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Frontiers

  • By: Deborah E. Popper
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The frontier is a core concept in geography. Its meaning denotes location at the outer edge of territory, but its use and significance derive from two separate traditions, one associated more with Europe and the other with the United States, although the term applies to regions across the world. The European usage focuses on the frontier as a political boundary between places, a line of separation; the American frontier emphasizes interactions within the borderland of settlement. The meanings grow from the different historical experiences and traditions that are involved in their interpretation. A frontier can be a line or an area, its location and extent stable or changing. The relationships along it can be amicable or confrontational, can flow through or across and are easily ...

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