Boundaries and Borders Lecture Notes



        Everything on planet Earth has been divided up

o       Antarctica Transparency

        Boundary Definition: a line separating one State from another

o       Where one State's power (sovereignty) ends and another's begins

        Boundary lines are vertical from the air to beneath the ground

        Boundaries determine which language you learn, how much you pay in taxes, and legal code that you are subject to

o       Very powerful


Types of Boundaries

        Natural/Physical Boundaries

o       Definition: Boundaries based on physical features such as rivers, mountains, and lakes

o       These are very visible boundaries

o       Mountains

        Hard to define where to draw the line

        Crests or water divide

        Don't invite interaction, but also are not barriers

        Example: China and India

o       Rivers

        Rivers invite interaction

        Valleys are likely to be agriculturally productive

        Densely populated areas

        Where is the line (center, left bank, right bank)

        Rivers change course

        Geometric Boundaries

o       Definition: A boundary without an obvious physical basis; often a parallel of latitude or a meridian of longitude

o       Examples: Africa, Asia, and Americas

        US-Canada Western Border (49th Parallel)

        Lacked geographic detail of colonies

        Cultural Boundaries

o       Antecedent Boundary Definition: A boundary drawn before an area is well populated

        Example: US-Canada Western Border (1846)

o       Ethnographic Boundary Definition: A border drawn to accommodate religious or ethnic differences/similarities

o       Superimposed Boundary Definition: A boundary forced upon existing cultures

        Common to colonial eras

        Example: Africa

o       India and Pakistan Border Story