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Understanding Borders
A border is a real or artificial line that separates geographic areas.
Not all Borders are Equal
Friendly Neighbors
Canada and the United States share the world's longest undefended border, stretching
6,416 kilometers (3,987 miles).
Meandering River
The border between Mexico and the U.S. state of Texas follows the Rio Grande. During
the mid-1800s, the river shifted its course southward, giving the U.S. an extra 600 acres
of land. For many years, the two countries fought over this territory. The dispute wasn't
officially settled until 1963
Not all Borders are Equal
Natural Border
Any border following
features of the natural
landscape. Convenient
Artificial Border
Borders designed for
Convenience that do not
Reflect the landscape
“49th parallel “
Types of Border
Subsequent: borders established as or after the settlement of
the area took place.
Antecedent: borders designed before the human landscape took
shape. 49th parallel between Canada and USA
Superimposed: forcibly drawn across a unified cultural
landscape. Ex. North and South Korea, much of Africa
Relic: cease to function but are still evident on the cultural
landscape. Ex. North and South Vietnam
Border Dispute
Allocational: conflicting claims to natural resources close to or
along a border
Definitional: disagreement over the interpretation of an original
boundary agreement
Locational: disagreement on the physical location of a border
Operational: disagreement on how the border should be
controlled or function.
Border Misuse
Gerrymandering: the process of setting up electoral
districts to establish a political advantage.
Border Misuse
Elbridge Gerry became Madison's vice
president, as the DemocraticRepublican governor of Massachusetts,
Gerry signed a redistricting plan that
was thought to ensure his party's
domination of the Massachusetts state
senate. An editorial artist added wings,
claws, and the head of a particularly
fierce-looking salamander creature to
the outline of one particularly notable
district grouping towns in the northeast
of the state; the beast was dubbed the
"Gerry-mander" in the press, and the
practice of changing the district lines to
affect political power has kept the name
ever since.
Google & Borders
ACTIVTY: Historic Border Changes/Disputes
Over the weekend research one of the following
• Cold War & fall of Berlin wall
• Colonialism in Africa
• Western Expansion in the United States
• Western Expansion in Canada
• WWII before and after Poland/Germany/Russia
• Rio Grande shift USA Mexico
• Territory of Gibraltar
• Taiwan