A border is an imaginary line separating two Territoire S, in particular two State S sovereigns. The part which a border plays can strongly vary according to the areas and times. Between the countries of the Space Schengen, it is only a political and legal limit not making obstacle with the circulation of the people and the goods. Between the two Korea, it is materialized by broad band militarily supervised and its crossing is very restricted.
Designs of the border
The idea of borders fixed, linear, clearly established today largely was essential, it is however a mainly recent phenomenon. In certain cases, there does not exist precise delimitation between the territories. It is still the case currently in certain zones
The feudal systemAugust 1st In certain cases the limits are contrary very many and can intermingle. In the feudal system, there exist multiple relations between vassal and suzerains and the limits, sometimes well defined, are multiple and of various scales.
The centralized systemIn this case the system of borders is simpler than in the feudal system: the borders outsides of the State take a paramount importance whereas the internal border attenuate.
This model can apply rather well to various areas and different times. It is in particular that of the modern State such as it developed in Europe starting from XIIIe and XIVe century. At that time, of the central official capacities reaffirm themselves. The Prince imposes laws and taxes on a vast well delimited territory. Gradually, progress of the cartography makes it possible to the leaders to better become aware of their territory and to control best.
Starting from the French revolution primarily is born the idea from the State-nation which reinforces this system considerably. In the spirit of the revolutionists, France must be unified; the internal borders, the foreign Enclave S in France and the Exclave S Frenchwomen abroad are removed, the national territory must be linear. The feeling of membership of a nation develops. The internal borders are abolished and the external borders take a new resonance symbolic system: they are not any more one simple administrative line, they mark the limit of the Nation.
The idea of State-Nation was associated in France with the existence of a precisely delimited national territory. However, one can conceive the existence of a Nation while considering that this one is not intended to have a territory fixed a priori and definitively. This idea was developed by Friedrich Ratzel, considered as the precursor of geopolitics. For him, the most dynamic States extend at the expense of weakest. Natural laws similar to that of biology decide development of the States: “The State is subject to the same influences as any life. The bases of the extension of the men on the ground determine the extension of their States. The borders are not to conceive differently than like the expression of an organic movement and inorganique." The international law however recognizes in the States the right to the Territorial integrity and the idea that the borders cannot be modified, except under the terms of a formal agreement between States, largely imposed itself.
The faceAs the analysis of Ratzel shows it, a border is not necessarily fixed. In the contemporary vocabulary, one speaks about face to indicate a border whose layout obviously has to change. One can distinguish two types of faces: the military face and the face pioneer. The military face, the line of meeting of two opposing armies become rare because of the transformations of the military techniques and the decline of the wars of conquète. The face pioneer on the other hand did not disappear.
By face pioneer, one understands not a boundary line between two states but the zone located between the territory of a nation and territories not controlled by the man. One speaks then in English about Frontier , and not about boundary. Historically, the most important case of face pioneer was in North America, at the time of the " Conquest of the West " with and centuries. Frederick Jackson Turner, in an analysis célbre, affirms that this type of border worked the American mentality in a quite different way that would not have done it a traditional official border: it would have supported the spirit of initiative and develops the taste of the innovation (see the article Mythe of the border). Today there exist faces pioneers in Amazonia or Southeast Asia where they are spaces lately gained on the forest.
In the facts, the face pioneer is not distinguished always completely from the military face and the border within the meaning of Ratzel: the spaces gained at the time of the conquète of the West being often of old Indian territories. They are thus as territories as the powerful ones, the European colonists, gained on population weaker materially.
The layout of the current land borders
The crystallization of power strugglesAugust 1st If the borders are guaranteed today by the international law, they are not less, in their genesis and on purely various bases, the product of power struggles. They are mainly the product of advanced armies and strategic calculations on behalf of the political powers. In its work Geography of the borders (1938), the geographer Jacques Ancel, defines thus the border like “a “political isobar” which fixes, for a time, balance between two pressures; balance masses, balances of force”.
These power struggles can be of nature various. It can be a question directly of the confrontation of two close powers, for example when Napoleon annexes Italy of North. It can also be a question of the product of more complex strategic calculations. That pariculièrement true in the area is pariculièrement dominated by distant powers. Africa, was thus essentially " partagée" between European States at the end of the XIXe century, according to the power struggles which existed in Europe. The situation is a little different whenever two States belonged to the same colonial unit. the Spanish colonial Empire, and where the borders were revised after independences.
Adhesion of the populationsThe majority of the world borders were traced without asking for the opinion of the local populations. However, the States often endeavor to make accept the borders by the population. votes took place in old territorial enclaves to decide on their fastening or not in France. It is especially starting from the French Revolution that the question of the borders will be dependant in Europe on that of nationalities. The claims separatists or freedom fighters multiply at the 19th century in the multinational Empires. Since the First World War that the Right of the people to have themselves became a structuring principle of the world political system, at least from the theoretical point of view. Under the American pressure, the chart of Europe was redrawn in 1918-1919 to better take into account the principle of nationalities. In certain zones with the undecided statute, a referendum near the local population is envisaged by the treaty of Versailles
The principle of the State-nation sometimes appeared difficult to implement on the plan partic. The redessinage after the First World War did not put an end to the dissensions on the questions of borders. In certain areas where the populations are very diverse, it was not possible to create homogeneous State-nations. Another strategy is then possible to attenuate the dissensions about the borders: to either make correspond borders to nationalities but create a feeling main road in official entities with contours a priori arbitrary. It is a little the adopted strategy the Organization of African Unity by declaring intangible the borders inherited the colonial period. If a national feeling seems to be gradually creates in African countries, independence tensions subsitent all over the world at populations which are not recognized in the State auxquel they are attached.
The use of the physical data
With large scales, one notes that many current borders follow data of the physical geography. That is explained by several reasons:
The mountains or the rivers offer important defensive possibilities and were often used to build fortifications.
More radically, of the particularly visible geographical accidents allow to legitimate the existence of borders, to even be read like signs allowing to delimit the extension of a State. It is the “doctrines” of the " borders naturelles" , expressed January 13rd 1793, by Danton with the platform of the Convention. “The limits of France are marked by nature, we will reach them of the four corners of the horizon, on the side of the Rhine, the side of the Ocean, the side of the Alps. There must finish the terminals of our Republic. ” Natural discontinuities however are not necessarily superimposed with the limits ethnographic and cultural and the theory of the natural borders was very criticized at the XXe century, but it had great influence on the layout of the borders.
The physical data have moreover the advantage of being given in advance, and thus of facilitating the work of delimitation. It is noticed in the sense that the borders of South America, generally located in areas very little populated, often have a hydrographic support. In the same spirit, geometrical lines, often of the meridian lines or parallels, were used for traces of the borders. It is the case the Sahara or the North-West of of the United States
Many borders however do not have an obvious physical justification, that between France and Belgium for example. It is generally a sign which these borders have a long story.
Maritime bordersAugust 1st
Since the Conference of Montego Bay (1982), the maritime borders have the characteristic to be defined according to uniform rules which apply to droir some in all the States. They are directly correlated with the possession of the terrestrial territories, islands and littorals.
Territorial waterOne recognizes in the States a right of full sovereignty on the Territorial water which extend on twelve miles starting from the coasts. This zone is thus regarded as integral part of the national territory. The foreign ships however have there a right-of-way innocent and the right to pose underwater cables.
When two States are separated by a strait, the border passes in the medium.
The exclusive economic ZoneUp to two hundred miles of the coasts, the State has a exclusive economic Zone (ZEE), in which it has a right of stock management. In certain areas, these rules cannot be applied because the sea is too narrow. It is the case, for example, in the Mediterranean. Beyond the 200 miles is the open sea, governed by the international law.
The State and the control of the border
The border can represent an obstacle with the communications and the exchanges between two States in various fields. This function perhaps more or less marked, one speaks then about frontièrs open and closed borders. Since the end of the Second world war, the restrictions on the movements of goods tended to decrease. The restrictions on the shifts in population remain on the other hand important, which could lead in certain areas of the world to the introduction of barriers, with the material direction of the mot.
Border and national defenseThe word border has a military origin, it is related to the word face étymologiquement and indicates at the beginning a particular type of limit: strengthened limit, protected.
The States often placed important forces militraire on the borders. A wall can be created to supervise the passage or to protect from possible attacks, it was the raison d'être of the Great wall of China, and more recently in France with the Ligne Maginot. When they does not build wall over the entire length of the border, certans States can place important garrisons along the border. At the 17th century, many forts are thus built under the impulse of Vauban to protect the territories from king de France. The military presence, then plays sometimes a part structuring in these areas.
At the XXe century however, military technologies changed, the means of transport gained in speed, the planes and the missiles pass without encumbers the terrestrial walls, the military fortification of the border consequently is not more one paramount tool of defense national. In the context of fight against terrorism, individual controls at the border have on the other hand a great importance.
Control flows of goodsAugust 1st The goods must generally pass the customs at the border, but there are things which pass in smuggling, and the States génréralement do not like that.
Monitoring of the migrations
The control of the migrations took these last decades a considerable role. In fact sometimes the exits are supervised. It was the case in East Germany where the Berlin Wall was built for empécher the massive emigration towards the West.
More souivent however, it is the immigration which is supervised. That can be done by identity checks inside even of the national territory but the monitoring of the border often keeps a central role. Of enough many walls were built these last years, most famous being undoubtedly that which separates Mexico and the United States.
Conflicts and co-operations
Territorial disputeAugust 1st
See also: List of disputed territories
Management of water
The question of the division of water is thorny in certain border regions. The rivers which pass on the border can pose various problems, although the principle of the freedom of navigation on the international rivers was stated since the treated of Vienna in 1815.
Iran and Iraq were thus made the war (1980-1990) for the control of the channel of navigation on the Chott-el-Arab (river born of the confluence of the Tiger and Euphrate).
But the main difficulty lies in conflicts on the use of water, in particular for the irrigation and the provisioning of the populations. The conflict israélo - Palestinian is the illustration since the colonization of the Occupied territories is justified by the Israeli need to control the ground water of the West Bank. It is the same of the tensions between Turkey, Syria and Iraq in connection with the division of water of the Euphrate.
New places and new functionsAugust 1st
Setting with economic profit
The tax rates and the economic levels of development often differ between the two sides from the border. Certain economic actors can consequently benefit from the existence of these contrasts.
The most spectacular case is undoubtedly that of the border region between Mexico and the United States. One attended the development of twin cities on both sides of the border. Côté the United States are the easiest residential districts, which makes it possible for example to the inhabitants to profit from the American education system. On the other side of the border are industries of the type Maquiladora S which enjoy tax incentives granted to the area by the government of Mexico City.
The borders are also a place privileged for the Trafic and the Contrebande, certain places being used as turntable with the illicit trade most various.
New places of the " frontière" effect;August 1st
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