Regional Geography 105
Nations and States
Nation - has common characteristics shared by a group of people
State - politically organized territory, with a permanent resident population, organized economy and infrastructure.
Nation-State possesses the above characteristics plus: a sense of unity by the population
Internal Nation Building Forces
Centripetal Forces: Unifying forces; binding forces within a state together.
Centrifugal Forces: Forces that tear a state apart.
Devolution: Process whereby regions within a state demand and gain political strength and autonomy at the expense of the central government.
External Nation Building Forces
Supranationalism: Separate nations join to become one nation.
Irredentism: Incorporation or aid by one country to an ethnic group in an adjacent country.
Importance of Europe
Why is Europe important?
Why is there a focus on Europe from a political, economic and historical perspective?
Due to: Agriculture, Technology, Diseases, Writing, and Geography
Centralized global location - distances to other parts of the inhabited world are relatively short.
Nearly surrounded by oceans and seas
Historical Geography of Europe
Changing states and nation-states.
Empires have formed; consolidate; then collapse.
European geography examined as a series of "unifications" and fragmentations.
European history, politics, philosophy, art and economics has been strongly influenced by two main groups - Ancient Greeks and Romans.
Ancient Greece - strong influences in philosophy, art, politics, and literature.
Modern science had its roots in Ancient Greece and the Middle East.
Roman Empire: 200 BC to 450 AD
It is recognized by many that the Roman adopted many of their cultural aspects from the Ancient Greeks - many similarities are seen in their art, architecture, religion and politics.
The Romans were excellent technicians - in other words they were very good at applying what they learned.
Beginnings of European infrastructure
Romans linked widely separated areas together with roads, waterways, aqueducts and communication networks.
Areal Functional Specialization - particular people in particular places concentrating on the production of particular goods.
In other words, people that were skilled in mining and metal works produced metal goods, while people that were skilled in animal husbandry raise livestock. The Roman infrastructure allowed good to flow where they were needed. Metal workers did not need to raise livestock for clothing and herdsmen did not need to be able to work metal.
Frankish Empire forms, 482-814 A.D.
Roman Empire falls. Dark Ages.
Not much happens in Europe in terms of development.
Isolation, and feudalism prevail.
Frankish Empire forms, 482-814 A.D., unifies a portion of central Europe.
Major changes in Europe due to the Agrarian, Industrial and Political Revolutions.
Von Thünen's Isolated State Model
1826 - Johann Von Thünen developed one of the first geographic models
Model - an idealized representation of reality - allows understanding of complex relationships by means of simplification.
Von Thünen wanted to develop an isolated state model to understand what an ideal state would look like and behave.
Significance of this model:
European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), Apr. 1951.
European Economic Community (EEC), March 1957.
European Community (EC), July, 1967.
European Union (EU), Feb. 1992. (27 current member states)
What are the aims and goals of the European Union?
How does EU development fit into the larger pattern that is seen in European development?
How does it differ?