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AP Human Geography: Political Geography Vocabulary

Vocabulary from the Advanced Placement course of Human Geography regarding political geography
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Antecedent Boundary
A boundary that was drawn across an area prior to the area becoming substantially-populated (e.g. border between Malaysia and Indonesia)
Balance of Power
A condition of roughly equal strength between opposing countries or allies
Boundary
An invisible line that marks the extent of a state's territory
Buffer State
A neutral state between two warring states (e.g. Mongolia, between Russia and China)
City-State
A sovereign state comprising of a city and its immediate hinterland (e.g. Singapore)
Confederate Governmental Structure
A system of government in which nations or states agree to join together under a central government
Colonialism
An attempt by one country to establish settlements and to impose its political, economical, and cultural principles in another territory
Colony
A territory that is legally tied to a sovereign state rather than being independent (e.g. British Virgin Islands to Great Britain)
Compact State
A state in which the distance from the center to any boundary does not vary significantly (e.g. Poland)
Commonwealth
A territory that has established a mutual agreement with another state for the benefit of each (e.g. Puerto Rico)
Cultural Political Boundaries
Political boundaries formed by differences in culture, such as religion or language
Domino Theory
The theory that if one nation goes under Communist control, neighboring countries will do the same
Elongated State
A state with a long, narrow shape (e.g. Chile)
Enclave
An enclosed territory with a foreign territory around it (e.g. Lesotho)
Ethnonationalism
The powerful emotional attachment to one's minority nation within a larger state (e.g. Chechens)
European Union (EU)
A supranational organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members
Exclave
A part of a country that is seperated from the rest of the country and surrounded by a foreign territory
Federal State
An internal organization of a state that allocates most powers to units of local government (e.g. United States)
Forward Capital
A symbolically relocated capital city, moved for economic or strategic reasons (e.g. Brasilia)
Fragmented State
A state that includes several discontinuous territories (e.g. Indonesia)
Frontier
A zone separating two states in which neither of the states exercises political control (e.g. Antarctica)
Geometric Political Boundaries
Boundaries drawn with straight lines and arcs, as opposed to irregular lines and shapes (e.g. the boundaries of most African countries)
Gerrymandering
The redrawing of legislative boundaries entirely for electoral purposes, thereby benefiting the party in power
Heartland Theory
A theory that suggests that whoever owns Eastern Europe and Western Asia has the political power and capital to rule the world
Imperialism
The control of territory already occupied and organized by an indigenous society
Land Empire
An empire that involves conquest by force in which armies attack, pillage, and plunder their way through another land, taking resources by force
Landlocked State
A state without access to the sea (e.g. Bolivia)
Mercantilism
The process in which a colonizing mother country receives raw materials from its colonies
Microstate
A state that encompasses a very small area (e.g. Vatican City)
Multinational State
A state that contains two or more ethnic groups with traditions of self-determination that agree to coexist peacefully by recognizing each other as distinct nationalities (e.g. United Kingdom)
Nation
A group of people with common cultural characteristics and identify themselves as a cohesive group (e.g. Kurds)
Nation-State
A state whose territory corresponds to that which is occupied by a particular ethnicity that has been transformed into a nationality (e.g. Japan)
Neo-Colonialism
The continued economic dependence of new states on their former colonial masters
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
An international organization created in 1949 by the North Atlantic Treaty to provide collective security to its members
Organic Theory
The theory that a state needs expansive land in order to prosper
Perforated State
A state that completely surrounds another one (e.g. Italy)
Political Geography
The study of geography involving geographic states, borders, and how humans identify with them
Physical Political Boundary
A state's border that corresponds to a natural, real-life boundary (e.g. Rio Grande border between Mexico and the U.S.)
Prorupted State
An adhesive compact state with a large expansion (e.g. Thailand)
Relic Boundary
A boundary no longer observed but that still affects the present-day area (e.g. border between West and East Germany in Berlin)
Rimland Theory
A political theory that holds that control of Eurasia and Africa is achieved via control of the countries bordering the Soviet Union
Satellite State
A state that is formally independent but heavily influenced by another state (e.g. Bulgaria during the Soviet Union)
Sea Empire
Empires acquired using sea power, where settlements were set up along coasts, and excursions into the interior brought loot back to those settlements, where a ship would be waiting to take the resources home
Self-Determination
The concept that ethnicities have the right to govern themselves
Settlement Empire
An empire intended for longer residence, rather than used for immediate return with resources
Shatterbelt Regions
Areas that are constantly breaking up and/or fragmenting (e.g. Southeast Asia)
Sovereignty
The ability of a state to govern its territory from control of its internal affairs by other states
State
An area organized into a political unit and ruled by an established government with control over its internal and foreign affairs (e.g. France)
Stateless Nation
A nation lacking a territory to call its own (e.g. Hmong, Kurds)
Subsequent Boundaries
Drawn boundaries made with regard to ethnic differences (e.g. border between China and Vietnam)
Superimposed Boundaries
A boundary made through colonization without regard to prior ethnic/cultural patterns (e.g. borders of most African countries)
Supranationalism
The term applied to associations created by three or more states for their mutual benefit and achievement of shared objectives
Territorial Morphology
A phrase that states that the shape of a state influences how effectively the government can rule its territory
Territoriality
The creating of ownership over a defined space (e.g. the cause of World War I)
Theocracy
A government set up around a religious leader
Unitary State
An internal organization of a state that places most power in the hands of central government officials
United Nations
A supranational organization formed in 1945 to promote peace, security, and international cooperation
Warsaw Pact
The agreement between Communist states established in 1955 that opposed NATO