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Old 06-21-2013, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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At about what point in history was the universality of the nation completed? That is, when did the world reach a point at which virtually every person knew what country he lived in, on which side of clear and delineated (although possibly disputed) borders?

We might not be there yet, with a few areas of uncertain borders, like between Saudi Arabia and Oman, or those pesky Neutral Zones on the Saudi-Kuwaiti border, or a couple of disputed islands in the China Sea. But we have come a long way in a short time from those maps of only a couple of centuries ago with Terra Incognita on them, or "greatest extent of Mongol Empire".
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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You ask when this happened and then indicate that it has not happened yet.

Wouldn't that make all answers wrong save..."Not yet?"
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Here.
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There will probably always be people living near border areas that consider themselves part of the nation on the other side of the border. Even within the United States, there are Mexican-Americans living in the southwest who consider themselves to still be in Mexico. (Many Mexicans feel the southwestern US was taken from them unfairly.)
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:17 AM
 
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jtur, I think a little more clarification of the intent of the question is needed. Are you basically asking, when did maps become accurate enough that the borders of nation-states were clearly delineated such that most people knew in which nation they lived?

If so...

That's kind of a tough question to answer. There are people that claim the entire concept of "nation-state" is inextricably tied to advances in map making in the 15th century. By the late 18th century maps became even more accurate as the ability to accurately mark longitude using either the lunar distance or chronometer method became possible. At this time, many treaties are written referencing latitude and longitude points, so at least in practice people had a very good idea of borders even over irregular terrain.

By 1919 the Maurer projection map became the most accurate made where distances could be accurately measured from and to any point using the reference dots. Later airplanes combined with photography made exceedingly accurate maps possible. Couple that with cheap and easy printing and in the inter-war years maps were a very common place possession of many people and were fairly accurate.

Today maps are laser/pinpoint accurate and via the web one can reference their position on the planet to any other and accurately trace a border, etc. I suppose we could argue that the true "finalization" in terms of universal knowledge for everyone is a rather recent phenomenon brought on by the rise of Google Maps/Earth.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Many borders are colonial and were drawn by men in London or Paris. Most because fixed after WWI. They’re pretty arbitrary and contribute to a lot of ongoing conflict.

There have been some major changes since then: present-day Poland, the breakups of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, etc., but the international community resists redrawing national borders because it sets a dangerous prescient on an incredibly slippery slope.

Barring WWIII, the international community wants the status quo for borders.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:05 AM
Status: "Wokeness is just a fear of freedom .. and of responsibility" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
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It's not the definition of borders that matters, but the identification of the people who live within them; and since both societies, and the economic engines which power them, change constantly, nothing is going to remain completely stable.

The present-day "success stories" are nations which welcome immigrants and strike a balance between allowing them to retain their original character. while emphasizing that all the participants have both reason to identify with the emerging culture, and something to lose by not doing so. Canada is a perfect example, but it has also spawned a strong resistance s among the group which most sees itself as slighted -- the French-spacing Quebecois.

And it might be worth noting that over the course of several referenda in which Quebec voted (narrowly!) to stay in the Canadian union, a strange alliance of immigrants (predominately Asian), Anglophones, Metro Montreal's large Jewish population, and the native tribes of the far North, all banded together against the French Quebecers. The underlying issue remains far from resolution, and we might yet see an independent, though likely smaller Quebec emerge -- or a provision for more autonomy as was granted Scotland and Wales within the United Kingdom.

I can't see tis process as ever coming to an end, but those nations with either the strongest uniformity, or the greatest flexibility (and the United States is near the top of the list in the second category)) stand the best chance of enduring.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong / Vienna
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There is still a "disputed" border in Europe: Lake Constance.

Lake Constance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"While Switzerland holds the view that the border runs through the middle of the lake, Austria is of the opinion that the lake stands in condominium of all the states on its banks. Germany holds no unambiguous opinion."

But I don't think we will get into a war anytime soon.

Last edited by viribusunitis; 06-21-2013 at 02:30 PM..
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
There will probably always be people living near border areas that consider themselves part of the nation on the other side of the border. Even within the United States, there are Mexican-Americans living in the southwest who consider themselves to still be in Mexico. (Many Mexicans feel the southwestern US was taken from them unfairly.)
That is completely outside the scope of the question. The US-Mexico border is clearly demarcated, everyone at every moment knows exactly which side of the border they are on, and which country has permanent and undisputed jurisdiction over the land on which they have their homes or their livestock.

I tried in the OP to cite a couple of examples where international borders are still a little bit hazy, but I don't know of any countries that still consider their borders to be the point at which their ruffians can cow local villagers into paying tribute. But in recent decades, I believe the Golden Triangle in northern Burma remained a virtual no-man's land with rival claimants. With a few excepti0ns in virtually unpopulated expanses, the world is now sharply demarcated into nations with boundaries. Approximately when did this become a universal norm, and what were the last kingdoms that still considered their borders to be fluid and subject to however far their authority could reach?

I suspect that it might not have come until the advent of aerial mapping, when borders that existed on maps back in the capital could be actually observed and landmarks associated with them. But even then, there were those maps in the capita, and diplomacy probably minimized the number of cases in which two countries had maps that did not agree. Although there were huge discrepancies in South America, in inaccessible regions where nobody ever went often enough to deem it relevant. My first childhood map, ca, 1930's, showed Ecuador about twice as big as it is now.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:47 PM
 
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My guess would be around 1900
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
At about what point in history was the universality of the nation completed?
Seems like you caught a bad case of Fukuyamatitis, closing out history long before the final chapter has been written.
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