to complete the definition or sentence. Note: All of the following information in addition to your reading is important.
The Modern State

  • ______________ - final authority over social, economic, and political matters should rest with legitimate rulers of independent states.

  • The ________ ___ _____________ (1648) – marked the beginning of the modern state; set legal precedent for national sovereignty after the Thirty Years’ War; recognized ______________ and ____________, clearly defined __________

(territorially defined states), and guarantees of ____________.

  • The emerging concept of the state was accompanied by _____________, which led to the accumulation of wealth through plunder, tariffs, and ______________.

  • Colonialism rose from an instable ________ (e.g. due to European competition and mercantilism) – countries sought out colonies to support the mother country; the nation-state became the world model.

How is Space Politically Organized Into States and Nations?

  • ________ – a politically organized territory with a permanent population, administered by a government, and recognized by the international community (_________ = country; ________ = internal division).

  • ________ – tightly knit group of people who feel a belonging to a cultural community; share a common history.

  • ________-________ - a politically organized area in which nation and state occupy the same space; the importance concept lies in the idea behind it (since there are very few (if any) true ones).

  • The goal of creating nation-states dates to the __________ ____________, which initially promoted __________ (in which people have the ultimate sovereignty).

  • Nearly every state is ______________, with more than one nation inside its borders.

  • ____________ ________ - when a nation stretches across borders and across states.

  • __________ nations – no national territory; Kurds, Palestinians.

Construction of the Capitalist World Economy

  • __________ exported its concepts of states, nation-states, and sovereignty through two waves of colonialism:

  • During the ____ century; Spain & Portugal; joined by GB, France, Belgium & the Netherlands

  • Starting in the ____ century; GB, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy & the Netherlands

  • Europe’s colonial enterprise gave birth to a ______________ economic order of economic interdependence that exists today, with the previously colonizing states dominating over many ______________ states (the colonized).

World Systems Theory there are THREE basic tenets:

  • The world economy is ____________, with one world market and a global division of ________.

  • Despite the existence of approximately _____ states, almost everything takes place within the context of the world

__________ (and has since 1900); for colonies, gaining __________ independence was relatively easy, but gaining

__________ independence has proven to be nearly impossible.

  • The world economy has a ___-tier structure (Immanuel Wallerstein viewed the world as an interlocked system of states)

    • ______ – consists of the economically dominant states and regions (e.g. United States, EU, Japan,…)

    • ____________ – the developing states; have little autonomy or global influence (e.g. Sub-Saharan Africa)

    • ______-____________ – in the middle; keeps the world from being polarized into two extremes (e.g. Eastern Europe)

  • A major point is that even though each state is sovereign, not all states have the same ________ to influence others or achieve their political goals.

Forms of Government

  • _____________ forces – promote unity; Charismatic leaders, external threats (e.g. Iraq, terrorism); nationalism may arise out of religion, education, national ideology, …

  • _____________ forces – divisive forces; internal religious, linguistic, ethnic, or ideological differences

    • ___________ – (e.g., regionalism, sectionalism) exists when people identify more with their local affiliation than with their country (this term is usually associated with African or some Asian states)

  • __________ state – the central government represents various entities within a state, allows entities to retain some power (the most geographically expressive – Mexico, Brazil, U.S.)


  • _____________ occurs when regions within a state gain political strength and growing autonomy at the expense of the central government; these regions may even break away from the state altogether

  • _________________ differences may cause devolutionary pressure:

    • ____________ – voted in favor of greater autonomy, but have mixed feelings for independence from GB

    • ________ – Basque, Catalonia: 17 Autonomous Communities were established as a result

    • ________ – Flemish (Dutch) region in the north vs. Walloons (French) in the south

    • _____________ – six “republics” were established after the Dayton Accords (1995); split Bosnia between a Serb “Republic” & a Muslim-Croat “Federation”

  • One of the most powerful devolutionary forces deals with

___________ concerns; some examples include:

    • ________ – Catalonia (industrially strong region)

    • ________ – Northern regions (industrially strong)

    • ________ – Corsica (island in the Mediterranean)

    • ________ – South (claim a misuse of taxes)

  • Another major devolutionary force is inherently ___________ - distance, remoteness & peripheral location are all allies of devolution

  • ________ are apart from the core of the state, and therefore subject to devolution. State some examples:

Electoral Geography

  • “________ the state” boundaries – multiple states (i.e., NATO)

  • “________ the state” boundaries – involve internal divisions within a state

(Florida … Broward County … municipalities (local self-gov’ts))

  • ____________ geography – deals with the geography of representation

    • US – 435 seats in House, after 1990 census, government instructed States to develop ___________-___________ districts

  • ________________ – redistricting for advantage (e.g. Texas); originated in

1812 when Gov. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts created a “salamander-looking” district – to retain political power and influence

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