Heartland Theory

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  • A theory formulated by the British geographer Sir Halford Mackinder, in 1904, to describe a nation that extends its power and influence over other nations, based on the logic that the dominant nation controls the “heartland.” The theory asserts that the dominant nation is self-reliant and has superior militaristic and economic policies and, therefore, cannot be defeated by other empires. Although the heartland nations have changed throughout history, Eastern Europe was conceived of as the original heartland nation. This theory brought to light the importance of geopolitics, a discipline pioneered by the Swedish political scientist Rudolph Kjellen in the early 1900s. Geopolitics examines the geographic, economic, political, and social influences over the state and the state's relationship with other world powers.


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