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Belgium and the Netherlands Swap Land, and Remain Friends

Belgium and the Netherlands Swap Land, and Remain Friends | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The discovery of a headless corpse in the Netherlands helped Belgium and its bigger Dutch neighbor resolve a property squabble that began in 1961.

 

In a region that has long known geopolitical and linguistic squabbles, and where Belgium has lived in the shadow of its neighbor, the land swap was anything but inevitable. In 1961, when the Meuse was reconfigured to aid navigation, it had the side effect of pushing three pieces of land onto the wrong side of the river. The uninhabited area subsequently gained a reputation for lawlessness, wild parties and prostitution.

 

Tags: borders, political, territoriality, BelgiumNetherlands, unit 4 political, Europe.

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Taylor Doonan's curator insight, February 15, 2018 7:21 PM
This shows a peaceful glimpse into the future of potentially the world. When borders don't make sense a peaceful sit-down resulting in subtle changes of borders makes sense. Though this is extremely hard to attain, Belgium and the Netherlands achieved this. When a body was found and the wrong authorities were called and the correct authorities could not reasonably get to the land the deal was made creating borders between the two nations that made sense. 
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 9, 2018 2:05 PM
(Europe) The Belgian-Dutch border on Meuse River was drawn to aid navigation but caused parts of each country to end up on the wrong side of the river. When a murder happened on Belgian land on the opposing river bank and required a tricky river landing, the countries realized the impracticality. Without fighting over land in other regions of the world, Belgium relinquished 35 acres and the Netherlands gave up 7 peacefully, strengthening their relations. Illogical borders like this exist throughout the world, including between Norway and Finland and the US and Canada.
brielle blais's curator insight, March 24, 2018 12:37 PM
This article shows that despite small geopolitical and linguistic squabbles, Belgium and Norway still peacefully traded land to fix unreasonable boarders. This also showcases the importance of maintaining friendly relations and practical boarders between countries. A peninsula belonging to the Netherlands was cut off by a treacherous river and Belgium, through which the Dutch needed special permission to cross over. After the peninsula became a hub for lawlessness, it was agreed by both countries that the boarder needed to be fixed. This shows that these changes can be done peacefully by countries and that geographic location is very important. 
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The Most Complex International Borders in the World

"In this video I look at some of the most complex international border. Of course, there are more complex borders in the world, but this video looks at some of my favourites."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video shows some great examples of how the political organization of space and administration of borders can get complicated.  Here are the examples (and time in the video when they are covered in the video):


Tags: borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty, video.


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ELAdvocacy's curator insight, October 3, 2014 9:40 AM

There are so many reasons our immigrant students come to the United States.  Some stories are so complex and painful it can be extremely difficult for Americans to understand.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, October 3, 2014 10:21 PM

Interesting!

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 6, 2014 5:39 AM

The Most Complex International Borders in the World

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Complex International Borders

More complex international borders in this follow up to part 1
In this video I look at even more enclaves and exclaves."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video (like part 1) shows some great examples of how the political organization of space and administration of borders can get complicated.  Here are the examples (and time in the video when they are covered in the video) on these complex borders:


Tags: borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty, video.

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Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 7, 2015 9:13 PM

Borders seem to be a problem whether you live in one continent or another, everyone wants power and control but not everyone can gain it. This video focuses and goes into depth about enclave and exclave borders, showing the irregularity of the borders in different areas that causes conflicts and problems. An example of a problem that the citizens have to deal with is that some villages can not leave due to the road blocks due to the borders. I can not imagine not being able to leave a certain area for all that time, I would go insane and I imagine those people are as well. International borders power has to be split somehow and not everyone can always come to an easy decision because parts of the land are claimed but the people do not have any control of it. Irregular borders cause more trouble than they are worth in my opinion. The final interesting fact about this video was that you learn that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are the two locations that have the most irregular border, these places must have the most conflict and problems. These borders are in places such as Germany, South Asia, China, Belgian, Sweden and Central Asia.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 5:17 PM

A fascinating look into the complexity of borders. It is always important to keep in mind when looking at maps that the borders are neither permanent or defined as it exists in reality. Borders on world maps are rough estimations of what the borders actually are for they can't depict precise details on such a large scale. Furthermore regional/local maps sometimes do not whether as to conform to the border misconception unfortunately. In Central Asia as defined int he video the border were primarily a result of the Soviet Unions attempts to divided ethnic minorities reducing their power (primarily Stalin). As a result the countries after the collapse proceeded to claim the ethnic groups which created enclaves within each-other. As long as these groups are on peaceful terms this kind of thing isn't an issue. Unfortunately it does make the peoples lives in the enclaves slightly more difficult due to having to cross the border twice to see the rest of your country. This kind of thing was even done to the Jews in the first century AD who like the Russians wanted to eliminate or at least reduce attempts at revolution by the local populace. Hopefully Central Asia has or will make the lives of these enclaves easier.

David Stiger's curator insight, October 28, 2018 8:56 PM
I think it's fair to say that people in general take maps for granted. The devotion and reverence for the written word - specifically the published written word - prevents people from realizing that much of the world is a social construct. Geographically, borders are social constructs - sometimes loose agreements between different groups of people to establish territorial boundaries in order to claim resources. This video, which speaks to the complicated reality of territorial enclaves and 'exclaves,' illustrates how borders are social constructs. They can often be illogical, awkward, and highly disputable. Examining the several exclaves and enclaves shared between Armenia and Azerbaijan is evidence of the geopolitical mess that disputed borders create.  What is most fascinating about this case is the assessment of how Joseph Stalin tampered with international borders as a geopolitical strategy in order to sow instability and weakness. This strategy allowed the the Soviets to more easily conquer and subjugate foreign peoples - all in the name of proletariat revolution. 
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Belgians divided by language barrier

Failure by Belgium's political parties to form a government since elections in June have prompted fears of a split in the tiny European country. Al Jazeera's...
Seth Dixon's insight:

This 2007 video is dated, but many of the same issues are still seen today.  This video briefly lays out the cultural context for the political divisions between the French-speaking Walloons and the Dutch-speaking Flemish populations of Belgium.  For a longer video on the topic, see this half hour video.


Tags: language, culture, Belgium, unit 4 political, Europe, devolution, unit 3 culture.  

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BTC's comment, February 12, 2013 10:46 AM
Interesting, but the reality is much more complex....