Geography and Colonialism

305 words | 2 page(s)

Of the states that were independent, but not colonial powers themselves, all are somewhat fragile. For the most part these states are found in the southern hemisphere, which has worse results overall in comparison to the northern hemisphere. The western hemisphere also contains more countries with more stable rankings than the eastern hemisphere. In fact, only Australia, a former colony of Great Britain in 1900, appears to be a stable state when it comes to the southeastern quadrant of the world.

The Russian empire controlled most of the northeastern quadrant of the world in 1900, and today that area ranks as section filled with fairly fragile states. Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Japan and South Korea, which were independent states in 1900, are more stable than most of the states in the eastern hemisphere, however they are more fragile than the states found in North America or Western Europe.

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Those states which were once colonies of Great Britain tend to have one of two outcomes. Those at more extreme latitudes in the north and south have fared very well and are not fragile states; however those closest to the equator are found to be the most fragile. This pattern appears to hold whether the states were independent or colonies of Belgium, France, the Netherlands or Spain.

Overall the patterns of fragility which are found today are less explained by colonialism circa 1900, and more predicted by latitude and whether the state is found in the eastern or western hemisphere. For example, even in the northwestern quadrant of the world it can be seen that Canada, a colony of Great Britain in 1900, is less fragile than the United States. This indicates that even here the latitude is the factor with the most impact, given that it is more northern. Scandinavian states are similarly not fragile, even though they were independent in the year 1900.

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