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Nation State Geography

Nation State Geography

Nation-states can be found worldwide, however they are not universally accepted and there is some dispute about their existence. "Which came first, the nation or the state?" and "Is nation-state a modern or ancient idea?" are major theoretical questions that are often discussed. From these questions you can gather that not only is it confusing to define nation-states but it isn't necessarily the core issue but the construction of the concept to how the concept of nation-states was used and effect citizens is what is important.

Concept of Nation and State in Geography

Before explaining the nation-state, we first need to look at the 2 terms that make up a nation-state: a nation and a state.

Nation = a territory where the same government leads all the people. The people within a nation can be the whole population or a group of people within the territory or country who share history, traditions, culture and/or language. Such a group of people do not have to have a country of their own

State = a nation or territory that is considered to be an organised political community under 1 government. It is worth noting that there is no undisputed definition of a state

Nation State Definition in Geography

When you combine nation and state, you get a nation-state. It is a specific form of a sovereign state (a political entity on a territory) that governs a nation (a cultural entity) and which derives its legitimacy from successfully serving all its citizens. So, when a nation of people has a state or country of their own, it is called a nation-state. They are a self-governing state, but they can have various forms of government. In most cases, a nation-state is also called a sovereign state, but that is not always the case.

A country does not need to have a predominant ethnic group, which is required to define a nation-state; making a nation-state is a more precise concept.

There are 2 ongoing disputes about nation-states that have not been answered yet:

  1. Which came first, the nation or the state?
  2. Is nation-state a modern or ancient idea?

It is worth noting that, while there is a definition of a nation-state, some scholars do argue that a nation-state does not really exist. There is no real right or wrong answer here, as others do not agree with that statement and do argue that nation-states exist.

Nation States - Origins

The origins of nation-states are disputed. However, most commonly the rise of the modern system of states is seen as the start of nation-states. This idea is dated to the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), consisting of 2 treaties, one ending the Thirty Years' War and one ending the Eighty Years' War. Hugo Grotius, who is considered the father of modern international law and author of 'The Law of War and Peace,' has stated that the Thirty Years' War showed that no single superpower could or should be able to rule the world. Certain religious and secular empires were dismantled and gave way to the rise of the nation-state.

Nation State Geography, the Treaty of Westphalia, StudySmarterA painting by Gerard Ter Borch (1648) depicting the signing of the Treaty of Munster, part of the Treaty of Westphalia, Wikimedia Commons/ Public Domain

This nationalistic way of thinking started to spread, aided by technological inventions such as the printing press (c. 1436). The rise of democracy, the idea of self-rule, and keeping the power of kings in check by parliaments also aided the formation of nationalism and patriotism. Both are associated with the nation-state.

The Westphalian system does not create a nation-state, but the nation-states meet the criteria for its component states.

There is some debate as to which nation-state was the first. Some argue that France became the first nation-state after the French Revolution (1787-1799), while others cite the English Commonwealth being established in 1649 as the first nation-state created. Again, this debate has no right or wrong answer, merely a different view.

Characteristics of a Nation State

A nation-state has the following 4 characteristics:

  1. Sovereignty - the ability to make autonomous decisions for itself
  2. Territory - a nation-state cannot be virtual; it needs to own land
  3. Population - there must be real people living there that comprise the nation
  4. Government - a nation-state is one with some level of organised government that takes care of its common affairs

How do nation-states differ from pre-nation-states:

  • Nation-states have a different attitude to their territory when compared to dynastic monarchies. Nations see their nation as non-transferable, meaning that they would not simply swap territory with other states
  • Nation-states have a different type of border, defined only by the area of settlement of the national group. Many nation-states also use natural borders such as rivers and mountain ranges. Nation-states are constantly changing in population size and power due to the limited restrictions of their borders
  • Nation-states usually have a more centralised and uniform public administration
  • Nation-states have an impact on the creation of a uniform national culture through state policy

The most noticeable characteristic difference is how nation-states use the state as an instrument of national unity in economic, social and cultural life.

It is worth noting that sometimes the geographic boundaries of an ethnic population and its political state coincide. In these instances, there is little immigration or emigration. This means that very few ethnic minorities live in that nation-state/country, but it also means that very few people of the 'home' ethnicity live abroad.

Atul Kohli, a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University (US) stated in his book 'State-directed development: political power and industrialisation in the global periphery:'

Legitimate states that govern effectively and dynamic industrial economies are widely regarded today as the defining characteristics of a modern nation-state" (Kohli, 2004)

Formation of the nation-state

While there is no general consensus on whether France or the English Commonwealth had the first nation-state, the nation-state became a standardised ideal during the French Revolution (1789-1799). The idea would soon spread across the world.

There are 2 directions for the formation and creation of a nation-state:

  1. Responsible people live in a territory organising a common government for the nation-state they want to create. This is the more peaceful direction
  2. A ruler or army will conquer territory and impose its will on the people it will rule. This is a violent and oppressive direction

From nation to nation-state

Common national identities are developed among the peoples of geographical territory, and they organise a state based on their common identity. It is a government of, by, and for the people.

Here are examples of a nation becoming a nation-state:

  • The Dutch Republic: this was one of the earliest examples of the formation of such a nation-state, which was triggered by the 'Eighty Years' War' that began in 1568. When the war eventually ended, with Dutch victory, they could not find a king to rule their country. After asking several royal families, it was decided that the Dutch would govern themselves, becoming the Dutch Republic

For the Dutch, their decisions led to them becoming a world superpower, launching a 'golden age' for the nation-state. This golden age was marked by many discoveries, inventions, and amassing vast areas across the globe. This led to them feeling special, a feature of nationalism.

From state to nation-state

In 18th-century Europe, most states existed on a territory conquered and controlled by monarchs who possessed great armies. Some of these non-national states were:

  • multi-ethnic empires such as Austria-Hungary, Russia and the Ottoman Empire
  • Sub-national micro-states such as a Duchy

During this time, many leaders started to realise the importance of a national identity for legitimacy and citizen loyalty. They attempted to fabricate nationality or impose it from the top to get this national identity.

An example of a fabricated nationality comes from Stalin, who allegedly suggested labelling the nationality as a union of Soviet Socialist Republics would result in people eventually believing it and adopting it.

An example of an imposed nationality is colonial states. Here, the occupying powers (colonists) have drawn boundaries across territories that various tribal and ethnic groups inhabit, and they impose the rule of this state. A recent example is Iraq's occupation by the US. This occupation displaced Saddam Hussein's empire. It attempted to create a democratic nation-state where no significant national culture existed among the sub-national groups living on the territory.

Examples of Nation States

Nation-states include (figure 1):

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Bangladesh
  • China
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Eswanti
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Japan
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mongolia
  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Slovenia

Nation State Geography Examples of nation-states StudySmarterFigure 1: Examples of nation-states - created by the author with MapChart (2022)

Some of these examples are where a single ethnic group makes up more than 85% of the population.

It is worth noting that China is a bit of a difficult one and needs some explaining, considering not everyone agrees with China being called a nation-state.

China has called itself a nation-state for about 100 years, even though modern China started about 2000 years ago, with the Han Dynasty.

China is added to the list for various reasons:

  • The vast majority of the people are ethnic Han people, about 92% of the total population
  • The government is Han
  • Chinese, which is a group of languages that form the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages, is spoken by the majority ethnic Han Chinese group and even by many minority ethnic groups
  • The Han population is geographically distributed on the eastern side of China

Nation-state and globalisation

Globalisation has an impact on nation-states.

Definition of globalisation

Globalisation is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. Globalisation has been on the rise since the advances in transportation and communication technology. This rise has caused a growth in international trade and the exchange of ideas, beliefs, and culture.

Types of globalisation

  • Economic: the focus is on integrating international financial markets and the coordination of financial exchange. An example is the North American Free Trade Agreement. Multinational corporations, which operate in 2 or more countries, play a significant role in economic globalisation
  • Political: covers the national policies that bring countries together politically, economically and culturally. An example is the UN, which is part of the political globalisation effort
  • Cultural: focuses, for the large part, on the technological and societal factors that are causing cultures to mingle. An example is social media, which increased the ease of communication

Westernisation

One commonly seen and recognised effect of globalisation is that it favours Westernisation. This can be clearly seen in the agricultural industry, where developing nations face heavy competition from Western companies. This means that non-Western nation-states are at a, sometimes huge, disadvantage when it comes to dealing with the Americas and Europe.

Impact of globalisation on nation-states

Globalisation impacts all states; however, it is seen as a threat to the sovereignty and autonomy of weak(er) states. Strong states are those that can influence the norms of the international economy. Strong states can be industrialised countries such as the UK and developing countries such as Brazil.

Globalisation has a powerful effect; however, states pursue policies in such a way that these policies restructure the national and private industries. The impact and competence in making such policies will depend on things such as size, geographic location and domestic power of that state, which could be either coercive or consensual.

Then there are so-called weak states, who really have no say in choosing their international economic relations. They simply do not influence the creation and enforcement of rules in the system, nor do they have a choice to decide about their integration into the global economy.

Globalisation also leads to interdependence among nations, which, in turn, could lead to an imbalance of power among nations of different economic strengths.

Conclusion of Impact of globalisation on nation-states

Remember what a nation-state was again? It is a specific form of a sovereign state (a political entity on a territory) that governs a nation (a cultural entity), and which derives its legitimacy from successfully serving all its citizens. They are self-governing.

Knowing this and reading the impact of globalisation, one can argue that globalisation leads to a nation-state no longer being a nation-state. Globalisation leads to influences from other nation-states or counties in general. With these influences impacting the nation-state, its economy, politics and/or culture, can we still call a nation-state a nation-state? Are they still a sovereign state and self-governing if outside influences have an impact?

There is no right or wrong answer here, as a nation-state, in general, is a concept that some argue does not exist. It is up to you to form your own opinion.

Historiography - nation-state issues

While all the information above seems to indicate a rather easy definition of a nation-state, that couldn't be further from the truth. Anthony Smith, 1 of the most influential scholars on nation-states and nationalism, has argued that a state can be a nation-state only if and when a single ethnic and cultural population inhabits the boundaries of a state and that those boundaries are coextensive with the boundaries of that ethnic and cultural population. If Smith's statement would be true, only about 10% of the states meet these criteria. It is a very narrow way of thinking because migration is a global phenomenon.

Ernest Gellner, a philosopher and social anthropologist, further claims that nations and states do not always exist. Nationalism ensured that people would see those 2 terms as if they were meant to go together.

It is worth remembering that, while there is a definition of a nation-state, actually defining one is not as clear-cut.

Not all countries are so easy to define.

Let's take the US, for example. Ask people, "is the US a nation-state" and you will get many conflicting answers. On 14 January 1784, the Continental Congress officially declared the sovereignty of the US. Even though the initial 13 colonies were made up of many 'national' cultures, commerce and migration among and within the colonies created a sense of American culture. Nowadays, we certainly see a cultural identity in the US as the majority of the people living there call themselves Americans, and feel American, based on the foundations of the state, such as the constitution and the bill of rights. Patriotism is also a good example of the American 'spirit'. On the other hand, though, the US is so big, and it is filled with different cultures, traditions, histories and languages. Even though the majority of all those people feel and identify as American, many Americans dislike other Americans, i.e. different cultures and/or ethnicities dislike other cultures and/or ethnicities. There is no longer 1 specific American 'spirit' among the majority of the people. One can argue that the lack of this '1 American spirit', the dislike towards other Americans, and the different cultures go against the definition of a nation. Therefore, the US cannot be a nation-state. While this might be confusing to answer the question 'is the US a nation-state?' there is no right or wrong answer here. There is merely a different way of looking at it. Think about it for yourself and see what you come up with.

The future of the nation-state

The nation-state's claims to absolute sovereignty within its borders have been criticised more recently. This is especially the case among minorities who feel that the ruling elite does not represent their interests, leading to civil wars and genocide.

Also, international corporations and non-governmental organisations are viewed as the driving factor in eroding the economic and political powers of the nation-states. The "ideal nation-state", which is one where the entire population of the territory pledges allegiance to the national culture, did not anticipate the future power of economic wealth and its effects on nation-states. There is no way of knowing what the future holds for nation-states and its, albeit by some disputed, existence.

Nation-States - Key takeaways

  • Nation-states: It is a specific form of a sovereign state (a political entity on a territory) that governs a nation (a cultural entity), and which derives its legitimacy from successfully serving all its citizens
  • The origins of the nation-state can be traced back to the Treaty of Westphalia (1648). it did not create nation-states, but nation-states meet the criteria for their component states
  • A nation-state has the following 4 characteristics:1. Sovereignty - the ability to make autonomous decisions for itself2. Territory -a nation-state cannot be virtual; it needs to own land3. Population - there must be real people living there that comprise the nation4. Government - a nation-state is one with some level of organised government that takes care of its common affairs
  • Either France or the English Commonwealth was the first nation-state; there is no general consensus, just a difference in opinions
  • Some examples of nation-states are:- Egypt- Japan- Germany- Iceland
  • Globalisation and Westernisation have a major impact on nation-states. The former can be seen as a threat to the sovereignty and autonomy of weaker states. The latter can be a disadvantage to non-Western states when dealing with the Americas and Europe
  • It is important to realize that not everybody believes in the existence of nation-states. Even though the nation-state has a definition, defining an actual nation-state is not straightforward. You can decide for yourself if you believe in the existence of nation-states or not.

References:

1. Kohli (2004): State-directed development: political power and industrialisation in the global periphery.

Frequently Asked Questions about Nation State Geography

4 examples are:

  • Egypt
  • Iceland
  • Japan
  • France

A nation-state has the following 4 characteristics:

  1. Sovereignty - the ability to make autonomous decisions for itself
  2. Territory - a nation-state cannot be virtual, it needs to own land
  3. Population - there must be real people living there that comprise the nation
  4. Government - a nation-state is one with some level or organised government that takes care of its common affairs

Nation state in political geography is used as a term to describe a territory with a political entity which governs a nation which is a cultural entity and is legitimized by how successfully it can serve its citizens.

An example of a nation in geography is the United States, people of the nation share common customs, origins, history, often language and nationality.

Nation-state is a combination of nation and state. It is a specific form of a sovereign state (a political entity on a territory) that governs a nation (a cultural entity) and which derives its legitimacy from successfully serving all its citizens. So, when a nation of people has a state or country of their own, it is called a nation-state.

Final Nation State Geography Quiz

Question

What is the definition of a nation?

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Answer

a territory where all the people are led by the same government. The people within a nation can be the whole population or a group of people within the territory or country who share history, traditions, culture and/or language. Such a group of people do not have to have a country of their own

Show question

Question

What is the definition of a state?

Show answer

Answer

a territory where all the people are led by the same government. The people within a nation can be the whole population or a group of people within the territory or country who share history, traditions, culture and/or language. Such a group of people do not have to have a country of their own

State = a nation or territory that is considered to be an organised political community under 1 government. It is worth noting that there is no undisputed definition of a state 

Show question

Question

What is the definition of a nation-state?


Show answer

Answer

It is a specific form of a sovereign state (a political entity on a territory) that governs a nation (a cultural entity), and which derives its legitimacy from successfully serving all its citizens. So, when a nation of people have a state or country of their own, it is called a nation-state. They are a self-governing state, but it can have various forms of government. In most cases, a nation-state is also called a sovereign state, but that is not always the case.

 

A nation-state is a more precise concept, as a country does not need to have a predominant ethnic group, which is needed to define a nation-state.

Show question

Question

What is worth noting about the definition of a nation-state?


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Answer

some scholars do argue that a nation-state does not really exist. There is no real right or wrong answer here, as others do not agree with that statement and do argue that nation-states exist.

Show question

Question

Where did the idea of the nation-state originated?


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Answer

With the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia. It did not create nation-states but nation-states meet the criteria for its component states

Show question

Question

What are the 4 characteristics of a nation-state?


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Answer

  1. Sovereignty - the ability to make autonomous decisions for itself
  2. Territory - a nation-state cannot be virtual, it needs to own land
  3. Population - there must be real people living there that comprise the nation
  4. Government - a nation-state is one with some level or organised government that takes care of its common affairs

Show question

Question

How do nation-states differ from pre-nation-states?


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Answer

  • A different attitude to their territory when compared with dynastic monarchies. Nations see their nation as non-transferable, meaning that they would not simply swap territory with other states
     
  • Nation-states have a different type of border, defined only by the area of settlement of the national group. Many nation-states also use natural borders such as rivers and mountain ranges. Nation-states are always changing in population size and power due to the limited restrictions of their borders
     
  • Nation-states usually have a more centralised and uniform public administration
     
  • Nation-states have an impact in the creation of a uniform national culture, through state policy

  • The most noticeable characteristic difference is the degree to which nation states use the state as an instrument of national unity in economic, social and cultural life

Show question

Question

Which 2 directions for the formation and creation of a nation-state are there?

Show answer

Answer

  1. responsible people living in a territory organising a common government for the nation state they want to create. This is the more peaceful direction

  2. a ruler or army will conquer a territory and impose its will on the people it will rule. This is a violent and oppressive direction

Show question

Question

How does a nation become a nation-state?


Show answer

Answer

A common national identity is developed among the peoples of a geographical territory and they organise a state based on their common identity. It is a government of, by, and for the people

Show question

Question

What is an example of a nation becoming a nation-state?


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Answer

The Dutch Republic

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Question

What does it mean to go from a state to a nation-state?


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Answer

In 18th-century Europe, we see that most states existed on a territory that was conquered and controlled by monarchs who possessed great armies.


During this time, many leaders started to realise the importance of a national identity for legitimacy and citizen loyalty. To get this, they attempted to either fabricate nationality or impose it from the top

Show question

Question

What is an example of a state becoming a nation-state? 


Show answer

Answer

Iraq being occupied by the US. This occupation displaced Saddam Hussein's empire and it attempted to create a democratic nation-state where no significant national culture existed among the sub-national groups that were living on the territory

Show question

Question

Name 4 examples of nation-states.


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Answer

  1. Germany
  2. Japan
  3. Iceland
  4. Egypt

Show question

Question

Why is China generally considered to be a nation-state?

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Answer

  • The vast majority of the people are ethnic Han people, about 92% of the total population
  • The government is Han
  • Chinese, which is a group of languages that form the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages, are spoken by the ethnic Han Chinese majority, and even by many minority ethnic groups
  • The Han population is geographically distributed on the eastern side of China

Show question

Question

What are the 3 types of globalisation?


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Answer

  1. Economic: the focus in on the integration of international financial markets and the coordination of financial exchange. An example is the North American Free Trade Agreement. Multinational corporations, which operate in 2 or more countries, play a big role in economic globalisation
     
  2. Political: covers the national policies that bring countries together politically, economically and culturally. An example is the UN, which is part of the political globalisation effort
     
  3. Cultural: focusses, for the large part, on the technological and societal factors that are causing cultures to mingle. An example is social media, which increased the ease of communication

Show question

Question

Why is Westernisation an issue?


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Answer

It means that non-Western nation-states are at a, sometimes huge, disadvantage when it comes to dealing with the Americas and Europe. This can be clearly seen in the agricultural industry, where second- and third-world nations face heavy competition from Western companies.

Show question

Question

Countries are not always easy to define as being a nation-state or not. Name an example of such a country?

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Answer

The US. Some consider this a nation-state because the people living there consider themselves to be Americans.


Others do not consider the US a nation-state because there are so many different ethnicities and cultures within the country, and issues between those that do call themselves American. Which goes against the idea of a nation-state

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Question

What is the definition of nationalism?

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Answer

The definition of nationalism is loyalty, devotion and/or allegiance to a nation or nation-state. It creates a sense of national consciousness. 

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Question

What is the difference between patriotism and nationalism?

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Patriotism refers to a sense of civic pride and duty within a country. Patriots love their country, nationalists are their country. 

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Question

What is the meaning of nationalism?


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Answer

The ideology of a modern state is called nationalism. It is closely connected to the concept of 'belonging'. 

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Question

Which 2 historical events are considered the start of nationalism?


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Answer

  1. The Declaration of Independence (4 July 1776) for the US
  2. The French Revolution (5 May 1789 - 9 November 1799) 

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Question

Name some ways that nationalism is demonstrated:

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Answer

  • National symbols
  • Anthems - Rule Britannia! was composed in 1740 by Thomas Arne
  • Myths
  • Flags - The Union Jack was adopted in 1801 as the national flag
  • Narratives

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Question

Social nationalism is ______

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Answer

A form of nationalism that is all about self-determination and social equality. 

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Which of the following is another term for social nationalism?


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Answer

Left-wing nationalism

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What is the definition of self-determination?


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1. free choice of one's own acts or states without external compulsion

2. determination by the people of a territorial unit of their future political status

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What can social nationalism also include and what are their definitions?


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Answer

  • Anti-imperialism = going against a policy or practice by which a country increases its power by gaining political and economic control over other areas of the world and its people. Another term is anti-colonialism

  • National liberation movements = are movements that arise in developing nations where they want to expel colonialist powers. This is often done through guerrilla warfare

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Question

True or false: the Nazi Party is an example of social nationalism

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Answer

False - It is important not to confuse social nationalism with the Nazi Party, which called itself National Socialism! 

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Question

What is civic nationalism?


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Answer

It is an inclusive form of nationalism that adheres to traditional values of freedom, tolerance, equality, individual rights, and multiculturalism.


A civic nation is not defined by language or culture but by political institutions and liberal principles. 


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Within civic nationalism, who can be a part of it?


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Answer

Any citizen regardless of culture or ethnicity can join a civic nation, as long as they share the values of that civic nation. Someone can achieve civic nationalism through citizenship.

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Question

Name 3 examples of civic nationalism.


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Answer

  1. The Scottish National Party (SNP) and Plaid Cymru 
  2. The Republican Left of Catalonia, in Spain
  3. The Union of Cypriots 

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Question

What is the difference between civic and ethnic nationalism?


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Answer

Civic nationalists believe that everyone, regardless of their ethnic origins, belongs to their nation, as long as they follow and accept their civic values. 


Ethnic nationalists don't care about values and institutions. They share a common heritage such as language and ethnic ancestry.

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Question

Why does ethnic nationalism have a darker side?


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Answer

It is often the cause for genocides and/or ethnic cleansing

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Question

What is cultural nationalism?


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Answer

Cultural nationalism is when a shared culture and common language define the nation, not race or common ancestry. Their vision is not one of a political organisation but rather a moral community. 

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How is cultural nationality achieved?


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Answer

Cultural nationality is not achieved through citizenship like it is in civic nationalism. Members cannot instantly get a culture and children who grew up in a different culture are considered foreigners.

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Question

What are 2 of the darker sides of nationalism?


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Answer

Fascism

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What is fascism and can you name 2 examples?

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Answer

This form of nationalism is ruled by a dictator, where any opposition and criticism is forbidden and punished and where the people and economy are strongly controlled. 


2 examples are:

  1. Italy (1922-1943)
  2. Germany (1933-1945)

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Question

What is racial nationalism?


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Answer

This is a form of nationalism where people want to preserve the 'racial purity' of a nation through policies such as banning race mixing and the immigration of other races. 

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Question

What is the definition of a border?

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Answer

Borders are geographic boundaries which can be divided into physical borders as well as political borders. It can be a real or artificial line that separates geographic areas.

 

Borders are, by definition, political boundaries, and they separate countries, states, provinces, counties, cities and towns. 

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What are boundaries?

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Answer

A boundary is the outer edge of a region or area of land. It shows where 1 area/region ends and another begins. This is a line, either real or imaginary, that separates geographical areas of the Earth.

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Question

Name 2 examples of political boundaries that are formed along physical boundaries.


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Answer

  1. The boundary between France and Spain. This follows the crest of the Pyrenees mountains
  2. The boundary between the US and Mexico. This follows the Rio Grande river

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Question

What are the 5 types of natural boundaries?


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Answer

  1. Frontiers
  2. Rivers and lakes
  3. Maritime borders/Oceans
  4. Tectonic plates
  5. Mountains

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Question

What are natural boundaries?

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Answer

Natural boundaries are a recognisable geographic features, such as mountains, rivers or deserts. These natural boundaries are a logical choice for a boundary as they are visible and they tend to interfere with human movement and interaction 

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What is a frontier?

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Answer

Frontiers are vast unsettled or underpopulated areas that separate and protect countries from each other, and they often function as natural boundaries. Frontiers can be deserts, marshes, frigid lands, oceans, forests, and/or mountains. 

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Question

What is an example of a country that developed while surrounded by frontiers?

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Answer

Chile

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Question

What are 3 examples of waterway boundaries?

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Answer

  1. Strait of Gibraltar: a narrow waterway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It is the boundary between southwestern Europe and north-western Africa

  2. The Rio Grande: forming the boundary between the US and Mexico

  3. The Mississippi River: a defining boundary between many of the states that it flows through, such as Louisiana and Mississippi

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Question

What 3 agreements were recorded in the 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea?

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Answer

  1. Territorial sea
  2. Contiguous zone
  3. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

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Question

What are the 3 types of boundaries with tectonic plates?

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Answer

  1. Divergent boundary
  2. Convergent boundary
  3. Transform body

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Question

Name 2 examples of mountain boundaries.

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Answer

  1. The Pyrenees Mountains, separating France and Spain
  2. The Alps, separating France and Italy

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Question

In geography, which 3 types of borders can be distinguished?

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Answer

  1. Defined
  2. Delimited
  3. Demarcated

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What is the meaning of a political boundary?

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Answer

Political boundaries are characterised by an imaginary line, which separate countries, states, provinces, counties, cities and towns. Sometimes, political boundaries can also separate cultures, languages, ethnicities and cultural resources.


Sometimes, political boundaries can be a natural geographic feature such as a river. Often, political boundaries are classified by whether or not they follow distinct physical features.

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