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Types of Boundaries. Frontier – geographic zone where no state exercises power. Example: France and England fought over frontier areas in NA in the French and Indian War.


Types of Boundaries • Frontier – geographic zone where no state exercises power. • Example: France and England fought over frontier areas in NA in the French and Indian War. • All but disappeared from the earth, with only Antarctica and the Arabian Peninsula left with significant neutral zone areas.

Types of Boundaries • Boundaries can be categorized into two types: • Physical – easy to see, so they often make good boundaries. Examples: Mountains, Deserts, and rivers. • Cultural – ethnic differences, especially those based on language and/or religion. Example: Pakistan from India in 1947.

Federal & Unitary Systems • States may be categorized into three types according to their internal geographic distribution of power: • Unitary System – one that concentrates all policymaking powers in one central geographic place. • Nation-state evolved in Europe – democracy had not yet developed; governments ruled by force. • Most European gov’ts = highly centralized. • As a result, most European govts today remain unitary states.

Federal & Unitary Systems • Confederal System – spreads power among many sub-units (such as states), and has a weak central govt. • Most attempts have not lasted. • Modern govt. of Switzerland has very strong sub-govts., and comes as close to a modern confederation as exists. • Failed confederation = US under the Articles

Federal & Unitary Systems • Federal System – divides the power between the central government and the sub-units. • Developed in several colonial areas, including the US, Canada, and Australia. • Possible b/c the cultures were new, no single cities dominated the new countries, and in all three examples, the land space is large, setting the stage for the development of regional govts. • Allows for diverse needs and preferences, but also features a central govt. that is strong enough to keep countries from falling apart.

Political Systems • All political systems fall on a continuum from the most concentrated amount of power to the least. • Most countries have unitary systems, although some are experimenting with devolution – the transfer of some important powers from central govts. to sub-govts. Confederal Systems Unitary Systems Federal Systems

Centripetal vs. Centrifugal • Both forces affects all nation-states. • Centripetal forces – bind together the people of a state, giving it strength. • One of most powerful is nationalism – identities based on nationhood. • Centrifugal forces – destabilize the govt. and encourage the country to fall apart. • A country that is not well-organized or governed stands to lose the loyalty of its citizens.

Gerrymandering • Named after Elbridge Gerry – Governor of Massachusetts – 1812 • Approved of a redistricting map that gave the Democratic-Republicans a disadvantage. • Redistricting map resembled a salamander for Federalist boundary. • Newspaper – “Call it a Gerrymander!”

Gerrymandering • Wasted Vote – spreads opposition supporters across many districts but in the minority. • Excess Vote – concentrates opposition supporters into a few districts. • Stacked Vote – links distant areas of like-minded voters through oddly shaped boundaries.

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