AP Human Geography
• Considers the strategic value of land and sea area in the context of national economic and
military power and ambitions
– power relationships: past, present, and future
• German School vs. American School
Geopolitics – German School
Ratzel’s Organic Theory
Geopolitics – British/American School
Sir Halford Mackinder Heartland Theory
What is the World Island?
• The Heartland is
• Resource rich
• Provided a base for world conquest
• “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland”
• “Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island”
• “Who rules the World Island commands the World”
Nicholas Spykman - Rimland Theory
• Who is he?
• What did he argue?
• Fragmented zone
• Rimland is key to controlling the world. Why?
• Dense population, abundant resources, controlling access to both the sea and the interior
• “Who controls the Rimland controls Eurasia”
• “Who rules Eurasia controls the destiny of the world”
Recent Geopolitical Developments Bipolar World
• Post WWII – Heartland =U.S.S.R
• U.S. practiced Containment (Define)-
• Confining the U.S.S.R by means of alliances with Rimland-NATO
• Military intervention
• Domino Theory (Define)-
• Current world events have rendered older geopolitical ideas obsolete. How?
• End of the Cold War, Nuclear Technology, and Japan, China, W. Europe becoming world powers
• Unilateralism – United Sates dominance
• Will this last???
• Foreign Policy Strategies/Principles