• Ancient times
– Alexander the Great
• Middlel Ages
• 18 th -19 th Centuries
– British Empire
• 20 th Century
– Hitler (failed)
– Soviet Union (failed)
• Based on naval power
• Developed along with the growth of industry
– Raw materials
– Protection of sea lanes
• “The sun never sets on the British Empire”
– English most widely spoken language
– Democratic ideals
• Spanish and Portuguese (Americas)
– Primary causative event – Napoleon’s conquest of Spain & Portugal
– Dissatisfied creoles (Spanish)
– Encouraged by the successful revolution in the United States in North America
– Encouraged by political philosophies expressed by Enlightenment writers
– Encouraged by the French Revolution
• British, French, German, Italian, Belgian, Dutch
• Primary causative factors: World Wars I & II
• Improved communications
• Educated elites in the colonies took leadership roles
• Self-determination of peoples encouraged by United
• Costs increasing for economically burdened
• Retaining by force no longer feasible
• Last major part of the former British
Empire returned in 1997
• Most less developed countries are former colonies
In a position to take advantage of the other
• The world is being shaped by two different and seemingly contradictory forces, both of which seem to be growing. Therein is the paradox – the tension within which we must live.
• A geographer brings that special, spatial, integrative point of view to the study of these transnational forces.
• Globalism – The development of political and quasi-political organizations and structures that transcend the “nation-state.”
• Devolution – The breaking down into smaller, simpler parts as in ethnic strife leading to hostility and the breaking-up of multinational states and even states formerly thought to have become “nationstates.”
• the growing realization that all countries must work within the framework of a global economy.
• Economic unions:
– European Union
• International peace-keeping forces to prevent the spread of conflict.
• Russia consulting with and cooperating with
• Easier spread of ideas and diseases
– Terrorism – anti-Jewish & anti-American
– Diseases – AIDS, Ebola, Mad Cow, etc.
• Multi-national or Trans-national corporations
– the totality is not subject to the jurisdiction of any political unit.
• In 2001, the United States became committed to a “War on Terrorism.”
• Increased health concerns for citizens.
• Consumers seem to be having fewer real choices in the marketplace.
• Striving of national or ethnic groups for sovereign political expression
• Parts of several multinational states may seek to unite as a separate political entity.
• Hostilities long thought dead have surfaced in the post Cold War world.
• When these threaten world security and trade, the US may become involved financially and/or militarily.
• No country on earth has, within its boundaries and jurisdiction, all the resources needed to operate as a developed country.
• The USA imports 100% of more than a dozen key mineral resources.
– Greater economic diversity and job opportunities for countries.
– Better quality, lower cost consumer products.
• Free Trade Area – No internal tariffs
– Each country sets tariffs for nonmembers
• Customs Union – Eliminates internal tariffs & adopts a common external tariff policy
• Common Market –closest level of cooperation
– Eliminates internal tariff & sets common external
– Common laws relating to production
– May establish some common political institutions & may work toward eventual political union
– Many common political, economic, & social areas
• The development after WW II of the European Union has improved living standards among members and given Europe the longest period of peace
• NAFTA has the potential to do that in the Western
Hemisphere – effort are being made to expand it.
• Initially there are some dislocations, but in the long-run member countries and their citizens benefit
• European Parliament – growing but limited power
• One huge market for goods, capital, labor
– Euro accepted by most but not all
• Transportation system at all levels
• Regional policy to assist poor agricultural areas and declining urban areas
• Social policy – laws for work, labor, visas, etc.
• Environmental policies
• Defense (really through NATO)
• Promotes peace
• Has raised living standards
• Is probably the “model” economic union in the world today.
Click on the map to see the video
Click the picture to see the video
NAFTA (trade & investment only)
• Canada & USA
• Canada, USA, & Mexico
– More resistance in USA to Mexico joining
– Maquiladoras in northern Mexico
– Mexico may have developed real democracy
– Talks have been going on with Chile
– Andean & Middle American trade unions
– Talk of eventually the whole Western Hemisphere except for Cuba (Cuba will probably change after Castro dies)
• League of Nations
• United Nations
• Moral force in the world
• Forum for discussion & negotiation
– UN Convention on the Law of the
• Peace keeping forces in trouble spots
• Special agencies – improve social, medical, & educational conditions world wide
• World Court to settle disputes
• Yearly income not guaranteed
– USA didn’t pay its assessment for years
• Permanent members with veto power in the security council
• No standing police force or military to enforce its resolutions
– countries censured, often ignore the resolutions
• States have limited jurisdiction on transnational corporations (multi-nationals)
• Globalization of justice
– Crimes against humanity – International War Crimes and
Genocide Tribunal established
• Human rights – Universal Declaration of Human
– Different cultures view individual rights and community rights differently
– Different views of individual’s social responsibility
• Jurisdiction over open areas
– Arctic and Antarctic
– High Seas
– 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea
– Endangered ocean species – regulating whaling
• Environmental problems don’t stop at borders
– Air pollution: acid rain, ozone depletion, global warming
– Water pollution – rivers, seas, & oceans
• International terrorism, i.e. N.Y. 9/11/2001
• Serious threats:
– United Kingdom – less serious except for N. Ireland.
– Russia -
• Recent examples:
– Former Yugoslavia
– Former Soviet Union
– Former Czechoslovakia
• Differences between the majority and a significant minority
– Language & religion – very emotional
– Economic development
• Historic animosity
• The minority is the dominant element in a somewhat compact region of the country
• Minority’s territory is more peripherally located than centrally located
• Minority is encouraged (financed) by another country
31 or foreign organizations
• Sadly, terrorism is becoming a more frequently used tool by groups seeking “self-determination.”
• Terrorism has struck on every continent except Australia
Ulster, N. Ireland Grozny, Chechnya Basque - Spain
Kashmir shelling Sri Lanka, truck bomb E. Timor victims
• Soviet Union split apart
European countries became truly free and sovereign.
• The potential abounds in
Europe and in other places too.
• Break up of colonial empires
• Partition of India/Pakistan
• Separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan
• East Timor (at least temporarily)
• Yugoslavia split 5 ways
• U.S.S.R. split into separate republics
• Czechoslovakia divided in two
• Philippine independence from USA
• Finland separated from Sweden & Russia
• United Arab Republic (short lived)
• Eritrea from Ethiopia
• Singapore from Malaysia
• Biafra (Nigerian civil war)
• Chechnya from Russia (so far)
• Quebec (separation vote failed)
• Puerto Rico (separation vote failed)
• Katanga in Congo right after independence
• Ogodan province of Ethiopia
• USA civil war
• Philippines (so far)
• Sudan (so far)
• Basques in Spain (so far)
• Tamils in Sri Lanka (so far)
Click on the map to see the video
• Perfect example of a stateless nation
• Almost every African country
• New Zealand
Click the picture of
Gandhi to see the video
What of the wisdom of Gandhi?
• What of Sikh separatism?
• What of Hindu Nationalism?
• How can they coexist?
• Catalonia is an example
• Desires separation from Spain but may settle for greater autonomy (Spanish government hopes so)
– It is the most industrially developed part of Spain
• BUT probably would want to remain in the European
– Benefits from membership in the union – separation from the EU would hurt it economically
– One of the major industrial areas of the EU
• There is some basis for saying yes to some type of global governance or cooperation
BUT – probably not in our lifetime
• Emotional factors, old jealousies, and old hatreds may prevent some global accommodation
• Differences in political and economic systems may be difficult to reconcile