What is boundary? Types of International boundaries - Geography for You

What is boundary? Types of International boundaries

 What is the boundary?

The definition of a boundary is a line or something else that marks a limit or border. It implies the physical limit of sovereignty and jurisdiction of a state; it is a manifestation of integration and is oriented inwards.

Characteristics of boundary:

1 bound together by common law, economy, physical features, idea, or creed with a government or central authority in effective control of the territory and activities within the boundaries.

2. This leads to minimizing friction. An example is a boundary between Spain and Portugal.

3. Boundary is an outer line of effective control of the government of a country keeping the enemy out and the resources in.

4. It is a legal-political phenomenon.

5. Boundary signifies differences in goals, ideology, structure, interests, etc.

Types of International boundaries:

International boundaries are the geographical borders of political or legal jurisdictions such as countries, customs territories, and sovereign states. The process of the creation of a border is called boundary delimitation. The boundary can be classified into basically two types, 1) functional or genetic classification, 2) Physical or physiographic boundaries.

1) Based on Functional or the genetic classification of boundary:

This type of boundary is based on the relationship that a boundary line had shared with the surrounding cultural landscape at the time of its demarcation.

A) Antecedent boundaries

B) Subsequent boundaries

C) Super-imposed boundaries

D) Relic or Relict boundaries

A) Antecedent boundaries:

Boundaries that predated the evolution of the cultural landscape are called antecedent boundaries. These types of boundaries were generally agreed upon at the conference table even before the concerned territory was fully explored, and colonized so that they are mostly straight-line geometrical boundaries. The precise delineation of boundaries is relatively new in human history. Before the availability of surveying and cartographic technologies, impediments to travel such as mountain ranges, water bodies, or even features such as broad as forests and deserts were used to separate the territories of political entities.

Types of International boundaries

B) Subsequent boundaries:

Those boundaries whose definition and demarcation had followed the evolution of the cultural landscape are called subsequent boundaries. Especially the divisions of language and religion. India and Pakistan, and India and Bangladesh belong to this type. In Europe, the 1648 Peace of Westphalia gave rise to a more territorially-based notion of the sovereign state, creating an imperative for the delineation and demarcation of boundaries and the establishment of border facilities.

C) Super-imposed boundaries:

They were imposed upon the concerned communities, either by outside powers or the overbearing unit between the two. The colonial expansion of European states in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries led to the creation of many international boundaries that endure to this day, even though they were often drawn arbitrarily. As recently as the late 19th century, European powers delineated boundaries on the map of Africa without surveys on the ground and without regard to the economy or culture of African people. Until the second half of the twentieth century, international boundaries were subject to change arising from diplomatic agreements and military conflict.

D) Relic or Relict boundaries:

Such boundary lines result when a smaller State is absorbed by a larger one, or when frontier boundaries between States are abandoned and redrawn. The disintegration of states, including the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, into multiple smaller states, has created new international boundaries within pre-existing boundaries. At the same time, the German reunification in 1991 involved the dissolution of a boundary that has divided Europe for decades.

2) Based on Physical or physiographic boundaries:

Morphological boundaries are those that were drawn to follow some conspicuous feature of the physical landscape. This distinction is, however, not correct. All boundaries are man-made; hence all are artificial. Physical or physiographic boundaries are as follow-

A) Physiographic Boundaries

B) Mountain Boundaries

C) Rivers as International Boundaries

D) Boundaries in Lakes and Straits

E) Forest, Swamp, and Deserts

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