Ap Human Geography Chapter 8 Notes

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  • Topic: Geopolitics, United States, United States Constitution
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  • Published : January 30, 2012
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Chapter 8 Outline

-In 1997, the newly elected Labor party in London gave the Scots (and the Welsh) the opportunity to vote- not for independence, but for devolution. They both voted in favor, taking a major devolutionary step in one of Europe’s oldest and most stable unitary states. - Scotland’s new autonomous status has not necessarily fueled greater calls for independence. - At the heart of most devolutionary moments however, is a strong sense of ethnocultural or economic difference and when sense of difference coincide with conflicting senses of territory, the results can be explosive. - Devolutionary pressures often arise from a combination of sources. - Catalonia produces some 25% of all Spanish exports by value and 40% of its industrial exports. - Economic forces play an even more prominent role in Italy and France. - Italy faces serious devolutionary forces on its mainland peninsula as well one is the growing regional disparity between north and south. The wealthier north stands in sharp contrast to the poorer south. - The most recent of Italian politicians was the Northern League which raised the prospect of an independent state called Padania. The Northern League’s Efforts fell short. - Devolutionary events most often occur on the margins of states. - Distance, remoteness, and marginal location are allies of devolution. - The regions most likely to seek devolution are those far from the national capitol. Many are separated by water, desert, or mountains from the center of power and adjoin neighbors that may support separatist objectives. - Note also that many islands are subject to devolutionary processes: Corsica (France), Sardinia (Italy), Taiwan (China), Singapore (Malaysia), Zanzibar (Tanzania), Jolo (Philippines), Puerto Rico (United States), Mayotte (Comoros), and East Timor (Indonesia) are notable examples. As this list indicates, some of these islands become independent states, while others were divided during devolution. -The U.S faces its most serious devolutionary pressures on the island of Hawaii. The year 1993 marked the hundred-year anniversary of the United States’ annexation of Hawaii, and in that year, a vocal minority of native Hawaiians and their sympathizers demanded the return of rights lost during the “occupation.” - At present, the native Hawaiians do not have the numbers, resources, or influence to achieve their separatist aims. - Spatial influences can play a significant role in starting, and sustaining devolutionary processes. They can also be compounded by differences in physical geography. -Basic physical-geographic and locational factors can thus key ingredients in the devolutionary process. - A final key component to the spatial organization of government is the state’s electoral system. - Various countries use different voting systems to elect their governments. - The geographic study of voting behavior is especially interesting because it relates the way people vote to their geographic environments. Maps of voting patterns often produce surprises that can be explained by other maps, and Geographic Information Systems technology has raised this kind of analysis to new levels. - Probably the most practical area of electoral geography is the geography of representation. - A voter’s most direct and important contact with government is at the local level. The United States Constitution establishes a system of Territorial representation in the House of Representatives, where each representative is elected from a territorial defined district. - The constitution also establishes a census every 10 years in order to enumerate the population and reapportion the representatives accordingly. - In the United States once reapportionment is complete, individual States go through redistricting, each following its own system. - Even after the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s in the United States, minorities were refused voting rights in a multitude of districts and States around...
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