This article will discuss the contribution of Halford John Mackinder, one of the earliest and most influential of the contributors to the discussion. Around the young geographer, Halford J. Mackinder, grew concerned with the changing balance of international power. He argued that. This largely outdated view influenced some geopolitical thinking. Sir Halford John Mackinder was a British geographer who wrote a paper in.

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Retrieved 10 February In fact, control over the Western Hemisphere has allowed the United States to rise to an unprecedented position of power, for many of the very reasons Mackinder identified with the Heartland.

Simon Dalby, “American Security Discourse: Appleton and company, This was arguably at the time the most prestigious academic position for a British geographer. Take Brzezinski’s chess analogy. Mackinder held that effective political domination of the Heartland by a single power had been unattainable in the past because:. Halford John later Sir Halford Mackinder, appointed inwas trained in the natural sciences and history and felt the need to prove his geographical credentials by climbing Mount Kenya in Gray, The Geopolitics of Superpower Lexington: Paradoxically, our attempts to prevent a Eurasian anti-American alliance may make that outcome more likely.

The Heartland Theory and more generally classical geopolitics and geostrategy were extremely influential in the making of US strategic policy during the period of the Cold War. The heart of the Heartland is floating on top of a sea of oil. Sometimes we fail to perceive the end of that intellectual shelf life.

Halford Mackinder

But geooolitics there really any threat of a state marshaling forces against the British Isles? The West clumsily heightens that sense of insecurity with every new foray into the Rimlands. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


The book attracted little attention in Britain but rather more in the United States. Some observers assume that Russian meddling in the affairs of the states on its periphery is an inevitable sign of neoimperialism, which geopolitiics a permanent characteristic of its eternal national character. Eurasia, the “World Island” to Mackinder, is still central to American foreign policy and will likely to continue to be so for some time. Many geopolitical “truths” that have passed into the canon of security intellectuals rarely get a proper reexamination to determine their relevance to the constantly evolving nature of the system.

Any imaginable alliance of Eurasian powers would be too unwieldy and disparate to operate effectively. The World Island is still the central focus of US macckinder, and the Russians are still considered to have the most fortunate position on the map. Mackinder, The geographical pivot of geopolitic. To the West, the Soviets were not threatened from all directions, but rather were threatening to all directions.

The Geographical Pivot of History – Wikipedia

If anything, it was and is a disadvantage, especially when compared to other, more manageable, geographical positions.

Basic Books, from after it was over. Today the United States is at a unipolar position in every possible sense–militarily, economically, culturally, politically, and on and on. He reiterated and expanded his Heartland view of the world, suggesting that the Atlantic Ocean would be jumped, with North America’s influence pulled into the region by its use of Britain as an “moated aerodrome”.

Amery and Lord Milnerthe imperial administrator.

No one spoke of the “interior lines of communication” of the Third Reich, for instance. He was a member of the Coefficients dining club gfopolitics, set up in by the Fabian campaigners Sidney and Beatrice Webbwhich brought together social reformers and advocates of national efficiency.


Debunking the fundamental assumptions of geopolitics is an important task when one considers how policy gdopolitics made. During the Cold War, foreign policy decisions were never easy, but at least the Soviet Union provided an enemy to be opposed.

But theories and assumptions, whether articulated or not, provide the frameworks which guide decisionmaking.

Whilst the Heartland Theory initially received little attention outside geography, this theory would later exercise some influence on the foreign policies of world powers. The essential irrelevance of the “natural defenses” of the Heartland was pointed out during the first stages of debate on Mackinder during World War II. This article includes a list of referencesbut its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations.

Halford Mackinder | British political geographer |

At Oxford, Mackinder was the driving force behind the creation of a School of Geography in At that time, a group of men at the Royal Geographical Society were making strong efforts to raise the status of geography as an academic discipline in Britain and to secure for it an adequate place in the educational system.

Germany has always been at a disadvantage because of her position in the heart of Europe. If you prefer to suggest your own revision of the article, you can go to edit mode requires login. The combined empire’s large East Asian coastline would also provide the potential for it to become a major sea power.

A Study in the Politics of Reconstructionappeared in It seems hard to argue that geographical factors favor Mackinder’s Heartland over the American, or to see why so many strategists continue to put Eurasia as the center of the world.