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TigerPride10
Columbia Fan
Manila, Philippines
Member since Jul 2007
9810 posts

Regarding America's Geography: True or False?

The United States is as wealthy, deomocratic, and powerful as it is because of its geography.

I just finished up Robert Kaplan's book, The Revenge of Geography, and he alludes to this several times throughout. His thesis was that democracy and a free market economy can only flourish in a country whose borders are secure. He gives examples of Great Britain in comparison to Germany... The former is an island nation, apart from the struggles of continental Europe after the Hundred Year's War. The latter was a land-based power with powerful empires on either side. Democracy only came to a united Germany when its borders were secured by the strongest military alliance in the world. For the United States, he argues his claim by pointing to the fact that our only real threat along our border in the past 200 years has been Mexico. Our borders also touch the two most important oceans in the world.

Thoughts?
This post was edited on 1/29 at 10:39 pm



John McClane
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Apr 2010
28176 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
It sure helped. So, true.


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geauxtigers87
USA Fan
NOLA
Member since Mar 2011
11201 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
true, but being some badass mofo's helps too


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joshnorris14
Florida Fan
Florida
Member since Jan 2009
21570 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
quote:

The United States is as wealthy, deomocratic, and powerful as it is because of its geography.


False.


Tiger Authority
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2007
29475 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


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Cold Pizza
Ohio State Fan
Member since Sep 2011
7639 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
Being founded by a bunch of white men with gigantic balls was the key.


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AlaTiger
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2006
15985 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
False.

It was Culture that did it.

That culture is being systematically destroyed, so expect the success to decline.



Decatur
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2007
18126 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
Geography is a very big factor, maybe the biggest. There is a reason people focus on geopolitics.


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Decatur
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2007
18126 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
quote:

It was Culture that did it.


Which culture?


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cwill
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jan 2005
29127 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
It's a compelling hypothesis....I think it was also helpful that it was a place where Europeans could step out of and escape the limiting environs of their home countries plus the British roots.


HailHailtoMichigan!
Michigan Fan
Coto de Caza, CA
Member since Mar 2012
20693 posts
Online

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
This is the opposite of the Turner thesis, which stated that settlement of new land/frontiers is the engine for democracy.


TigerPride10
Columbia Fan
Manila, Philippines
Member since Jul 2007
9810 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
quote:

False.


Then what's your reason?


TigerPride10
Columbia Fan
Manila, Philippines
Member since Jul 2007
9810 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
quote:

It was Culture that did it.


What culture are you referring to specifically? The heterogeneous one? Or the Anglo-Saxon traditions, that aren't really American in the first place?


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John McClane
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Apr 2010
28176 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
It's clearly not the only reason, but without our geography we would have never gotten as powerful as we have become.


TigerPride10
Columbia Fan
Manila, Philippines
Member since Jul 2007
9810 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
quote:

This is the opposite of the Turner thesis, which stated that settlement of new land/frontiers is the engine for democracy.


I've read The Frontier, and my objections were twofold. First, how do you quantify an experience? Second, how come the same argument cannot be applied to other land-based empires throughout history, namely Russia?

Turner was a product of his generation.


TigerPride10
Columbia Fan
Manila, Philippines
Member since Jul 2007
9810 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
quote:

It's clearly not the only reason


What other reasons would you suggest? Remember that the geopolitical argument posits that culture, democracy, innovation, etc. cannot exist without a secure border.


joshnorris14
Florida Fan
Florida
Member since Jan 2009
21570 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
quote:

Then what's your reason?


A relatively high level of individual liberty.


cwill
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jan 2005
29127 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
I don't think it can be boiled down to one reason....but it makes sense that isolation could have lent a hand.

ETA: what about Japan? Other island nations aside from GB? Mexico's borders are secure....clearly it's more.... Something about GB and its colonies always stand out IMHO.
This post was edited on 1/29 at 11:12 pm


M. A. Ryland
LSU Fan
silver spring, MD
Member since Dec 2005
1009 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
quote:


The United States is as wealthy, deomocratic, and powerful as it is because of its geography.


False.
The geography certainly helped, but I think a bigger factor is the people.
Remember, America was populated by people willing to cross an ocean to a strange land for a chance to build a life from scratch. That was some pretty serious self-selection for hard-working risk takers.


Decatur
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2007
18126 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?
I think secure borders may be a necessary condition for a lasting democracy, as nations with unsecure borders obviously see more regime change and therefore aren't sufficiently stable to maintain a democracy (this is just speaking generally). I don't think that a democracy necessarily rises just because a nation has secure borders.
This post was edited on 1/29 at 11:10 pm


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