Regional Geography 105
Heartland and Rimland Study Guide

After the lectures and reading the "Heartland and Rimland" articles you should be able to answer and discuss the following questions.

Mackinder's Heartland Theory

In what context does Mackinder view the history of Europe?

How were the Turanian nomadic peoples of Asia entering Europe?

In addition to the Turanian nomadic peoples of Asia, which other group regularly harassed Europe?

Which other parts of the world also saw invasions of the Turanian nomadic peoples of Asia?

What is the natural rival of horse and camel mobility in the heart of the continent?

According to Mackinder, of these two forms of mobility, which is more important?

In the 20th century, what was replacing the horse and camel mobility?

What is the central strategic position?

In the 20th century, who occupies the central strategic position?

Why is this central strategic position or pivot considered to be important?

What does gaining control of the pivot region allow to potentially happen?

What is Mackinder's main thesis?

Spykman's Rimland Theory

What is the overall focus of Spykman's article?

How does Spykman divide the old world?

Historically, what is the importance of the buffer zone?

Why are Africa and Australia considered to be unimportant by Spykman?

What is the importance of the heartland according to Spykman?

During WWII, which does Spykman consider to more important - the heartland or the border zone? Why?

What is the distribution and movemen of the major military forces as described by Spykman?

What is Spykman's main thesis?

Major/Important Events Since WWII until 1990

Soviet Union becomes a world military superpower.
European Union begins to form with the establishment of the European Economic Community in 1950.
NATO becomes a major military power in the north Atlantic region.
Oil producing countries in the Middle East gain worldwide economic power.
China becomes a nuclear power and has the world's largest standing military force.
Japan becomes a major world economic and manufacturing power.

Major/Important Events Since 1990

Soviet Union collapses in 1991.
European Union expands its membership to eastern European countries, including former Soviet republics.
NATO expands its membership to eastern European countries.
War in the Balkans and the break up of the former Yugoslavia.
War in the Middle East - Gulf War and Iraq War/Occupation.
Pakistan and India become nuclear powers.
India's population surpasses 1 billion people.
Japan and eastern Asia suffer a series of recessions, but still remain relatively strong economically.
China begins to emerge as a major world economic power.
North Korea claims to possess nuclear weapons.

Heartland vs. Rimland

In the current phase of world history, which theory appears to more accurately describe the current situation in Eurasia?