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The MountainA Political History from the Enlightenment to the Present$
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Bernard Debarbieux and Gilles Rudaz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226031118

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226031255.001.0001

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The Mountain and the Territoriality of the Modern State

The Mountain and the Territoriality of the Modern State

(p.45) Two The Mountain and the Territoriality of the Modern State
The Mountain

Bernard Debarbieux

Gilles Rudaz

, Jane Marie Todd

Martin F. Price

University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the role given to mountain areas and topography in the making of territory of modern states. It especially examines the birth and spreading of the idea that mountains could serve as natural limits to political territories, from natural philosophy and political economy of the 18th century to the treaties of the 20th century in Central Europe and South America. It also recalls the role of the strategic and tactical vision of mountains in modern armies. It also give room to theoreticians, such as Ratzel and Haushofer, political regimes, such as the Nazis, and ideologists of expansionism such as the one which fueled the making of the US territory in the 19th century who criticized this policy of natural boundaries and contested the advantage of having mountains at the border of national territories. This chapter also examines the case of countries where some mountains have been thought as being a pivot of national territory and national imagination, such as in Switzerland, Korea, Slovenia.

Keywords:   nation-state, national imagination, border, Oropolitics, Turgot, Johann Gottfried von Herder, Rockies, Appalachia, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Korea

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