How does a country's geography affect its relationship with others?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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A country’s geography can affect its relationship with others because it can affect what it wants from other countries and what other countries want from it.  This has an impact on its economic interactions with other countries and it can have an impact on whether it gets into conflicts with other countries.

Countries that are right next to one another can sometimes have bad relations.  One country might have a resource the other wants.  This might lead them to go to war because the one country wants to take the resource by force.  For example, Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 partly because Germany wanted to use the Soviets’ vast expanses of agricultural land for itself.  Thus, Germany’s lack of land and Russia’s abundance of land helped cause the two countries to be enemies.

Geography can also impact economic relationships.  For example, Mexico in the late 1800s was a relatively poor country that had a lot of natural resources and was next to a rich country (the United States).  These two facts of geography (being next to one another and Mexico having resources) made the US want to use Mexico as a source of resources.  This affected their economic relations as the US invested huge amounts of money in Mexican industries while also dominating Mexico’s economy.

The geography of countries affects what they have and what they want.  It can, thereby, affect how countries deal with one another as each tries to get what they want from others. 

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